How to Work 80 Hours a Week And Still Have a Life

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By Kathleen Elkins

Wall Street executives, entrepreneurs, and consultants are known for working crazy long hours.

Logging 80 hours a week is not uncommon for them, and that number can hit the triple digits during especially busy weeks.

But some have figured out how to have a life outside of work, despite their insane schedules.

We talked to several people who routinely put in 80 hours and successfully balance work and life.

Here's how they do it:
Tomasz Kucemba, CEO of KARORA Cosmetics

This CEO logs 100 hours a week at peak performance, and lives by the mantra, "work hard, play harder."

He achieves a work-life balance with help from his smartphone. "I do make time for a life outside of work. For example, right now I am coordinating a launch event, preparing for two international conference calls, and planning to take my girlfriend to the Dallas Food Festival. In this day in age we can do a lot of multitasking with our smartphones."

His best survival hack is paying attention to his body. "I eat clean, take good supplements, and exercise regularly. I have noticed that since I switched to a vegetarian diet last year my energy levels have doubled."

His career advice is to keep calm. "Don't panic and get good at managing your time, and you will make it.

Louise Fritjofsson, Cofounder and CEO of Vint

This young entrepreneur is familiar with the startup grind, having experimented with several business ventures. She now oversees Vint, an on-demand fitness service, and works 75-80 hours per week.

She achieves a work-life balance by putting "me" time in her calendar. "I make sure to get in a workout every day, a long morning walk with my dog one day a week, and a couple of dinner or drink dates with my husband and friends each week. I also make sure to have private phone calls scheduled in my calendar. It sounds boring and some might argue 'fake,' but it works! Consider 'me time' appointments in your calendar as important as your board meetings, and suddenly you're forced into a work-life balance that makes you more creative, happy and clear-thinking."

Her best survival hack is a Swedish tradition. "In Sweden, all workplaces have a 3 pm fika. Fika means stopping what you're doing, getting together with your coworkers, and taking a 15 minute break. A proper fika is enjoyed with coffee, tea, and a pastry of your choice (think cinnamon buns, soft ginger cookies, cupcakes). Add a bit of Swedish culture to your life."

Her career advice is to get creative and have fun. "Do things because you love them, or because you really believe in the vision. Work should be an outlet for creativity, problem solving and having fun. If you truly love what you do, working long hours won't drain you, and should in fact energize you."

Deuce Thevenow, Cofounder of RECESS

The cofounder of this touring music festival that inspires college students to become the next generation of world-changing entrepreneurs, consistently logs 80 hours, and puts in several more when RECESS hits the road for a tour.

He achieves a work-life balance by blending his career and personal life. "My work life and personal life are very mixed. Even when I go out at night with friends, it's with people in the music or startup space. Those friends introduce me to other people and I'm constantly pitching our business and looking for business development opportunities. We like to say that real business gets done outside of the office."

His best survival hack is to make a zero-work day. "The weekends are my sanctuary. I usually try to make one day where I do zero work, and I really cherish this one day. I also enjoy camping, and the opportunity to get away from a computer and have no phone signal is a blessing."

His career advice is to find, and help create, a positive company culture. "Each job is different, but the key to having a career in a business with demanding hours is to keep a positive office environment. We order food, listen to music, do yoga, drink beers, etc. Being able to actually enjoy being in your office rather than counting down the minutes until your 'day ends' is an indication that you may be in the wrong career."

David Bonaventura, CEO of TSOVET Watches

This CEO - who works 80-plus hours per week - found a passion for watches 15 years ago and has been designing and building them since. He starts each long day with coffee and email, and tries to squeeze in time for a quick surf when he can.

He achieves a work-life balance by prioritizing his family. "Finding a balance is always difficult for me, but I do my best to find time to spend with my family regardless of my schedule. I never miss my daughters events."

His best survival hack is to deal with minor details outside of the office. "I prefer to tackle emails at night prior to bed and follow up again first thing in the morning in order to clear off as many incidental items as possible before arriving to the office. I try to stay as focused as possible on the tasks at hand, and eliminate any potential distractions or new opportunities until the bulk of projects and work is completed."

His career advice is to pursue your passion. "Do what you love and love what you do. There will always be stress, but if you love it, then it becomes part of the process and not a job."
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