80-Hour Work Week: Schedule Options & Advice

80 hour work week
What is an 80-hour work week?

If you work five days per week, you need to log 16 hours per day to get to 80 hours in a week. The most common 80-hour work week is 13-15 hours of work per day with spread over six days.


 

Are you working 80 hours per week? Or, eek, considering it?

For those working the 80-hour work week, it takes detailed planning to mitigate the downsides of the schedule. If you jam all your work into five days, you have 16 hours of work per day with just eight hours left over for sleeping, eating, exercising, and anything else you need as a baseline for sanity and health.

I wrote this article for people who are in this situation:

  • You are working something like 75-85 hours per week.
  • You are looking to mix up the pattern of when your work falls.
  • You’re looking for how other people manage the 80-hour week.

I asked our list of contributors to share their weekly schedules if they work 75-85 hours per week. Under each schedule, you’ll find working hours and days, how the work week is structured, and the impact of the schedule on the person’s life.

 

Working 80 Hours Per Week? Try Out These Schedules

Every Day But Sunday

85 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Structure: Monday-Friday is for all the typical “inside business hours” stuff. Saturdays are typically used for getting work done uninterrupted.

 

Truthfully it’s just a “do whatever it takes” style. More is actually more; if my competition is working Mon-Fri 7-4, I can get the leg up by just logging more productive hours than anyone else. Saturdays are absolute gold because I can really focus and work uninterrupted since almost every other business is closed.

 

– Matt Mast of The Mast Organization

The Lawyer’s 80-Hour Week

85 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Structure: As a lawyer, I spend much of my time talking to clients, updating them on their cases, and discussing related cases with fellow attorneys during office hours. I also spend a lot of my time outside the office as part of my research for the cases I handle. Since I generally work on toxic torts and toxic exposure, I often set meetings with relevant experts like doctors. After business hours, I still need to do other necessary tasks, such as answering emails or paperwork. I also use this time to do further research and examine legal data to determine advisability.

 

Lawyers, unfortunately, don’t get to decide to work this schedule — it’s typical to have a heavy workload. Deadlines are crucial in the legal field and it’s necessary for us to work for about 80 or more hours per week to meet these deadlines. So far, this has been working well for me.

 

– Collen Clark of Schmidt & Clark, LLP

The 7-Day Work Week

80 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Structure: The first half of the day is spent contacting new leads that came into our system. The other half of the day is spent following up on previous customers to service their applications and work on the company website.

 

I decided to work this schedule because it was in accordance to how and when we receive new leads for potential customers in conjunction to service calls on our existing customers. It has impacted me in a lot of positive ways. My clients feel very strongly about me always being able to get back to them in a timely manner, and our website gets the attention it needs for important SEO services. It has impacted my sleep schedule negatively, and my family does not like the long hours, but they also understand the importance of servicing my clients and building the business. The goal is to ultimately cut back on hours once the business is ahead in the key areas.

 

– Tim Connon of ParamountQuote

Sacred Sundays

80 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Structure: The first couple hours of the day are dedicated to online correspondence and national/international meetings. Early afternoon is spent with tech development and checking in on team leaders in R&D. Late afternoons are devoted to the sales and marketing aspects of our service, and evenings are for my own private work and financials.

 

I have a very structured daily schedule. I travel a lot and developed this habit over the years. I try to keep this schedule on Eastern time for regularity. Sticking to EST keeps everyone I work with in the loop of what time of day I will be focusing on specific aspects of my professional life so they can act accordingly. If I’m busy with customer service problems, I don’t want to be diverted to a development issue. This helps me compartmentalize and avoid distraction.

 

– Eran Galperin of Gymdesk

The 15 & 5

80 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Structure: I work 15 hours a day Monday through Friday, as well as Saturday morning.

 

While it doesn’t leave much time for family and friends during the week, that’s what Sundays are for. Putting the time in now ensures that I can retire earlier and fully enjoy life after 50.

 

– Chris Kowalski of Autopadre

24/7

80 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Structure: My schedule is always changing. The amount of time I work will always be around 80 hours, but which business I work on will be decided by how many jobs I have scheduled.

 

I’m a professional photographer that runs a handful of websites and writes as a contributor for other photography-related websites. My photography business takes priority and usually accounts for 40-60 hours per week. The remaining time I have is dedicated to my websites and writer contributions. I’m the type of person that is always working anyway. My mind is always running with new ideas and business concepts. Although I do work around 80 hours a week, it never really feels like it, since much of what I do takes place in my home office.

 

– Matthew Digati of Digati Photography

13 & 6

78 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Structure: I work for 13 hours, six days a week. These 13 hours also include a lunch break. I make sure to take small, five-minute breaks in between, too, because 13 hours is actually a long time, and I need to keep myself fresh and productive.

 

I am a workaholic, so it’s just a habit for me to work more. Plus, I wanted to expand my business internationally, so I had to deal with clients in different time zones. As a result, I decided on this work schedule to keep up with the scaling. I saw that it brought in more sales and profits, so I ended up sticking to it.

 

– Susan Gagnon of Costumes Heaven

13 Hours Per Day (Except Sunday)

78 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

 

Structure: I work weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with multiple breaks. On Saturdays I have 5-6 hours of work; I take Sundays off and spend time with family and friends.

 

I had to adapt this work schedule because I got a dual management role a few months ago, which has increased the workload and my responsibilities. Working almost 80 hours a week enables me to fulfill tasks for both roles and provide support to my team. Sometimes it gets hectic, but I have managed to make it work so far and spend time with my family and friends during the weekend.

 

– Bozlur Rahman of BikeAdvisor

7 Days Per Week

80 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

 

Structure: As a CEO, I am trying to take my business to new heights. I look after all the operations personally to ensure that everyone is on track and all deadlines are met. I work 12 hours from Monday to Saturday and eight hours on Sunday. Although this is tough, I like my work and am passionate about it. My typical work week basically consists of just working all day and getting some sleep afterward. I wake up at 8 a.m. and work till 12 a.m., with a three-hour break in between. Sundays are better for me as I get to rest more than I do on the other days.

 

I decided to work this schedule because my business wasn’t doing very well due to post-COVID impacts and the ongoing recession. I have to up my business game to be strong enough to withstand any change. As I like to work, there hasn’t been a major impact. However, I do find less time for myself and leisure activities.

 

– Rhett Stubbendeck of LeverageRx

A Time for Deep Work

80 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

 

Structure: I spend 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. online, in meetings, and working with teams. From 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. I’m offline, doing deep and strategic or independent work.

 

This work schedule allows me to help the teams at the company do their best work during the day and gives me ample time for strategic planning and independent work for the organization when everyone else is offline.

 

– Shri Ganeshram of Awning.com

Alternating Job Site and Office

77 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Structure: On Mondays through Saturdays, I work eight hours on the job site and four hours on admin work. On Sundays, I spend four hours on admin.

 

I typically start my work week by meeting with my crew to go over the game plan. We review any new requests that have come in and assign tasks accordingly. We then head out to our first job site of the day and get to work. I like to stay involved on each job site, as I feel it’s important to be hands-on with every project. This allows me to quality control each job and ensure that our high standards are being met. I typically work around eight hours on job sites each day and then head back to the office to catch up on paperwork and administrative tasks. I usually put in another four hours or so each day on these tasks.

Sundays are my day off, although I still spend a few hours catching up on administrative tasks. This helps me start the new week with a clean slate and ensures that I’m always current with what’s going on with each project.

 

– Marty Ford of BulletpRoof Roof Systems Ltd

Fully Loaded Week — Plus a Dash On Sunday

76 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

 

Structure: I work 12 hours daily from Monday to Saturday, morning until evening, to conceptualize new projects. On Sundays, I work in the morning for four hours strategizing my coming week. I schedule meetings, list  important tasks, and iron out other plans. I have the rest of Sunday afternoon to do whatever I want before another big week comes in.

 

While the 80-hour week is equivalent to two regular working weeks, it’s a schedule I typically follow, especially when anticipating big projects and new product launches. It might not sound healthy, but an 80-hour workweek can be useful when rushing to meet deadlines and needing to boost productivity quickly.

 

– Ankit Batra of Hollyweed CBD

3 by 12/3 by 13

75 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

 

Structure: On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I wake up at 7 a.m. and go to the gym. I start work by 9 a.m. and work until 9 p.m.
On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, I wake up at 7 a.m. and start work by 8 a.m. and work until 9 p.m.
Sunday is my day off, but I usually work some hours if I don’t have something cool to do.

 

I came to the conclusion that If I work very hard for 10-15 years, I’ll come to a point in my life in which I don’t need to work anymore if I don’t want to. So for me, it makes a lot of sense to make all these sacrifices now to retire rich and at a young age. I’m not going to lie — the first six months are extremely difficult, but after this initial period, you won’t notice it. The truth is that we lose a lot of time doing meaningless activities, such as watching TV and browsing social media. If you cut off these types of activities, you’ll have a lot more time to invest in your goals.

 

– Michael Culp of Ambition Yard

6 Days Per Week

75 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

 

Structure: I typically structure my work week according to the workload and the priority of the task. Sometimes due to the urgency of the task, I work more than 12 hours a day; if the workload is less, then I work less. It always fluctuates.

 

I decide to work this schedule to meet my clients’ requirements and their payments. Some clients need their tasks to be completed early, so my team and I will focus on that and spend more time on them. Most of the time, this work schedule doesn’t impact my work and life, but sometimes it impacts I have enough experience to manage my work and life easier.

 

– Angus Chang of Petswithme

The Hell Schedule

75 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Structure: We have a simple schedule that consists of 15 hours each day.

 

Since we’re in the early stages of our business, there’s much to do in a day. The work is tough, and not everybody can survive it. That’s what you get when you pursue hustle culture. It’s had a significant impact on my life and the lives of my team members. It’s challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

 

– Mark Sadaka of Sadaka Law

 

How many hours per day is an 80-hour work week?

16 hours

If you are working just five days per week, you need to work 16 hours per day. If you choose to work six days, you need to work 13+ hours per day. If you work seven days per week, you need to work 11+ hours per day.

 

How to work 80-hour weeks

Here are the recurring tips from the people who do an 80-hour work schedule:

  1. Plan time for sleep, health, and relaxation (somehow).
  2. Plan for the schedule to end at some point (make it temporary).
  3. Pick this schedule if it aligns with your long-term goals, like retiring early.
  4. Cut out useless activities like watching TV and browsing social media.
  5. Work 80 hours per week in bursts, then back off.
  6. Make sure you enjoy your work, or own your own business, or both.
  7. Prep on Sunday for the week.

 

Can you work 80 hours per week? Is it even possible?

If you work 80 hours per week, you are dedicating 48% of your time to work alone. The recommended seven hours of sleep per night takes an additional 29% of your time. Now you have just 23% of your time for everything else, including a commute, eating, going to the bathroom, basic errands, etc.

Yes, it is possible to work 80 hours per week, but you’re likely damaging your health.

 

Is working 80 hours per week too much?

It depends on the person — the amount of sleep you require, your obligations outside of work (like family), the purpose of working 80 hours per week, and for how long you intend to work this long. From our research (the people who shared their schedules with us), an 80-hour week is doable for a specific amount of time — like a few years to grow a business or save for a specific purpose, with the idea that the hours will decrease in the future.

 

View other unique work week schedules

This is part of our series highlighting unique work schedules. Have a look:

 

Find alternative schedule jobs

If your current job doesn’t allow for the flexibility you’d like, remember: we’re in a job applicant’s market! If you’d like to see what’s out there for flex-schedule positions and companies, take a look at FlexJobs. You’ll find dedicated filters to “flexible” and “alternative” schedules.

Search for jobs on FlexJobs.

We hope you find this article useful. Just so you know, Buildremote may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page to help keep this site running.

About the author

Henry OLoughlin

Hi, I'm the founder of Buildremote. I have worked from home for a decade and run a fully remote, four-day work week company for eight years. I've made all of the mistakes running a remote company. I hope if you read my site, you'll be spared.

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