It’s been a couple of weeks since I published my last newsletter.
It was the Easter holidays and I had some time off to chill out with my wife and kids.
And that got me thinking about how much time and energy we spend working.
In his seminal book, Inspired
, Marty Cagan suggested that product managers need to work 60 hours a week just to get everything done.
I’ve long said that to get the critically important work of a product manager done, you need on the order of four solid hours a day.
To be clear, I’m not talking about e-mail or slack or meetings. I mean quality time working on coming up with solutions to the difficult problems we’re trying to solve – otherwise known as product discovery.
Still, that doesn’t sound too bad, until you look at your calendar and realize that your only chance for those four hours is from 6 pm until 10 pm at night (and hence the infamous 60-hour work week of so many product managers).
As a product manager in his early 40s with two small children, I’ve learned this sort of regime just isn’t sustainable (or even healthy).
It’s okay (and sometimes necessary) to work long and hard, but you’ve got to make room to recharge.
Product management is a difficult job that requires deep, focused thinking about complicated business and customer problems. You can’t do that if you’re spending 10 hours a day in Zoom calls.