On one of my last flights, I asked the guy beside me, “Are you going to work or on a holiday?” He replies, “Work. I wish it was for a holiday! That would be fun. I’ve got at least one hundred days to take and I just don’t seem to get to it.” All I could think was, “How sad is that?” We spent the flight talking about how he could start taking those much-needed days off.
I have been an entrepreneur half of my life and I know what is like to be busy and have times of imbalance but we have to make time for the people we love. If we don’t, they start to resent what we do. They start to see the business as the place that takes from the family, rather than the place that adds value to it. When did we start to get “so busy”? Is there something we can do to change that? Being over-worked is a slow progression. First, we brought our laptop home one evening, two evenings and then the weekends.
Getting balance back in our lives starts the same way. We need to slowly back away from being so busy. Busy is a great way to avoid the things we need to be working on in our life. Mentally, physically and with our family. We attach way too much of our self-esteem to what we do. In my line of work, that is a lonely place to get your self-esteem from.
Make a list of what you want to do this summer to reconnect with you and the people you love. Make a serious plan to put that in place. Trust and empower your staff to take over while you are away. I am sure some of them wish you would take a holiday!
Unplug your phone. When I am off, I only use my phone to text. No notifications of any kind. I am shocked when I email a client and they say, “Oh, I am just sitting here on my deck with my family.” Huh? Then why are you answering your emails? I wear a watch. My teenagers say it’s “old school” but the watch means I don’t check my phone for the time. Be off. Fully off.
Get out into nature, without your phone. Just be. Sit on a bench, walk the dog, sit by the lake or go for a hike as a family. Do something that gets you grounded again.
If you have a client that does not respect your need for a vacation, maybe they aren’t the right client for you. My very successful client, Bob, uses a notification that reads: “Ahhh, can you smell the pine trees? Hear the sound of the lake washing up on the rocks? Imagine me sitting in my lawn chair watching the sunrise? Well that is where I am, and that is why you won’t hear from me until August 20th!”
Have a wonderful summer,