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4 Min. Read

How Many Hours a Week Should I Work: Ideal Hours To Work

How Many Hours a Week Should I Work: Ideal Hours To Work

Working too much is bad for your mental and physical health. This guide will help you figure out a sustainable work schedule.

As a business owner, overworking is so easy. There’s so much to do and so little time.

Entrepreneurs are notorious for burning the midnight oil. And who can blame us? We’re only accountable to ourselves. Some circles even consider long work hours as a badge of honor.

But what is the recommended number of work hours? Are there consequences to working too much?

You’re in the right place. Let’s find the best work hour schedule for you.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

How Many Hours Do You Actually Work?

How Many Hours Should You Work per Week?

How to Decide How Many Hours to Work per Week

Key Takeaways

How Many Hours Do You Actually Work?

Before even starting the theoretical discussion, do you know how many hours you are working at the moment?

Timesheets aren’t just for hourly workers. They are powerful tools to help entrepreneurs like us decipher how much we are really working. There’s no arguing with the facts.

An online time tracker will help you see how many hours of labor you do in an average workweek. Our time tracking software is easy to use and comes with all of our standard plans. You can learn more about it here.

How Many Hours Should You Work per Week?

80 hour work weeks are very normal in entrepreneurial circles. That doesn't mean they should be.

The typical FLSA defined full-time work schedule would be 35-40 hours. That's what you would expect as a full-time employee.

The truth is that there’s no one-size-fits-all. Some people have a higher tolerance to long work hours than others. Likewise, it’s the number of productive hours that really count.

Long desk hours are completely useless if you’re not actually getting anything done.

The Health Risks of Working Too Much

  1. Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

    Researchers claim that there is a 60 percent increase in risk of cardiovascular diseases if you work more than 10 hours per day. That means that over 50 hours of work will cause heart issues.

  2. Burnout

    Working more than a 40-hour workweek consistently can lead to mental health issues. Burnout is extremely common with small business owners because of excessive overtime. Working to the detriment of sleep causes fatigue and low mood. Burnout happens when you feel an imbalance between your reward from work and the amount you work. It can lead to dissatisfaction with your business and your work. No one wants that!

  3. Increased Drug and Alcohol Use

    Studies show that increased work hours lead to more dependency issues. This could be smoking and alcohol. It could also be other substances like coffee or Adderall. In any case, substance abuse of any kind has huge effects on your health. Both short-term and long-term.

How to Decide How Many Hours to Work per Week

So I hope I have convinced you that working over 40 hours a week is not a good idea. But how many hours would work for you? Your to-do list won’t get smaller. Is a four-day workweek possible? How do you create a work schedule that is sustainable and productive?

Here are our three golden rules:

  1. Learn Your Most Productive Hours

    Working until the late hours isn’t the solution if you are not a night owl. Likewise, waking up at 5 am to start a work routine may also not suit you. Learning your personal energy levels throughout the day
  1. Practice Time Management Techniques

    Time blocking. The Pomodoro technique. Todo list apps. These can all help streamline your workflow for more productive work. Working smarter, not longer.

  2. Don’t Work More Than 50 Hours per Week

    Most research suggests that 50 hours per week are the absolute maximum for productivity and health. Use reliable time tracking software to try and keep your work hours below the magic number.

Key Takeaways

Workaholism is an epidemic among small business owners. Having a sustainable work schedule is the way to make sure you are caring for your mental health. Remember that burnout leads to worse work performance and even depression.

We hope this article was helpful in deciding how many hours you should work per week.

For more guides like this one, head to our resource hub.