How many owners of small businesses have you heard complaining that 24 hours are just not enough in a day? It is a frequent cry from the small business community where many owners are the managing director, accountant, PR and coffee maker.
It almost seems obligatory that, when starting out, you will be at your desk late into the night, early in the mornings and throughout the weekend. But is this really necessary or remotely sensible?
Can you operate at such a pace for long at an effective level? The European Union obviously thinks not - its many rules on working hours suggest that the evidence shows that people do not work effectively at such a pace and it is unfair to expect your staff to do this - so why do owners and managers do it themselves?
The first two bi-annual surveys, conducted by MORI on behalf of British Gas last year, showed 33% and 28% respectively of SME owner/managers routinely working more than 60 hours a week - compared to the EU norm of just 35 hours work a week.
And the survey found that it is not just the bosses - staff in a small company will routinely put in long hours as well with some 76% of those questioned admitting to working well beyond the 35 hours.
Without doubt, new businesses owners want to be efficient and one way of keeping costs down is to take on as much of the workload as possible. And if, during the regular nine to five working day, you are handling customers or clients, then it is more than likely that the administration will follow in evenings or at weekends.
The increasingly global nature of business particularly anyone running a web site as part of their business also means that working hours are extending - a work phone call at 9pm or even 4am is not unusual for web site owners.
But the key to make it all work is time management. Imogen Daniels, an advisor at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, believes "time management can make an enormous amount of difference to small businesses."
However, she also believes that you have to find the right solution to suit your business and your personality. "It is no good suggesting that you tidy your desk daily if you are a person who hates tidying - you will resent the effort and soon stop making it. But there will be another solution for you," she said.
"People generally go into business for themselves because they have a particular skill - few enter a business to do the administration and all the other chores that come with it.
"So for the sake of your health and sanity, it is worth applying a few time management techniques to reduce time spent on those things and free up time to spend on the work that sets you apart."