Can You Work Less To Earn More? Or Is It The Opposite?

I’ve discussed before how time is an important resource for growing your business. It’s one of the primary topics of this website, and I’ll continue sharing my tips on how you can manage your time better. I would like to ask you in this post if it’s possible for you to work less to earn more money?

There are those who believe the opposite, but it’s worth discussing. That’s what this article will be about.

Work fewer hours or more? Does it make a difference?

The number of hours you work can determine how much money you earn. Also, it determines how much time you have as well. Whether you have a job at an hourly rate (or make a salary), you exchange your time for money in return.

You can work fewer hours while making more money. But there are not a whole lot of job opportunities for people to take advantage of.

On the other hand, you can work more hours while making a lot of money. That happens to be the route a lot of people in the workforce do.

Work less to earn more: This post goes over how you can work less but still earn more at the same time.

Preferably, most people would rather work fewer hours for more leisure time. According to research done by the Harvard Business Review, 9 out of 10 people would prefer earning less money to do work they enjoy doing. 

Based on this study, more people would rather work fewer hours if they’re doing work that’s meaningful. If they want to do more meaningful work, that means more happiness and a feeling of self-worthiness. 

So you can work fewer hours, or even more; however, people rather do work they find meaningful and worth their time. If that means not earning much, that’s the price they’ll have to pay.

Work fewer hours but earn more money?

Some people are able to work fewer hours working for someone else. They may make a lot more money as well. But these jobs can end up being part-time, contract work, or short-term assignments.

Whether being an employee or a contractor, you still have limits to these types of jobs. You can make a lot of money with a few hours’ worths of work; however, there’s a cap if you are limited to working a certain number of hours.

Depending on the work you do, these may only be part-time opportunities or freelance work. As a result, working for someone else limits your working hours.

Work less to earn more: You can work fewer hours for more money, but you may have limits if you’re part-time or doing contract work.

Work longer hours for more money?

As for most employees, they may have the option to work more hours if offered overtime. It’s a great way to earn extra money if companies request their staff to work more hours than usual.

People will work more hours for various reasons. Whether that’s to save more money, support their families, or prefer a higher income, some people will do what it takes to earn more money.

However, it does come at some costs. Whether it’s physical or mental health or losing out on leisure time, it can eat up into people’s schedules. 

Working longer hours does not always mean an increase in worker productivity. Neither does it guarantee a company better services or a return on investment. Instead, it can lead to burnout for employees or waste a lot of revenue and resources in the long term.

My experience working extra hours

A few years ago, I used to take advantage of working overtime at a company I worked for. Sure, it was great making the extra money. But at the same time, I was often tired and went through some burnout periods myself.

After working multiple 60+ hour workweeks, it took a toll on my mental health. I was tired from working 6-days a week, and my mind was not always clear after working so many hours.

Although working overtime was a great opportunity, it came at a cost to my physical and mental health. These days, I’m more mindful of that and avoid working so many hours in a single week.

Work less to earn more: Working overtime can be a great opportunity for more income, but it may come at significant costs.

Is it worth working more hours for more pay?

Naturally, people want to work fewer hours for more pay. It would make life so much easier for many people, especially for those who value a good work-life balance.

Based on another report from about fifteen years ago, the preference for working fewer hours remained the same. I can’t imagine that has changed since then- it’s most likely stayed the same as it did back then.

But as the report mentioned, there are things to take into consideration. Based on the job and individual’s preference for lifestyle, these are some things that can determine how many hours an individual prefers to work.

My thoughts on how to go about this direction

Like most people, I have a desire to work fewer hours while making more money. But it’s not the easiest thing to do; in most cases, it takes a lot of time and effort for it to pay off.

Moreover, if you’re interested in entrepreneurship, you’ll most likely have to make some sacrifices in the short term. For example, you may have to work more hours during the early stages of your business. Starting a business is not always easy, and it does take some time to get rolling.

Work less to earn more: Working more hours when starting out your business can be rewarding later on down the road.

Or in some cases, you’ll have to balance it out between a full-time job and your business. You work your 9-5 job and then work on the business for another one-six hours afterward.

Rather than working a typical 40-hour workweek, you may end up working a lot more than 40 hours. So that’s something to keep in mind when you’re in the early days of a business.

The path to go about (but not the most desired)

The point I’m trying to get across is you will need to invest more time and effort if you want to work on your own. Planning out for the long-term and sticking to it will be worthwhile if you can execute it properly.

If you’re looking at a long-term strategy, the time and effort you put in now can bring great results. Eventually, you might be able to quit your day job if you earn more than you do.

It may not be the most desired route for a lot of people. If you’re looking to make money now, entrepreneurship may not be the most viable path at the moment. But if you choose to go down that route, it’s well worth doing it for the long-term rewards.

Can you work less and earn more?

As I just mentioned, the path I chose to go down is not one a lot of people will do. Some people are not willing to give up those short-term sacrifices to create a better future for themselves and their families.

But if you decide to take a similar route, it’s worth the payoff along with better opportunities down the road. Also, it’s worth saving you more time to grow your business down the road.

Work less to earn more: Sometimes, you have to work an extra hour or two to get the desired results you want (even if it’s not the best time).

Imagine a few years down the road: You’re working fewer hours while at the same time you’re making more money than you ever thought of. It all contributes to you putting in the time and effort early on.

By taking this path, a person can grow their wealth and become a millionaire over time. You can eventually make more money and work fewer hours if you take this route today.

Your turn: Do you prefer working fewer hours while earning more?

I would like to ask you some questions about this topic. If you’re building your business, are you willing to take the route I’m on? That is, make some sacrifices now and work more hours to grow a business?

Or would you prefer to work fewer hours for others? Do you like flexibility and more choices in how you go about earning a living?

There’s nothing wrong with going in either direction. I happen to believe the entrepreneurship route is the most viable one long-term. Even though it’s not easy starting out, it’s worth making an effort to create a better future for yourself.

Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading your thoughts, and I’ll gladly answer any questions you have.

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Eric is the owner and chief editor of 

He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. 

Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. 

“Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” 

In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. 

You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.

Self Photo 2019: Here's a picture at a building in downtown Chicago.

2 thoughts on “Can You Work Less To Earn More? Or Is It The Opposite?”

  1. It looks like you know this subject all too well. I can relate to not getting much leisure time while building a business.

    It is true that many of us trade our time for money when working for someone.

    While building my business, I looked at it as trading some of my time for a business.

    The payoff this way seems better, what do you think?

    • Hi Greg,

      Yes, this subject is something I’ve learned a lot about in the past few years. It’s gotten to a point where I care about not only improving my quality of life, but for others who want to go down that same direction.

      I always think if more people understand this topic better, we would have a lot more financially independent individuals. Not only that, there would be happier people as well.

      The entrepreneur mindset cares more about time over money. When they grow their businesses, they’ll buy time (in the sense of hiring or outsourcing tasks they don’t prefer doing).

      That’s what a lot of successful people do: When they invest their time, the better likelihood they’ll make even more money in return.

      I can go on and on about this topic all day. But to make it short, it’s far much better to go down this route in the long-run.

      I do think the payoff is so much better. The only problem is when people start out, they come across challenges and obstacles. Without proper guidance or mentor ship, they may give up and go back to staying mediocre.

      I think it’s one of the worst things that can happen. The idea of giving on your dreams, then settling for less and not living your potential- it’s sad.

      I wish that could change, but a lot of people will not choose the route that I prefer. It’s why you and I would prefer this route because we’re capable of living our true potential. It’s worth living a life that can be fulfilling and worth giving a try.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I greatly appreciate what you have to say. We have agreements on this subject; hopefully, I can reach more people and pass on this message to them.


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