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The Death March

By Steve Jones,

How many hours did you work last week? How about the week before?

If the total there is over 100 and you aren’t trying to finish a project, there's a problem. There have been numerous studies that show working long hours leads to more bugs, not better software. It leads to more mistakes, not a more stable environment. This study says that after eight 60-hour weeks, the productivity that is completed is about the same as that in which you get in eight 40-hour weeks.


That's something to think about. After two months, you are just as far along at a regular pace as you are by pushing harder. If you up your pace to 80 hours or more a week, things break down even more quickly and you might have less work done.

Why do we do that? Our bosses don't usually thank us, at least not in my experience. It's rare that someone shows decent appreciation for long hours. Yet we do it, and it's rare I see a tech worker push back. In fact, it's almost like so many people wear their hours as a badge of honor ("I worked 85 hours last week.")

Don't do that. I do work more than 40 hours some weeks, and I tend to work 7 days a week, but I also don't ever work 8 hours in a row and I take frequent breaks. I likely put in 35-45 hours a week, depending on the time of year, and I am constantly stressing my mind, trying to be creative.

Push back on those long hours. Tell your boss that you need to get away from work to be productive. I think he'll understand, especially if you treat that time at work as valuable, and get as much done as you can.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

Everyday Jones

The podcast feeds are available at sqlservercentral.mevio.com. Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there.

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Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com.

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