“Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up,” they write. “The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done.” In other words, the goal should never be more hours but quality output.
Anders Ericsson studied the best violinists in the world to figure out how they became the best. He determined that the pathway to success in any field is dedication over a significant time period. His work inspired Gladwell’s book Outliers, which famously identified the 10,000-hours principle—the amount of time you need to practice to become the top 1 percent in your field. What the story left out was how much time these violists spent not playing the violin. On average, these masters practiced in 90-minute spurts, three times a week, and slept 8.6 hours a day. That doesn’t sound anything like the average entrepreneur’s schedule, but maybe it should, because both entrepreneurs and violinists need to be competitive and creative.