Stop touting the crazy hours you work. It helps no one.
As someone whose job is – and this is new for me – now directly focused on making people productive, I wholeheartedly endorse this position. I can’t even have an honest time-management conversation with generally hard-working people who work for me without them visibly panicking about the possibility I’ll decide they don’t work as hard as everyone else. I have to preface any efficiency related discussion with “you’re putting in plenty of time”, or else people feel obligated to take massive umbrage, lest they inadvertently concede they aren’t working sufficiently back-breaking hours.
It’s just so, so stupid. Aside from the fact that burned out people are terrible, conflict-prone co-workers and team members, the elephant in the room is that many of the people capable of “working” 100 hours a week are actually doing things that are detrimental to their places of work – and since they put in so many hours, they’re doing a lot of damage.
It’s ridiculous that we have to remind people with white-collar, information-based jobs that they don’t work in a %$#@ing coal mine, but here we are. So what should you do? How about this – make progress. Always seek to work smarter. Never let laziness or distraction keep you from driving towards your goals at rates that scare you a little. And never convince yourself for one second that time in an office, or staring at a screen, is a substitute for great ideas or high-quality execution, because it’s not, and never will be. Figure out how to solve problems and do great work, and the rest will take care of itself.