A few people in the craft beer community have told me how busy the last 30 days of starting a brewery can be. They told me that the previous month would be like playing the minor leagues for how busy you will be in your last month. I thought to myself, there is no way they can be right. I am already working 15 hour days, 6 days per week, how could it get busier.
Well I guess the reality is that I am not busier than I was last month or even the month before. In fact, we have been working our asses off for the past 5 months. It has been non-stop and go-go-go. But in terms of how much effort is required, I don’t think I have been able to give more than I have. For a more mature man like me, 14 hours feels about the amount that I can do on a day-in day-out basis. This amount of effort, allows me to see my kids a little, not overwork to the point of exhaustion, stay on top of things at the brewery, and get enough rest to keep going.
The times that I worked longer than 14 hours, I quickly become a train-wreck. About 6 weeks ago, those who follow me on Facebook know what I am talking about. I nearly lost my marbles, and a big part of it was how much time I was spending working, and also thinking about work.
What you will find is that you need to find your balance. And that means you will need to go up and down each side of the fulcrum to get it right. Too little effort, you will not get everything done and you will find yourself being less productive. Too much effort, you will be tired, stressed and feel like you are going to have a break-down. My 14 hours per day, usually goes something like this:
- 4:00 am to 8:00 am – Work 3 hours 45 minutes straight until I have to get the kids ready for school. Sometime I do sleep in until 4:30am
- 8:00 am to 8:45 am – get kids ready for school and drop them off (I love this part of my day and wouldn’t trade it for the world)
- 8:45 am to 4:45 pm – Work a combination at the brewery (mostly) and some days at home (accounting, business plan, etc)
- 4:45 pm to 8:00 pm – Do a little work in between hanging out with my kids, coaching, driving kids to activities, etc
- 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – finish work from the day and set my to-do list for the following day
I think you need to find what you are going to cut out of your life. I personally value my family too much not to spend every evening from 5pm to bedtime with them. Sure there is the odd time, I have evening work, things to do, etc, but I couldn’t imagine not spending 4 night per week with them, helping with homework, doing crafts, etc. It means the world to me and I would never give it up.
What are you going to give up when the time comes to work 14 hours a day, or more? Family time, friends, sports, reading books, video games, etc. I gave up hanging out with friends, exercising every day, puttering in my garden (I do miss this most days), and spending a lot of time with my wife. For now, we are spending the bare minimum in hopes that we will have time together in the future. She is such a good partner to go through this with.
Time to go, I need to send a few emails and plan my Tuesday!
I commend you Aaron! That is a brutal schedule. Keep up the good work.