Has that one time vision of long vacations and a 4 hour work week turned in to long hours and sleepless nights?
Giving birth to your new business is like giving birth to a baby. Prior to the arrival we have wonderful visions of how beautiful, easy, and great parenthood will be. Playing, laughing, and going to bed on time… Then the big day comes and you realize your once quiet, dream filled respite is a cluttered, noisy consequence of sleep deprivation. Oh yeah, that’s definitely what it’s like to start a business.
Ok, so maybe the vision wasn’t of parenthood but many business owners at one time had a vision of days on the beach, and vacations any time you want and so on. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have these visions but just like parenthood, it typically comes on the heels of some hard labor to get it moving. The balancing act however comes in to play in finding the balance while navigating through the sleepless night phase of business building. Pulling this off is relatively easy, we just need to take the R&R time out of the mission statement and in to the day planner. Here are a few suggestions.
- Take mandatory breaks every 2 hours. No matter what you’re doing, be sure to get up and get out in to the fresh air if even just for 10 minutes. This works wonders for the creative process and overall productivity.
- Schedule at least one real day off. It’s amazing how we step out of a day job where we command 2 days off a week and are offended if they want us to work 6 or 7 day work weeks but yet as business owners we find it hard to take even one full day off.
- Plan a few weekend getaways throughout the year. Our loved ones deserve to spend time with us and us with them. Even if you’re a loner getting away for a long weekend is a must from time to time. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just get away!
- Take advantage of the ability to have a flexible schedule. Switch up some day shifts for some night shifts once in a while. If I need to give myself permission to get out in to the light of day I simply move my schedule to the late night hours. We often have clients who prefer an evening phone call anyway, this is a great way to offer it to them and look like a hero for working with “their schedule.” Shhhh…don’t tell!
- Schedule heavy and light work days. For me, my heavy lifting days are typically Tuesday and Thursday. This allows my clients to get back on track with their week on Monday so this is my planning day for my upcoming discussions with my clients. I try to schedule coaching and follow up calls on Tuesday & Thursday leaving Wednesday and Friday for creative days.
I know that as a business owner we need to be flexible for our clients and issues do arise that need our immediate attention. Remember, what may seem like an emergency to your client may not be something that constitutes your immediate action. If you don’t have someone to screen your calls then be sure to let the voicemail pick up from time to time and let the caller ID do its work.
Business success is a marathon and not a sprint and we need to make sure we have the energy and mental power to make it over the long haul. Now, get up and take a break! When you get back be sure to read how to set up a healthy office.