It’s a Saturday. A Saturday in August. A Saturday in August at the cottage. And guess what? It’s raining! You know you work too hard and play too hard if your first thought is “Yay forced lazy day!” It’s a guilt-free day. You grab that first delicious coffee of the day and finish your book. Somewhere mid-morning brunch time is done and you are still in your PJ’s. Time to ponder what’s next….clean up your email in-box? Clean the house? You are already getting that creeping feeling of all the things you could be doing or should be doing. Ever wonder why relaxing and doing nothing is not one of them?
Rest leads to refuelling,
Refuelling leads to renewal,
Renewal leads to inspiration!
If you are anything like me, you work a minimum of 50 hours per week (that is a light week) and because you love your work, it doesn’t feel like work and you have trouble disconnecting. You are often in that flow state, where you totally lose track of time. There also is that feeling of angst that if you disconnect you’ll lose control of what is going on. Besides, you are so used to checking your email, Instagram, Facebook and or LinkedIn account that you don’t know how to not do that even though it’s Saturday and even though it’s raining. Like it or not, this is something you need to learn, before you learn it the hard way.
Life Work Balance vs. Work Life Balance
Most business owners lean toward a work life balance where they fit their personal life around their work. Their work draws them in much like most addictions and many are in fact “workaholics”. They don’t make enough time for friends and family, they don’t take any down time, they don’t exercise. They fail to understand and believe in the importance of doing nothing.
Increasing Downtime = Increased Productivity and Creativity
We may not realize it, or want to believe it but the more we work, the higher the chances of us running out of steam, getting lost “in our business”, losing touch with the rest of our life and losing perspective. Here are 3 great reasons to reconsider your life work balance.
- Burnout – the more we work the more we run out of energy. How many times did you pull all-nighters and then keep going? There is a huge competition in the world of entrepreneurs on how little sleep one can work on. Arianna Huffington’s book on The Sleep Revolution should be a must read. We have to take time off to refuel and get inspired. Sleep, relaxation and breaks are necessary. (Mother Nature scored and encouraged me to sleep 9 hours last night!)
- Meet your life goals, not just your work goals. It’s so easy to get stuck in the vortex of the next task that “must” get done, or the “last” task before you head home. Time with your children is not limitless, they will move away from you and so will your partner if you don’t make family a life goal. The same is true for friendships. Add personal time, family time and partner time to your schedule. Block off the time in your calendar just like any other meeting you make. The balance of personal life and work life will actually make you more rounded, calmer and more inspiring and effective at work.
- Live longer. Invest in your physical and emotional care, both are needed for a healthy long life. Exercise, vacations, meditation or meditainment. Get to get to the point where it becomes entertainment not something you have to do. Remind yourself of that high you feel after a run, that feeling when you reach that mountaintop after the hike, the calmness of your mind when you paint, doodle, fish or see a therapist, hypnotist. The release, the challenge and the environment are important components to ground ourselves, keep emotionally and spiritually fit.
Balancing out one’s health, relationship and work requirements is the “secret” needed to experience a fully rounded life, one where each aspect of your life acts as a cheerleader for the other parts.
So what do you do when you know all this and yet still don’t do it? Take baby steps. I did in fact finish that book. I have booked holidays in Cuba where I knew I would be forced to disconnect and I did commit to running a 10k race with my friend for her 50th birthday. Mother Nature helped me out today…and what happened after that? I became inspired to think deeply on life work balance and inspired to write this post. Now it’s time to get out there and play with Mother Nature. Rain or not, nothing inspires me more. What goals/commitments can you make to wean yourself?