And Here Is How I Work…

By Daniel Scocco

As you probably saw, last week I published a group interview where 12 top online entrepreneurs shared their work habits. Some readers emailed me and posted comments asking how my answers would have been to the same questions, so I figured I would write a post with them. Here we go:

1. How many days do you work per week?
I work 7 days per week. From Monday through Saturday I work full time, and on Sundays I work part time.

2. How many hours do you work, in total, every week?
I would say 65 hours. I work around 10 hours on my full time days, and 5 hours or so on Sundays. Obviously this is the total time I spend in front of the computer, so it is not only “productive output.” It includes reading RSS feeds, browsing through sites, answering emails and so on.

I am trying to push this up though, to around 75 hours per week. This would mean 12 hours on full time days, plus 3 hours on Sundays, which I think is doable. Why am I trying to work more? Because I don’t consider myself particularly talented, so I must worker harder than my competition if I want to beat it. Hustling, as Gary V. would say.

Obviously you need to optimize other aspects of your life to make this possible without going crazy. For example, having a home-office (or an office you can walk to in 5 minutes) is a must, so you don’t waste time in the car. Secondly, it is also important to plan your sleeping time, exercise time and diet carefully, to make sure your body will keep in shape, too. Finally, you also need to live a pretty minimalist life (e.g., no television, no video games, going out once per week only and so on).

And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this is the “right” way to live, nor that everyone should do it. It is just the way I wanna live, because it allows me to focus on the thing that is important to me right now (i.e., building a successful business). Other people will have different goals/important things in their lives, and this lifestyle might not be suitable for them.

3. Do you have a fixed work routine? How does it look like?
I don’t have a fixed routine, but I am a big fan of to-do lists. Usually I have a list of tasks I need to complete on any given day, and I go through them sequentially.

One aspect I need to improve is to finish the tasks I start before moving on. Sometimes I am writing an article and I open RSS reader to check the latest headlines. Needless to say that this is terrible for your productivity.

4. How many times per year do you take vacations, and how long are they?
As far as real vacations go, where you go away for at least one week and completely unplug from your work, I don’t take them. First of all because after a couple of days offline I start to get an urge to work on my projects again. Second because there is no one else to manage the sites while I am gone (and some require customer support).

Just to give you an idea earlier this year I planned a 5-day vacation with my girlfriend, where I would bring my laptop to work only a couple of hours a day and get the essentials done (i.e., answer emails, write a post and make sure the sites were working properly). Upon arriving there we found out that the hotel had no Internet access, and the 3G modem that I took with me couldn’t find a signal because the city was not covered by the mobile operator. Long story short we stayed one night and returned home the following day. You can guess how happy she was….

What I try to do instead is to take 2 or 3 weekends away every year. Usually I go to the beach with some friends and try to surf. It is not ideal, but enough to recharge the batteries.

5. How many hours per day do you spend on email?

I would guess 2 hours, which is more than what I should. My goal is to limit the email time to 1 hour per day, so a session in the morning for 30 minutes and a session in the afternoon for 30 minutes. I need to get more disciplined to achieve that though.

6. When you are not working, what are you doing?

I have a couple of hobbies. The first one is weight-lifting/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I train at least 5 times per week, and have been doing so for many years. The other one is playing the saxophone. I am not that good, but I sure get a kick from improvising some blues. Other than that I just go out or watch a soccer match with friends occasionally.



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20 Responses to “And Here Is How I Work…”

  • sTyLo

    Hi Daniel,

    As a Full time blogger you face many problems, you are fighting 75% of them and will surely fight 100%. But not other i would say about me i’m fighting only with 25% and others are make me lost. heheheh otherwise same condition here 😉

  • Mandy Grover

    It would be interesting to ask you these same questions in 1 year to see how you’ve changed.

  • Duke Dillard

    Dear Daniel,
    I read your blog daily and enjoy it. I am grateful for your many helpful tips. I have never commented before but I was moved to on this one. I hope this does not come across too preachy, but I am writing with your best in mind.
    I don’t know your thoughts on God, but the Sabbath principle is part of the way we are made. I promise you that if you take one day a week to rest and totally disengage from work that you will be happier and just as successful if not more so.
    Generally speaking, part of the reason we don’t rest is that we think we are in control and the world will fall apart without our work. Resting proves this myth to be false.
    Also, when we disengage it gives our minds time to think about other things, be more creative and we end up being more productive.
    And lastly the fact that taking a day of rest is so difficult shows how important it is. The fact that most of us are incapable of doing it says volumes. I could list numerous other things that are challenging and most people would be fired up to try them, but mention a day of rest and they run in fear mainly because it forces us to deal with how egotistical we all are.
    In closing let me give a couple of notes… first, I am all for hard work; just 6 days of the week. And second, I am not legalistic about this, condemning those who don’t do it. I don’t believe anyone gets in trouble for not resting, they just are missing out, aren’t as happy and fulfilled as they could be. And sometimes working without rest is unavoidable, but in reality that should be the exception if we work hard the other days. I would challenge anyone reading this to try it for 2 months, just 8 weeks, and see what happens. My bet is that you’ll be pleasantly surprised and your relationships will be much better off.
    I hope I have not offended too much,
    Duke Dillard

    P.S. You can’t tell I have read your blog from the website. I stopped my blog when I started my MBA and have spent the last few months trying to research what a good blog is. I have found you and Problogger to be the best for that by far. I’m planning to start again soon.

    • Daniel Scocco

      He Duke, no offense at all taken from your comment.

      for one thing I do respect my body. I try martial arts, and that is one thing you learn early. Whenever I feel too tired or not wanting to work for 2-3 days in a row, I know that it is time to stop and take a weekend off.

  • Agent Deepak | Blogging. Marketing & Success

    You work a lot. Man. I may be infront of my laptop more than you but most of time I am watching movies and cartoons.

  • Cherran

    Its surprising that almost everyone interviewed pretty, much live a same life style. I always have this doubt in my mind that if I am living the right way or live like a workaholic.

    The interview really helped to understand that there is no gain without pain.

  • Roshan Ahmed

    Hi Daniel,
    I can see the hard work. I am a new blogger and still I’m lazy enough to add one post per day. And even find it difficult to post one in two days. Though I use so much hours before my computer the main things I do are – watching movies, browsing etc.

    You said that there is no one else to manage your blog when you’re away. Why don’t you add scheduled posts when you’re away? You can just add in the end that you may not be able to reply for the comments soon since you’re away, but still you can keep your readers updated.

    -Roshan Ahmed

    • Daniel Scocco

      Yes when I go away for a couple of days I use this feature, but this blog is just 20% or so of my business. There are other sites which require more attention.

  • John Paul

    This is why your where you are man.. hard work, every day.

  • Mike Roosa

    Success surely doesn’t come easy. You are working hard and that’s what it takes in this world. Keep it up man.

  • Rob

    Hey Daniel, thanks for putting a face to your posts. BTW yaay for BJJ, I train too, was doing gi for 2 years but had to change clubs, now its no gi, a bit of a transition, but having fun. You must be pretty good if your training 5x per week!

  • Jean Sarauer

    I’m glad you admitted that you could be more efficient in places and have to work harder than some others to keep up. That’s refreshing and a good example to others who might struggle with things. Looking forward to hearing more from you in Leo’s upcoming bootcamp.

  • Kevin

    Don’t get an over-inflated sense of importance. You websites will still be there even if you take a week off. Kind of preachy, I know.

    I worked with a guy for several years. He had a heart attack one day in a safeway parking lot. Two weeks after his death, it was like he never existed in terms of work.

    • Daniel Scocco

      It is not about sense of importance. There are some sites where I need to provide customer support. If I was to leave one week some support tickets would just hang there. Second, what if the server goes down and needs a reboot?

      • Kiley Lenstrom

        There is this little thing call “outsourcing”. It’s in beta right now, though. I’d look into it.

  • Josh Garcia

    Hey Daniel,

    Thanks for sharing your side. It goes to show me that you are a ‘Go Getter’ just like us. Awesome!!!

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

    • Daniel Scocco

      Indeed. “Go get it” is another motto I sure live by.

  • Andrew @ Blogging Guide

    Daniel,

    Nice to see you too, work hard – lead by example.

    When’s the video of you playing the sax, being published?

    Andrew

    • Daniel Scocco

      I try to keep personal things out of the web as much as possible. But who knows, maybe someday I’ll upload one video to YouTube 🙂 .

      • Andrew @ Blogging Guide

        I can see it now…”What’s learning to play the Sax got to do with blogging…”

        Andrew

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