Two 60s

Two 60s Cross The Line booklet

(Where did the 40-hour work week come from? See below.)

I once tried to deliberately work two 60-hour work weeks back-to-back – a kind of Thoreau "went to the woods … to live deliberately” thing. That, and I figured I easily owed it to those who got us through tough times before.

Fortunately, I love my work.

I’m pretty sure I’d done it before (especially in the early days of Give More back in 1998 – 2000). But here’s the twist … I did it with a clock – a sort of speed chess clock where I started it only when I did activities that contributed directly to my job (and stopped it for those “How was your weekend?” moments, bathroom visits, calls from The Spaniard (my wife), and personal web time.

60 hours of work. Two weeks straight.

Five things happened right out of the gate on Day 1…

  1. One colleague excitedly asked me what they could expect from me with the additional man week of time added to the two (20 hours x 2 weeks = 40).
  2. It took me about 10 hours at the office to get the first 8 hours of real work (remember … no personal, web, bathroom, lunch, commuting time included).
  3. I quickly realized I’d need 6 days out of the week to hit 60 hours (it couldn’t be seven – even as a 212er, I get the “all work and no play” thing – that link: daytime only – much too scary without the sun – squeamish stay clear).
  4. I gave much more deliberate attention to my time (small talk was out).
  5. I realized how lucky I was to have it be a choiceto do it.

So here’s what happened after two weeks …I failed.



(work (‘weurk): noun: an activity in which one exerts strengths or faculties to do or perform something)

(Did you hear about Joe?)


40 hours

The 40-hour work week was established in 1938 as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (starting as a cap of 44 hours until it locked in at 40 hours in what appears to be 2 years later). It was a factory worker and child labor protection issue rather than a scientific-study-end-all-be-all marker for optimal productivity.

Be sure you’re focusing on how much you can give with your time rather than how little of your time you can give. It’s a better bet for creating value (helping others), success, and ultimately, more fun.