Two years ago, one evening, a team member called me and said, “Today, we are going to work the whole night.” He was leading a team of 5-6 people and intended to work overnight to fix a problem.
Here was the problem: Our startup had created thousands of science/math videos but due to some hard-drive damage and process bungling, we were in a mess that the team wanted to sort out.
When I got the call, I told him to sort out the problems during the day. However, my colleague kept persisting. He said, “There is too much to do and there isn’t enough time.”
Finally, since it was already 7:30 pm, I told him, “Without my express permission, nobody will stay in the office after 8 pm. Now, pack up and leave right away.”
The problem was not that we did not have enough time, but that people needed to better understand the process. And at 2 am in the morning, you can’t understand anything — nobody can.
Unless you are running the fire force, ambulance service, or the police, if you are working at 4 am, there is a 90% chance that you have mismanaged things in the day.
The solution is to use your day thoughtfully instead of running around distractedly, submerged in non-stop emails, meetings, and calls.
Instead of slogging at night, fix your day.