Working late with purpose

09/17/2016–When is working late appropriate?

Considering the purpose of work is the first step. Ask: Why am I working at all?

Then, why is this the best option to achieve that purpose? Then, after you’ve determined this job is the way to go (for now), you can begin to address the question of how to work, including when, where, with whom and the negatives of each of those.

I work to enable what’s important. Thus, to the extent added effort increases this enabling, it’s appropriate to add effort (e.g. work additional hours).

A frontier would appear were this relationship between effort and enabling graphed, like a production possibilities frontier.

Or maybe this:

The top of the “what matters” curve is how much you should work. Notice, at that point the revenue curve is still rising slightly, indicating you could make more money working more hours. However, at the point where more effort decreases the output of whatever truly matters, that revenue isn’t able to be invested as effectively. At the top of the “what matters” curve, you cannot enable what’s important any more than you already are by working more. Limiting factors will prevent any extra revenue from feeding what’s important. For example, if you work 60 hours instead of 40, the extra $ might have to be used on healthcare costs related to stress.

Obviously, the optimal workweek differs for each job, what’s important, salary, and other factors. For each person, the principles remain, however: figure out what’s important, how much it costs, and the best job to get resources for it. Then you can determine how much time to spend doing that job.

QOTW–“I heard it wasn’t what people expected.” Su

?FNW–How was my presentation really? Depends on whom you ask. Some thought a step in the right direction, some not useful.


12/5/2017 review–This has been a very helpful tool for me. I really enjoy my work, right up until the time I go home. So I need something like this to remind my that I’m working for something that requires I go home long before I’m burnt out. I could work 55 hours per week before that happens, but I don’t due to this principle of “stopping when working more doesn’t enable what matters”. However, a big corollary to this principle is this working late may be appropriate (if it enables what matters). I often do this at the end of a day when a little bit of prep for upcoming meetings will go a long way to making the meeting effective.