Consulting work hours: 110 hour week?

By | July 14, 2013

It was a rough week. Started last Saturday with multiple conference calls, and one week later, at 1am the following Sunday (8 days later), still going strong.

Consulting is not all glamor. I slept 4 hours a night for the last 8 days. I told my consulting partner that it was like the Walking Dead, season 5. I like the thrill of the chase, but eventually you get so tired that it stops being fun. Not Eustress anymore.

Do whatever it takes (to stay awake). When I have lots of work, I do all kinds of things to stay awake – coffee, beer, shower, exercise. They all work to some degree. My newest stratagem is to go to bed early, wake up at 2am, then come down to the hotel lobby. It was a Marriott, so it was bright, music was playing, and I could spread my papers around.

This photo says it all. I was eating microwave popcorn in the hotel lobby at 3am because I did not want to work in my hotel room – the allure of the sleep would have been too strong.

Popcorn in the lobbyIt was good week. Got 2 compliments from clients for the deliverable, and the proposal that I have been working on looks good. My wife even said that she can tell that I am happy with my work – even though I look like a zombie.

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2 thoughts on “Consulting work hours: 110 hour week?

  1. Anónimo

    Six months away from being in that situation, I have reached the conclusion that I usually fell in self-delusion that it was a lifestyle worth living.

    1. consultantsmind Post author

      Thanks for the post. Well, it’s not always 110 hours. It is usually more like 60. Also, it is my sense that it is a cycle. Project cycle (proposal, start up, data collection, interviews, research, synthesis, presentation, validation, etc) which is very lumpy in terms of time requirements.

      Also, life cycle. Depending on where you are in your life: single, dating, married, kids etc. . . will seriously dictate your tolerance and enjoyment of late-night, early morning work.

      All-in-all, life is short. Live the life you want to live. Have fun.

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