Last Updated: September 09, 2019
· rickhanlonii

My name is Rick and I'm a 80 hour a week guy

You 80 hours a week guys, what the hell are you doing with your time? Is 'disrupting' an industry really that important to you?

I'm 26, single, and have no pets. I have a family and friends, but I'm very transparent about my work habits and priorities as a full-stack engineer.

Being so young, I see myself as training to be the person I want to be in the future. The best programmers in the world worked at it relentlessly. Sure, there are variances in the amount that they all worked, and some did it with much less work than others. But if I want to be the best in the world, or at least attain my personal upper bound, I have to work hard at it and I have to work consistently at it.

John Resig didn't wake up one day and write jQuery. Steve Wozniak didn't just throw together the Apple I. Linus didn't just decide to write the Linux kernel one afternoon. They all put to work the investments they made in themselves.

I don't do it because I want money, success, or fame. I do it because I deeply want to make a meaningful impact on the world. I want it so bad that when I think about it my palms sweat and my chest gets heavy. When you look at the future of humanity as a whole, we need to either improve or die. And to improve, we need improvers. I want to be an improver and I don't want to rest until I am.

To be clear, I love what I do and I don't really consider it work. Solving hard problems with creative techniques is one of my favorite things to do. I really enjoy learning new things, and being able to pull them into my work is really satisfying. Being able to build something that I imagine, push it out to people, and see them get excited about it is surreal. I don't want to be doing anything else. I don't want to stop working.

But I understand the research. I understand that the work I put in will be more productive and beneficial to me if I have a balance in all areas of my life--which means that I need to be social, have hobbies, and live a healthy lifestyle.

So I've aligned my life such that those interactions still help me reach my upper bound. My friends are smarter than I am and many are in technical fields so getting a beer with them involves talking about a hard problem we solved. My hobbies include writing StackOverflow posts, trying out new frameworks, and reading books like Thinking, Fast and Slow, RabbitMQ in Action, and Secrets of the Javascript Ninja. I truly enjoy and am satisfied with these parts of my life, even though I'm never really leaving the mindset of work.

One day I want to write those books, not just read them, and I want those books to meaningfully impact the world. So I train, and that means I'm an 80 hours a week guy.

Discuss on HN.

2 Responses
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Hi Rick, I hope you don't mind me commenting here and not on ycombinator.
I totally agree with what you are saying, because I believe that artificial time limitations that your work contract defines (as for example, 40 hours work in a week) will only work for you if your goal is to stay where you are.

I personally don't believe that this time is enough to do the work and to develop myself further so why should I stop at 8 hours per day when I want to reach more than others?

I also think that the only people who agree with extending your working time are the same people who love their work as you do and others will claim that as long as they don't get money for the time it doesn't worth it. How one can develop himself by learning without getting paid is unclear for me.

Thanks for bringing this up.
p.s. sorry for nitpicking, but your link to the linkedIn doesn't work because of omitting the "http://" part

over 1 year ago ·

Very inspiring post...Take action and rule the world!

over 1 year ago ·