Last week I streamed myself live on video on my blog for the first time. I worked for 12 hours straight (it was actually 14 since I took a couple hours to create the blog post and set the stream up) and allowed myself only one 5-minute break each hour and one 1-hour break to eat lunch or dinner.
I put up a $100 bounty to the first person who caught me cheating (such as taking an extra break, taking a 6-minute break instead of a 5-minute break, etc.) and I’m happy to say that I did manage to work those 12 hours successfully. I got quite a bit done and was happy with the results.
At first it was a bit distracting getting used to being streamed live on the Internet and having a chatroom with a few people constantly in there, some asking me questions or talking to me, but I did get used to it and was able to ignore it for the most part and work.
Here’s the deal: I’m going to work today for 12 hours straight from 12:30pm noon to 12:30am, Pacific Time (3:30pm-3:30am Eastern Time).
I am be allowed a 1-hour break for a lunch or dinner break (to be taken at the time of my choosing), and a 5-minute break every hour to use the bathroom, refill my beverage, etc. I will type something like ‘break’ or ‘brb’ in the chatroom of the live stream every time before I leave, and ‘back’ when I return.
The chatroom has a “toggle timestamp’ feature, which if enabled, will show the time next to each message so you can tell how long I’ve been on break.
You can view my official live video streaming page by going here, which allows for more chatroom and video options.
Lessons Learned From Last Time
The previous challenge was a very neat and interesting experience, and once the challenge was over it was a huge relief to be able to finally leave the computer and watch a bit of TV before going to bed.
However, there were a few things that gave me a bit of trouble, and so I have adjusted the ‘rules’ slightly for this challenge to account for these things. First, there were a few times when I needed to get something but couldn’t because I wasn’t allowed to leave my desk.
For example, I needed a pen, and then later a CD, but even though they were literally behind me on other desks in my office 3-seconds away, I wasn’t able to grab them since it would have been ‘cheating’.
Also, it’s amazing just how short a 5-minute break really is. It’s barely enough time to go to the bathroom and make a cup of coffee (instant coffee too!), so they really aren’t breaks as they are refuelling periods. I have not extended this, but just thought I’d point that out 🙂
I have also added in the rules that I am not responsible for things beyond my control. For example, if a package comes and I need to sign for it or I get a personal phone call. If something like this happens, I will try to expedite things as fast as possible, but I should be allowed exceptions for such things.
Monetary or Public Pressure?
Since my previous challenge had both the money ($100) and public (live video and blog follow-up) pressures, I’m curious if one was much more influential than the other, so I am running another challenge now but without the $100 cash prize. As a result, the only pressure will be public humiliation.
Therefore, I could stop at any time and not have to pay any penalty – that’s up to me – but I’m curious if I can (or “am willing” may be a better choice of words) still complete this challenge within the rules given.
- I’m allowed to make quick and direct trips to receive items that pertain to work such as pens, CDs, paper, etc. This does not include things such as beverages or snacks.
- I am allowed to eat at my desk while working. Remember, 12 hours is a long time and I do have to eat.
- Chatting on instant messenger does count as work. Any chatting done is always work-related, and in fact, is necessary to my business.
- I am not responsible for things beyond my control such as power failures, fire alarms, phone calls, deliveries, etc.