Why are you working so much? 🥱

How “working hard” is actually killing your productivity

by Andrew Mitson (andrewmitson.co.uk) | Inspiration from Steen Schledermann

I make £50,000/year working literally 4 hours a week.

I spend the rest of my time having fun: growing my business (yes, for fun — I take no salary & never will), travelling, advising/investing, acroyoga etc.

In this new series, Why Are You Working So Much? 🥱, I’ll teach you how to make more money by working less and having more fun 👇

I often ask my coaching clients:

“Why are you working so much?”

They bark back at me:

“Because I need to be successful!”

I get it. If you grow up insecure, your life becomes a neverending quest to prove yourself to the world (i.e. be successful).

Previously, “proving yourself” meant doing useful things for your tribe, like finding food or building shelter.

Now it means selfishly accruing arbitrary sums of money, working your way up a meaningless corporate hierarchy, or founding another bullsh*t startup.

Before, you would stop working when you had enough food for the week or when you’d fixed the hole in your mud hut.

(Hunter-gatherers worked around just 3 hours/day.)

But now your workload is totally arbitrary: you can keep working for as long as you want, on your neverending quest for higher levels of “success”.

How ironic that labour-saving technology has increased our work hours…

Before, “working hard” was just dumb. Why unnecessarily expend energy when you’ve already got enough to get by?

But now, we’ve been told it’s the only way to “be successful”.

And yet the hardest workers in the world are flat-out broke: the farmer in Mali breaking his back 18 hours a day for $1; the cart-puller in rural India, killing himself to make ends for his family.

Meanwhile, billionaires like Bezos work 7 hour days and even Elon Workaholic Musk barely puts in 40 hours a week at Tesla*.

(*80 hours in total across SpaceX, Elon’s 6 other companies and his increasingly frequent 3-hour-long Joe Rogan features)

And yet there are millions of founders, lawyers and corporate zombies still pushing 12-hour workdays.

WHAT ON EARTH ARE THEY DOING? 😂

It’s a joke.

And I’ve been part of it.

I remember working on my last startup.

I was in the office 16 hours a day, furiously pushing to meet intense self-imposed internal deadlines.

We honestly believed this was just how you do it. This was how you become successful.

Investors loved it when we bragged about our absent social lives, “negative” hours of sleep and how I only worked 6 days on the startup because the 7th day I spent side-hustling as a private tutor to continue bootstrapping the business.

And yet now, in hindsight, I see how useless so much of that work was.

Those endless hours were really just a sign that we needed more efficient processes and to start hiring/training sooner. (Something we only realised a full year later.)

And those intense internal deadlines just forced us to overwork and burn out, instead of sustainably growing the company.

And now, with even more perspective — 1000+ hours reading the high performance literature, training as an executive performance coach, interviewing countless neuroscience professors on our podcast — I see no evidence that working long, hard hours will make you any more successful.

The research is very clear: consistently working more than 8 hours a day induces chronic stress, damages your sleep & social life…but most importantly of all, it kills your ability to think:

It’s why the top CEOs suddenly all now have mindfulness gurus, practise vipassana meditation and hire exec performance coaches like me — not to speed them up, but to slow them down so they can see things more clearly.

Hard work isn’t the solution to success.

It’s the obstacle.

It’s what keeps you banging your head against the wall, when there’s an open door just next to your forehead.

Not convinced?

You shouldn’t be — literally thousands of scientific articles have been published and yet entrepreneurs and corporate drones press on in the delusional belief that those extra 2 hours they’re working on a Friday night will be the difference between hyper-success and abject failure.

But in my new series, Why Are You Working So Much? 🥱, I do hope to convince you otherwise.

I want to teach you how to make more money by working less and having more fun.

I want to convince you that hard work = success is a lie, invented by feudalist overlords 1000 years ago, to get their slaves to plant more crops in the farm; then propagated by greedy industrialists, to get their labourers to spin more wheels in the factory; and now reaffirmed by corporate executives, to get their employees to send more emails in the office.

But this lie is nearing its end.

In our 21st century knowledge economy, it is the quality of your thoughts that matters; not the quantity of your actions.

One genius idea can shortcut years of hopeless plodding…so your brain is now your most important asset, and overworking is no way to take care of it.

Every week I’ll send you a new article that will fundamentally challenge your deepest beliefs around productivity, money and success.

Along the way, I’ll share success stories like how I helped my brother go from 2 Us at A Level and a £3.20/hour apprenticeship at B&Q, to running a six-figure video production agency, working only 5 days/month.

I’ll provide detailed practical guides, like how to build a freelancing side-hustle that pays £100+/hour so you can quit your bullsh*t job ASAP.

And I’ll share all the crazy science-based training techniques I use to help my coaching clients optimise the f*ck out of their happiness and productivity.

Oh…and no, I’m not bloody selling anything.

I’m just sick of seeing smart, ambitious adults wasting their lives in bullsh*t jobs while ruining their health, because they believe that’s the only way to make money or “become successful”.

So…if you’re interested, sign up to my Steroids For Your Brain newsletter 🧠 for the next article in the Why Are You Working So Much? 🥱 series.

We’ll discuss how ridiculously easy it is to make £100+/hour as a freelancer and why passive income is bullsh*t…

👉 Subscribe now to the Steroids For Your Brain 🧠 Newsletter

And every Thursday magic internet Ninjas will send you:

1. A new article from my Why Are You Working So Much? 🥱 series

2. Something to make you 🤔 thought experiments & deep questions

3. And one extremely interesting fact 🤓 like how squirrels use their tails as umbrellas:

👉 Check out the Steroids For Your Brain 🧠 Newsletter today!

👋 And for executive performance coaching → Get in touch

Forbes 30u30 Entrepreneur / Executive Coach. For coffee, coaching or new content, check out www.andrewmitson.co.uk

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