Success

You don't have to work 80 hours a week to be successful, Shopify CEO says: 'There are 5 creative hours in everyone's day'

Tobias Lütke, CEO of Shopify, speaks at the Collision conference in Toronto, Canada, on May 22, 2019.
David Fitzgerald | Sportsfile | Getty Images

Tobias Lutke, founder and CEO of Canadian e-commerce company Shopify, says working 80 hours each week is not necessary for success.

"For creative work, you can't cheat. My (belief) is that there are 5 creative hours in everyone's day," Lutke said in a tweet on Thursday. "All I ask of people at Shopify is that 4 of those are channeled into the company."

The Shopify CEO shared his opinion in response to an ongoing conversation on Twitter, as some were debating whether working nights and weekends in addition to a standard day of work is necessary for success.

"Most people that changed the world were workaholics," one CEO tweeted on Christmas Day.

But Lutke begged to differ.

"I've never worked through a night," Lutke said in a tweet on Thursday. "The only times I worked more than 40 hours in a week was when I had the burning desire to do so. I need 8ish hours of sleep a night. Same with everybody else, whether we admit it or not."

Lutke is worth about $3.6 billion, according to Forbes, and built a company with a current market capitalization of about $48 billion by "treating everyone with dignity and not falling into the fallacies and trappings of some orthodoxy," as he said in the Twitter thread.

He added on Twitter, "I'm home at 5:30 pm every evening. My job is incredible, but it's also just a job. Family and personal health rank higher in my priority list."

And Lutke is not the only billionaire in support of getting enough sleep.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, told Thrive Global in 2016 that getting eight hours of sleep "makes a big difference for me, and I try hard to make that a priority."

"For me, that's the needed amount to feel energized and excited," Bezos said.

Bill Gates also agrees with sleeping well and avoiding all-nighters – although, during his early days at Microsoft, Gates believed sleeping was "lazy," as he wrote in a Dec. 10 blog post.

"I routinely pulled all-nighters when we had to deliver a piece of software," the self-made billionaire wrote in his blog. "Once or twice, I stayed up two nights in a row."

Later on, he realized "that my all-nighters, combined with almost never getting eight hours of sleep, took a big toll," adding that sleep is extremely important for good health and focus at work.

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!

Don't miss: In Bill Gates' Microsoft days, he thought 'sleeping a lot was lazy'—now he needs 7 hours a night

make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

    CNBC.COM