Money Never Sleeps, So Why Should You?

If you’re a regular ‘ol person, the answer is, “There’s more to life than just money.“, and “If you don’t sleep, you’ll die.”  Those are fine answers that are not very insightful.  Since you are a personal finance reader who by virtue is interested in money, let me go a different route.

After coming home from a 14 hour day at 9:30pm due to a client dinner, I got back to work, online work that is.  A conference call with Mumbai was scheduled for 11:30pm and another was scheduled with London at 6:30am the next morning.  Normally, I would be OK with these one-off conference calls, however, this was the 8th consecutive workday in a row I was getting home after 8pm and I was beginning to tire.

I was pissed because the guy who was supposed to call me at 11:30pm didn’t call until midnight.  I hate egregiously late people.  It’s disrespectful.  Meanwhile, my conference call at 6:30am went 30 minutes over and I had to then go to work.  My client wasn’t willing to stay 1 minute past 5pm in London (9am PST) to resolve an issue and pay for my services.  As a result, I didn’t close the deal, which left me annoyed.  He said that I’d have to wait until Monday which was baloney since I bent over backwards to accommodate his schedule.  I will likely never work with him again given how painful the process was.

Why can’t people be on time and do what they are supposed to do?  Why can’t folks just provide a little bit extra?  If everybody did their duties well, the world would be a much better place.  But, you know what?  I’d rather have something going on than nothing.  Things were too quiet for a week during Thanksgiving and I was itching to get back into the fray.

There’s a saying that “Money never sleeps” since money can always be working for you no matter what time of day.  Money will also find itself in the most lucrative of investments and flee from the most horrific.  Since money never sleeps, and you want to make money, why should you sleep either?

MAKE IT COUNT WHEN IT RAINS

Everything ebbs and flows.  You can be on “the bench” for months, and suddenly you’re staffed in a faraway place working 12 hour days for 6 months straight.  This is what happens to consultants from firms like Accenture and IBM Consulting.  It’s important to understand business cycles such as the beginning of the month when new budgets are created and at the end of the year when pressure is on to sell.

It’s during robust periods and peak seasons where you’ve got to work full throttle to generate business.  In many businesses, the peak season is what makes or breaks the year.  The hotel leisure business is a great example.  Given my site is still in the growth phase, it always seems like there’s something to do.  This is a problem for the long run if I am to do everything myself.

It would be great if we could all balance our workloads out more evenly.  It’s part of the reason why I’d LOVE for everybody to work just a couple hours on the weekends as well.  That way, there’s not this massive rush on Monday and cessation on Friday.  Instead, we can spread things out more evenly, and lead more balanced lifestyles!  The best time to work to maximize your profits and boost your career is when nobody else is working!

ONE DAY BUT NOT TODAY

The music will stop eventually, therefore I try and seize the moment as much as possible.  I will never forget starting with nothing, therefore I will never take any opportunities for granted.  I will give it my all and schedule these crazy midnight and crack of dawn conference calls because at the very least, I know my clients don’t work weekends, and I’ll have these two days to unwind once done.

Some of you may think I have trouble saying no, but I say no all the time and so should you.  There are literally too many things to do once you build your momentum.  You become a rolling magnet that gathers up more and more little magnets until you turn into this giant rolling ball of attraction.  You’ve got to pick and choose the most interesting, helpful, and lucrative projects.  For those things you can’t handle, know that there is someone else who would probably find value.  Refer your friends to your clients!  It’s a way of paying things forward.

There won’t be failure due to lack of effort.  I encourage you to hold the same belief.  Money, success, love are all there waiting for you to grab it.  Do it for yourself and have no regrets.

Readers, what do you do when things start getting crazy busy?  What are some bend over backwards things you’ve done for your clients?  How do you handle the stress, and what are the things you do to get everything done?

Photo: Sleepy Farm Cat at Kuoloa Ranch, Hawaii by Sam.

For more of my writing, go to Yakezie.com and check out my thoughts on getting passed over and not paid, and what to do.

Best,

Sam

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. says

    When I get crazy busy, I have to simply focus on one task at a time and make a list with target times for completion. To unwind, I will usually try to golf and ignore the world for awhile. Taking a day off is great for me mentally.

  2. says

    things used to get crazy busy but not so much anymore. i think overtime one can “control” the pace of life and everything else that comes with it. the less dependent / reliant you are on external stimulus (could come in any form – in your case work) the easier you can do away with it and not let it bother you.

    there are other things however that cause “stress”, such as a friend or family member going through difficult times, but those are unavoidable circumstances, and ones which i feel are truly what worth bending over backwards for

  3. says

    When things get busy I definitely take work home, and make myself available very late. To log on past 10 PM and see other members of your team available is actually a really good team building experience – calling a team member at 11:00 PM for debugging help builds trust like nothing else.

    For clients? Name it… 4 hour sleep schedules, available all weekend, etc. Whatever it takes to get the job done. The number of my customer contacts that have my cell phone number is pretty funny. It’s a good reason to have drafts queued up on your blog, haha.

    • says

      Awesome man. I hear you 100%. With that attitude and work ethic, I have no doubt you are going to do awesome!

      Building team spirit at 10pm+ when a project is due is very real. Makes the accomplishment all the sweeter!

    • says

      Its amazing to see team building like this. I have seen the darker side of this tho. i used to be available 24-7 to team until it felt like a line had been crossed and i want answering emails in Mexico at my friends wedding.

      Thats when i started cutting back and delegating more to the team lead instead.

  4. says

    If it doesnt get done it doesnt get done. When things get overwhelming I am pretty good at prioritizing the things that I really want in life and letting the others go bit. I am not perfect or anything but I dont let the things get to me.

  5. says

    I guess that’s one of the pitfalls in working in a client driven job, you’re constantly trying to score the deal. It’s great because you can make as much as you want depending on how much you put into it. But it’s hard to realize sometimes when you just need to walk away.

    I don’t have that kind of a job–my job ends at 5 most days and I go home and do what I want to do. I know this doesn’t work for a lot of people, but I like it.

    • says

      Yep. It’s kind of like an eat what you kill type of environment. The harder you work, the more you will make.

      I would rather make $50,000, but have the upside to $500,000 if I work real hard, than make $100,000 for example.

  6. says

    I am not very good with handling stress. I do okay at work (sometimes I get a little rough with lazy employees) but the worst part is that I tend to bring my work related stress home where I get on a broom and start my flying rounds. My husband doesn’t pay attention anymore because he knows what caused it. One of my NY resolutions will be “don’t bring stress home.” :-)

  7. says

    When it gets busy, good organization skills help considerably. The old axiom was if you wanted something done give it to the busiest person. Obviously the busiest person who accomplishes the most. I am a big list person for my tasks. It keeps me organized. I was always pretty good at getting things done. It helps that I work backwards and monitor my progress when I do my planning.

  8. says

    When I get busy, I just work whatever hours it takes to get things done. This usually means cutting out all fun for at least a little while, but I don’t mind that in short bursts. I actually work best under a little pressure (it really forces me to buckle down), but I try to keep the stress manageable since this doesn’t help work actually get done.

  9. says

    I definitely work hard to spread my work out over the days that I work. Then I give myself a few hours to rest only if I’ve accomplished what I set out to do that day. That gives me the motivation to get everything done on my to do list. Today I pushed through an extra set of bicycles(abs) because I promised myself a few frozen grapes after. It’s such a mental victory to me when I can convince myself that a little treat like that makes a difference. It’s like I’ve outsmarted my physical with the mental. (I’m getting a little off topic) Basically, as long as I am working towards my goals, there’s no time for excessive TV, sleep or laziness. And I will work extra hard in order to earn the rest.

  10. Untemplater says

    My life is a lot busier now than a year ago and I’ve had to shift priorities around. I get less sleep but try not to stretch myself too thin or my brain starts to shut down from fatigue and my productivity grinds to a halt. I use weekends to get a couple hours of extra sleep and that really helps me recharge for the next week. I also destress by going on hikes, doing yoga, and finding lots of ways to laugh and remember the important things in life.

  11. says

    First I would like to say.. this is my quote of the month

    “I will never forget starting with nothing, therefore I will never take any opportunities for granted. ”

    When thing start to get busy for me I remain humble and thankful for the opportunity. Then I rely on my productivity software and prioritize my tasks. I use omnifocus.

    I am make myself really accessible to my clients, take early phone calls, late phone calls etc etc.

    To handle stress, I take a break and go work out. Running 5 miles really calms me down. After my run I go back to my productivity software and try to break large goals into small easy to manage goals.

    • says

      Good attitude YFS! The funny thing about running is that I can’t! After 3 miles, I’m exhausted, even though I can play 2 hours of good level tennis no problem!

      You must be in good shape!

  12. says

    Ahhh the work ethic!

    Life has slowed down a bit (but not too much) for me now that I am retired. However, during my career there were days I went in the office on Thursday and didn’t come home until Saturday. You do what you need to do to get the job done. Period. End of story.

    Hope you get some sleep soon Sam.

  13. says

    Sam,

    I’m learning one thing about my productivity. It occurs in 30 minute spurts. Now it’s a matter of infusing as many of those 30 minute spurts into each day as possible and paying attention to when the occur so I take advantage of them. AS one of the commenters above mentioned good organization skills are important. But sometimes you just have to power through. I have a commitment I made to an author who has just released her book to write a guest post for her. It needs to be on my blog tomorrow morning and I haven’t started. My parents asked me to join for a family friend’s dinner and since it’s a birthday of their son who is my friend, it would be rude not to go. So what does that mean. It means coming back, staying up until I finish the post and getting it done. There might be a day when I need her help and like you hate people who are not punctual, flakiness drives me crazy. Anyways, I admire your work ethic. Look forward and kick ass.

    • says

      Hi Srini – That’s great you’re learning more about your own productivity. Each is different and it sounds like you’re going to do what works for you.

      Congrats on getting listed on the Brazen List for 20 folks to watch out for in 2012!

  14. says

    I’m just come to accept what my job entails, and the stress – as a result, I am pretty stress free at work. Even during the busy holidays, I just accept that people will destroy my store and I have to fix it! Thanks for keeping me employed!

  15. JR says

    Great post! I think that organization is key under stress. Whatever your method of organization. I think that helps to triage/prioritize the pieces/parts into more easily managed bits. The smaller I can make those bits, I find the faster I am able to accomplish them. Not only individually but collectively. Outline-form is my method of choice. Makes the tasks appear more workable and functional.

    As far as the de-stressing, exercise; whether running, walking, yoga or whatever else. It gives me something else on which to focus my attentions. Additionally, I am able to not hold job-related stress after leaving. Whether from the place I swipe in or from our more passive-income source.

    I try (some days very hard) to focus on my ‘sphere of control’; those things on which I have the most direct effects. Anything outside of that sphere I have to accept as beyond my control, even though I may influence some things indirectly. Some days just taking a slow breath and striding w/ purposeful intent is a challenge.

  16. says

    Time is so precious and once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. Unfortunately, other people do not care about your time and the things that you have to do. When I’m focused on a project, I do not move from my seat. I ignore the telephone and people talking around me. If I have a rough day at work, I go home and get into bed and relax. I find that my body “tells me” when I need to take it easy and I try to listen. It’s one thing to be overworked and another to be overworked and ill due to stress.

  17. says

    I am way too impatient with late people. I realize that I need to tone this down, because I’m not going to change them, and it just hurts my focus in the short-term. However, like you, this frustrates me to no end. Essentially what they’re saying is, “My time is much more important than yours.” When my basketball players are late to practice, we all run. Depending on how late we are, there is sometimes vomiting involved. Needless to day, no one’s time is more important than the team’s for very long! I wish everyone played for a similar coach at one time or another, maybe they’d have learn some useful life skills.

    • says

      I LOVE that attitude, “WE ALL RUN”! That’s right, team baby. It’s so selfish being late. After 15 minutes without a notification, it really starts to grate on me.

      5 minutes early is on time people!

      Good job coach!

  18. says

    When I get crazy busy, I try to prioritize. I make a list of all the things that need to get done and decide what must come first. If I can share the work load, then great. But most of the time I try and manage it all myself then crash and burn when all has been accomplished. I think I’m a bit of a control freak – it’s hard for me to relinquish responsibility.

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