Working 40, 60, 80 hours per week.

I’ve always been deliberate about how I spend my time. At Google, I rarely worked past 6pm, never worked a weekend, and spent vacations totally disconnected. Moreover, I try to focus, meaning I don’t use my phone while watching TV, rarely take phone calls if I’m not expecting them, and don’t text friends while at work.

Going into working for myself I know that work/non-work balance would be hard, so my startup plan included taking off nights and weekends. This has been surprisingly hard to stick to. There’s this nagging feeling that I have a limited amount of time to make it work and that time spent away from the business is directly hurting my chances. Worse, I haven’t effectively siloed work and non-work communication like I did at Google so it all goes to the same inbox. It’s been hard justifying setting up a separate inbox when I still have a temporary name.

Similarly, the downside of being able to talk freely about my work means that I talk about it more with friends. This means yet more time thinking about my work.

The best distractions have focused me on some other goal, like a cooking class, language lessons, and rock climbing. Parties and other social events tend to quickly turn into discussions about my startup.

It’s a marathon. Much more likely to burn out than to spend too little time working.


This post is part of an ongoing series about my journey as an ex-Googler starting a business from scratch.