Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
expert
Expert with best answer

Cameron

100% Recommendation Rate

3 Meetings

28 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

5

How to remain productive while putting long hours

Hey guys,

Oftentimes, consultants work 80-100 hours a week. It’s not just the quantity of hours, it’s also the intensity of these hours.

Do you have a set of principles, tactics, tricks, balanced food intake, supplements or anything else that allows you to remain productive while putting these hours for months and years?

Some of the things I’ve heard so far:

  1. You just get used to it.
  2. You have to like what you do and what you do has to be big and important and then, impacting the lives of hundreds or even millions of people motivates you

What helped you remain productive?

Hey guys,

Oftentimes, consultants work 80-100 hours a week. It’s not just the quantity of hours, it’s also the intensity of these hours.

Do you have a set of principles, tactics, tricks, balanced food intake, supplements or anything else that allows you to remain productive while putting these hours for months and years?

Some of the things I’ve heard so far:

  1. You just get used to it.
  2. You have to like what you do and what you do has to be big and important and then, impacting the lives of hundreds or even millions of people motivates you

What helped you remain productive?

(edited)

5 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Cameron

100% Recommendation Rate

3 Meetings

28 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

This is a really common question a lot of people ask when moving into consulting. A few thoughts from my experiences:

- You will simply NOT be productive if you are working 80+ hours a week for a sustained period. In 3+ years at McKinsey, touching every continent, I never exceeded 60 hour weeks for more than a couple of weeks at a time. Maintaining productivity in the shorter term in a very different prospective.

- Eating meals away from the desk helps - I was always more productive after a good meal break

- Try to build in a couple of activities a week (Gym, sports, music practice, etc) where you are completely offline for a couple of hours, and provides you something to look forward to. Your productivity normally increases when you are working to a deadline

- Try to work with others - working in a hotel room there can be a lot of distractions. If it's late and you are working next to someone you don't want to disturb your colleague too much

- Prioritise ruthlessly and ask questions like 'does this need to be done today', and 'will this change the answer'. Partners are people and are very open to these challeneges. New consultants are often afraid to ask these questions, but they are crucial in maintaining productivity

Hope this helps

Cameron

This is a really common question a lot of people ask when moving into consulting. A few thoughts from my experiences:

- You will simply NOT be productive if you are working 80+ hours a week for a sustained period. In 3+ years at McKinsey, touching every continent, I never exceeded 60 hour weeks for more than a couple of weeks at a time. Maintaining productivity in the shorter term in a very different prospective.

- Eating meals away from the desk helps - I was always more productive after a good meal break

- Try to build in a couple of activities a week (Gym, sports, music practice, etc) where you are completely offline for a couple of hours, and provides you something to look forward to. Your productivity normally increases when you are working to a deadline

- Try to work with others - working in a hotel room there can be a lot of distractions. If it's late and you are working next to someone you don't want to disturb your colleague too much

- Prioritise ruthlessly and ask questions like 'does this need to be done today', and 'will this change the answer'. Partners are people and are very open to these challeneges. New consultants are often afraid to ask these questions, but they are crucial in maintaining productivity

Hope this helps

Cameron

Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

3,372 Meetings

14,121 Q&A Upvotes

USD 449 / Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

that’s a great question. In the end, the key is to be able to increase your productivity, thus be able to deliver more in less time – as Cameron said long hours constantly are simply not sustainable otherwise. These are the tips that helped me more:

  1. Create morning routines. One of the biggest shift in my life happened when I started to create routines to be implemented each morning to have the proper attitude, review my goals, and ultimately understand the purpose of that particular day before getting caught in social networks, emails, the traffic etc. You can create your own morning routines to feel energize. My suggestions would be
    1. Journaling
    2. Exercise
    3. Review your life goals (ideally with a visual support)
    4. Cold shower
  2. Exercise. It may be few minutes of push ups of pull ups in the morning but can have a great effect in energizing you
  3. Eat healthy. Cannot stress this enough – this can completely change your feeling in terms of energy, in particular towards the end of the day
  4. Use Pomodoro Technique. It’s a productivity method where you commit to work without interruptions for 25 minutes and have then 5 minutes of break. After four repetitions you take 15-30 minutes break. Not applicable always but I found can really double/triple your daily productivity when used.
  5. Organize weekly calendar I recommend that you avoid to keep a daily allocation, as a weekly calendar is better to define the ideal free slots for calls/chat/dinners with people you want to keep in contact with. This will allow you to avoid to over promise things and align with both your job and personal needs.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

that’s a great question. In the end, the key is to be able to increase your productivity, thus be able to deliver more in less time – as Cameron said long hours constantly are simply not sustainable otherwise. These are the tips that helped me more:

  1. Create morning routines. One of the biggest shift in my life happened when I started to create routines to be implemented each morning to have the proper attitude, review my goals, and ultimately understand the purpose of that particular day before getting caught in social networks, emails, the traffic etc. You can create your own morning routines to feel energize. My suggestions would be
    1. Journaling
    2. Exercise
    3. Review your life goals (ideally with a visual support)
    4. Cold shower
  2. Exercise. It may be few minutes of push ups of pull ups in the morning but can have a great effect in energizing you
  3. Eat healthy. Cannot stress this enough – this can completely change your feeling in terms of energy, in particular towards the end of the day
  4. Use Pomodoro Technique. It’s a productivity method where you commit to work without interruptions for 25 minutes and have then 5 minutes of break. After four repetitions you take 15-30 minutes break. Not applicable always but I found can really double/triple your daily productivity when used.
  5. Organize weekly calendar I recommend that you avoid to keep a daily allocation, as a weekly calendar is better to define the ideal free slots for calls/chat/dinners with people you want to keep in contact with. This will allow you to avoid to over promise things and align with both your job and personal needs.

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

406 Meetings

11,397 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

Here is my list:

  1. I've always tried to set the norms that I'm doing a workout in the middle of the week. Plus I've always tried to finish early on Fridays
  2. Sleeping as much as I could on Sat morning
  3. Right food, even on the projects in the middle of nowhere with no restaurants
  4. Sport Vitamins
  5. Powernap (It really works)
  6. No work on the weekends (you need to recharge the brains)
  7. Stopped drinking coffee. It sounds counterintuitive but in reality, coffee consumes your energy when you get used to it
  8. Limiting the number of flights (trying to get the projects locally)

One and most important: if you feel sad or angry - don't behave sad or angry. Other people should not suffer from your bad mood (lack of sleep)

Best

Hi,

Here is my list:

  1. I've always tried to set the norms that I'm doing a workout in the middle of the week. Plus I've always tried to finish early on Fridays
  2. Sleeping as much as I could on Sat morning
  3. Right food, even on the projects in the middle of nowhere with no restaurants
  4. Sport Vitamins
  5. Powernap (It really works)
  6. No work on the weekends (you need to recharge the brains)
  7. Stopped drinking coffee. It sounds counterintuitive but in reality, coffee consumes your energy when you get used to it
  8. Limiting the number of flights (trying to get the projects locally)

One and most important: if you feel sad or angry - don't behave sad or angry. Other people should not suffer from your bad mood (lack of sleep)

Best

Dear A!

From my personal experience sport helps me pretty well, I also do some meditation to better concentrate on tasks. Balanced food intake is also the main key to stay productive during the day.

My main method is to prioritize goals and tasks based on their urgency and difficulty. Due to that, I tackle hard objectives early in the morning when I'm most alert and never push deadlines back.

Best,

André

Dear A!

From my personal experience sport helps me pretty well, I also do some meditation to better concentrate on tasks. Balanced food intake is also the main key to stay productive during the day.

My main method is to prioritize goals and tasks based on their urgency and difficulty. Due to that, I tackle hard objectives early in the morning when I'm most alert and never push deadlines back.

Best,

André

Hey anonymous,

You can try to implement all the points others suggested... but at the end of the day, what really influences your lifestyle is the office and projects where you are at (​iif there's a tight deadline to fulfil, don't trust that you will always be able to push back on it), rather than any of those strategies.

Thus, depending on the country the right answer can simply be: be used to it... or leave! Harsh, but it's life.

Best

Bruno

Hey anonymous,

You can try to implement all the points others suggested... but at the end of the day, what really influences your lifestyle is the office and projects where you are at (​iif there's a tight deadline to fulfil, don't trust that you will always be able to push back on it), rather than any of those strategies.

Thus, depending on the country the right answer can simply be: be used to it... or leave! Harsh, but it's life.

Best

Bruno

Related case(s)

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 16.4k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 569
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Espresso, Whatelse?

Solved 9.7k times
Espresso, Whatelse? Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand the root causes of this 2019 trend and how to increase its profit margin again.  
4.6 5 487
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand ... Open whole case

Hot Wheels

Solved 5.2k times
Hot Wheels Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability.
4.6 5 289
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability. Open whole case

MBB Case: COVID-19 Vaccine

Solved 4.6k times
MBB Case: COVID-19 Vaccine The COVID-19 pandemic has killed millions of people worldwide and led to devastating economic impact. A vaccine is one of the biggest hopes for stopping the pandemic.  The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with multiple stakeholders to ensure groups at higher risk of becoming infected and dying (e.g. elderly people and healthcare workers) receive a safe an effective COVID-19 vaccine in the next six months. The WHO’s Director-General asked your help to build a plan to achieve this goal. What should be included in this plan?
4.6 5 246
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed millions of people worldwide and led to devastating economic impact. A vaccine is one of the biggest hopes for stopping the pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with multiple stakeholders to ensure groups at higher risk of becoming infected and ... Open whole case

Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19

Solved 3.7k times
Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19 Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April.  They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemorrhaging cash and surive in the short-term. They are also looking to see how the current situation can be viewed as an opportunity, and what can be done to prepare for the future. 
4.3 5 108
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April. They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemor ... Open whole case