How to get through 16 hour days ?

ackman889's picture
Rank: Monkey | 64

Hi, I have a question about managing your time. I'm currently a junior in university. I'm currently working part time at a boutique investment bank, taking full course load, running my own company and in a few clubs on campus.

Every day I feel like I'm all over the place and I can't seem to manage all of these things at the same time. but I have seen people at my school who's able to do all of that plus they manage to have relationships and workout etc.

Could anyone here tell me how can people do so many things and do them well at the same ? Thanks.

Comments (38)

Mar 15, 2018

Make sure you are getting quality sleep. Diet on point. & get an exercise in every day - push ups, jumping jacks, air squats, runs, anything, etc

Mar 15, 2018

ya but I tend to oversleep haha because I get really tired by the end of the day lol.

Mar 15, 2018

Being "on" for 16 hours of every day is really bad for you. Why not wind your shit down a little? Do some delegating? Read a book, drink some tea and shit...

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Mar 20, 2018
GoldenCinderblock:

Read a book, drink some tea and shit...

Highly recommend not neglecting that last part.

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Best Response
Mar 15, 2018

Hey man,

I'm in a similar situation - Work part time at a boutique investment bank (1.5 hour commute from campus), member of a Division I track team (travel most weekends/30+ hr week of training), have a serious girlfriend, and full time student/actively involved in several clubs.

Over the past couple of years I've found that that biggest thing that has helped me to maintain balance and be effective is keeping a very detailed planner.

I plan pretty much hour by hour of each day which helps me to maximize my time. Any "open time" that I have (Not in class, work, practice, or meetings) I know exactly what I will be dedicating that time to. That way right when I hit an open spot I know that I'll be studying for class X for 45 minutes, then I will have 15 minutes to follow up on emails, then an hour to work on a project for Class Y, etc. (just examples)

This helps me to avoid aimlessly trying to scratch things off of an endless list of tasks anytime that I have time to breathe. The more things we have on our mind, the harder it is to get things done once we actually have time to do so. If you stick to your schedule and are efficient during those time blocks, it will free up more time during your day to do stuff that you actually enjoy and will keep you sane.

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Mar 15, 2018

awesome man. Thanks. Do you plan your day the night before ? or the morning of ?

Mar 15, 2018

No problem! I usually try to plan the night before - Works better for me.

Mar 21, 2018

I can attest to this strategy. I write my schedule out on paper. I'm more productive which lowers my feeling of being overwhelmed.

Mar 22, 2018
RelocationBB:

Hey man,

I'm in a similar situation - Work part time at a boutique investment bank (1.5 hour commute from campus), member of a Division I track team (travel most weekends/30+ hr week of training), have a serious girlfriend, and full time student/actively involved in several clubs.

Over the past couple of years I've found that that biggest thing that has helped me to maintain balance and be effective is keeping a very detailed planner.

I plan pretty much hour by hour of each day which helps me to maximize my time. Any "open time" that I have (Not in class, work, practice, or meetings) I know exactly what I will be dedicating that time to. That way right when I hit an open spot I know that I'll be studying for class X for 45 minutes, then I will have 15 minutes to follow up on emails, then an hour to work on a project for Class Y, etc. (just examples)

This helps me to avoid aimlessly trying to scratch things off of an endless list of tasks anytime that I have time to breathe. The more things we have on our mind, the harder it is to get things done once we actually have time to do so. If you stick to your schedule and are efficient during those time blocks, it will free up more time during your day to do stuff that you actually enjoy and will keep you sane.

Another thing that helps is constant visualization. When you first get up, lay in bed and think of the day, your plans, goals. Also, in between activities, when you're driving, etc.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Mar 22, 2018

Once you learn to play the guitar and the flute and banjo and drums and piano at the same time with your nose,

you will be well trained to work heavy days and manage people's money, badly.

There are a select group of people who can consistently produce stellar quality with a high quantity workload. The first who comes to mind is Michael Milken. Also, that vampire MD on the other IB thread. If you read his bio (M&M's), you begin to see how many hats he was wearing and how he did so well ... before he went to jail. Ethics aside, he was a super high performer.

Typically, I like to start with 1 routine, add another and another and the 16 hour days are seamless, a habit. But, nutrition and sleep and working out are key.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Mar 15, 2018

Everyone is different. Some are smarter or more efficient than others. Personally, I am in one club, work 25 hours a week (3-4 hour daily commute) and take classes full time. Mixed with trying to see friends/girls and hit the gym, I feel like Im drowning most of the time. Discipline and structure help, but other than that, no idea. Curious what others say as well

Mar 20, 2018

Exercise is incredibly important, so try to do that 3-5 days a week at a minimum. Mainly gives you a little time to de-stress and reset your mind for the rest of the day. I think that is something a lot of people know, but one thing I think people overlook is meal prep.

I know exactly what I am eating every day for 7 days at a time. This is because I make all or most of my food every Sunday. For me, it helps me eliminate one more thing to think about. If I know what I am eating 3-4 times a day, it's just a matter of grabbing it and I don't have to spend the time during the week to cook or walk down the street and decide which place to get food from today. This creates less noise in my life and allows me to focus on prioritizing more important things. I try to give myself one lunch a week where I go out and meet a colleague, but only to keep in touch with people. This saves me time, money, it's healthier, and it's one less thing to think about. If I didn't do it, I would probably spend at least 1-2 hours extra each day cooking dinner or ordering food.

If you have a work schedule, class schedule and gym schedule all set, all your food prepared, whatever else you have going on can just fill in the gaps and there is a lot less thinking involved. Use a daily planner or the calendar app on your phone to visualize it at first, but once you get into the swing of it you won't need to.

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Mar 15, 2018

Is eating prepped meal considered healthy ? I know you probably store them in the fridge or something but still, by the time you get to saturday whatever you cooked last sunday had been around for six days lol.

Mar 20, 2018

I guess I should have restated to say that I meal prep Sunday night for my meals Monday-Friday. On the weekends I can usually take the time to make something. I don't think eating grilled chicken that has been refrigerated for 4-5 days in ziplock containers is any worse than a lot of the alternatives. Also a lot of what I eat is raw, so that's less of an issue.

Mar 20, 2018
ackman889:

Is eating prepped meal considered healthy ? I know you probably store them in the fridge or something but still, by the time you get to saturday whatever you cooked last sunday had been around for six days lol.

Cooked food doesn't go back in 6 days

I only meal prep for Monday-Friday though, so if you do it that way, it's even less old

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Mar 20, 2018

Planning your schedule is part of the equation, but being regimented and diciplined is the major key here.

Creating the perfect schedule is easy, it requires an hour of your time and a calendar, but if you don't stick to it... it doesn't matter much.

Every time you blow past your timeline, drop what you're doing and shift gears. By being strict to deadlines you'll train yourself to maximize each hour and stay focused (less instagram and internet exploring... more productivity). The people I saw excel at college were strictly regimented (machine like).

Pro tip: With outside responsibilities find people to delegate to wherever possible (The president has his cabinet, and the CEO his employees).

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Mar 20, 2018

I ran D1 track, president of a a major club, and had a serious+clingy gf in university myself

The way I handled it was to let go of the GF similarly to putting down an aging dog.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Mar 20, 2018

Juul in between activities. It's a great stress reliever.

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Mar 20, 2018

no

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Mar 20, 2018

Part of it is in planning - loads of time can be saved and corners cut (without sacrificing quality) if you think intelligently about your process on a meta level and design it to maximize efficiency.

Part of it (a bigger part, I think), is just whether you're the type of person that's well suited to crunch time. Starting in about 6th grade, I made a habit of writing all my papers the night before they were due. Often read the books the papers were about in one sitting right before writing the paper, too, and outlined the whole book with the paper in mind. Long nights have always been my preferred method.

I understand that most people probably think "what a madman", or "how unprepared", or "how unhealthy". All I can say is that this is what worked naturally for me, and I nearly always outshined my peers with the quality of my work - that fact persists today in my professional life. Pressure just makes me perform in a way that nothing else does - for better and worse.

I think this is what people really need to consider when asked "is this life really for you". I think the high-achieving, goal-oriented readership of WSO tend to think that this question is a veiled insult, synonymous with "are you sure you are man/woman enough to handle this life?" But really, there's more to it than that. Being in banking and certain related fields means that you will be subjected to a certain breadth and depth of stress and frequent "fire drills". You have to consider whether you are the type of individual that thrives in this environment, or whether you are the type of person that is drained by it. Why hit your head against a wall for something you don't really thrive at?

Consider this - do you think Muhammad Ali stuck with boxing and became the greatest because he had figured out some magical way for the punches and training to hurt less for him than for anyone else? No - in fact he made statements to the contrary. I think he handled the rigors of his career so well because deep down he as a man was well aligned with what the rigors of his career demanded. He "knew he would be the greatest, even before he was". He was "resolved to suffer now, and be the greatest forever". It's not that he had it figured out better than anyone else - it's that he thrived on the challenges before him because they fit with his view of himself and his dreams.

Mar 20, 2018

12345

Mar 20, 2018

Lol same bro. What a brutal life

Mar 22, 2018

This is entirely your mindset (I had similar before).

You should think of your day as two 8 hour days (or one 8 hour and a second 4-8 hour). Once you leave work you arent done with your day, you're starting your next day and accomplish any goals you have outside of your 9-5. For example:

6-7: Gym or physical activity
7-8: Dinner/chores
8-11: Read a book, research investments, work on your own company
11-12: TV / prep for next day / sleep

Or take a night class. Go to a event / network / go on dates etc. Set more goals and use the time you have. After a week or so you'll realize how much more energy and time you have.

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Mar 20, 2018

You kids remind me of myself only a few short years ago.

Let me tell you this: Running around from activity to activity where you are successful, top of the dominance hierarchy in nearly every social encounter, and have nothing but time to dedicate to your future success... you are going to miss that around hour 12.

Hour 16 you are going to forget it ever happened, and hours 24 - 36 you are going to remember again, but wish you had killed yourself when you still had the time to figure out the best way to do it.

Mar 21, 2018

A few years ago I was in university on the track team, president of my business school, worked as a TA, in a fraternity, etc. and can hands down tell you it comes down to (1) keeping a detailed calendar, (2) to-do list, and (3) prioritizing what will actually help you succeed in each area.

I used Evernote (used to be free for almost full access, now a small monthly payment) for all my note taking and homework assignments, Wunderlist (free version works great) to keep track of my to-do list, and the iPhone Calendar app to keep all my calendar invites. It was great keeping all of my notes in one easy-to-access place for studying, Wunderlist was a dream for jotting down quick to-do on different projects/clubs, and the Calendar app allowed me to plan study sessions or meetings with other students.

Every Sunday I'd spend time looking ahead at the week so that I wouldn't be surprised with what kind of time I'd have to complete everything. Everyone's system is different, but hope this helps.

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Mar 15, 2018

ya. ty. seems like detailed daily planning is required.

Mar 21, 2018

I work full time 8:30-5 Monday-Friday, have classes from 6-10PM Monday-Thursday, and I'm VP of two clubs in my college. Not to mention my commute from home to work/school is an hour each way. I usually just get a workout in Tues/Thurs mornings and Friday after work/Saturday/Sunday. Definitely spend my Sundays studying and catching up on homework.

Time-management is key, definitely stay organized and maintain a routine, it's tough but it all pays off in the long run.

Mar 15, 2018

You have a full time job while in school ?

Mar 21, 2018

Ya, well I attend CC. I'm currently in my second year, so I will be transferring to a uni next fall. By then I would definitely only do part time work.

But take a break here and there when you feel overwhelmed. Honestly, you'd probably miss being so busy. Always having something to do gives me a rush.

Mar 23, 2018

That is commitment and discipline right there

Mar 22, 2018
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Mar 22, 2018