I was on the phone earlier this week with a prospect and I felt like I could have been talking to myself a few years back.
We were talking about working weekends and she stated that she hasn’t had a weekend off in 3 to 4 years and she tries to take a day off during the week.
Our conversation moved on, and I didn’t say any more, but it has been on my mind ever since.
You see in the past I would have agreed with her and tried to outdo her. I take pride in the number of hours I work and the effort I put in.
. . . but now I have a different view on working long hours.
Over a year ago I set a goal of reducing my work hours to less than 50 hours a week.
As many of you know I worked over 30 years in the grocery business and 60+ hour weeks are common, and I thought that was normal for everyone.
I took that mindset with me when I moved to marketing and it gave me a head start when I was getting Go Social Experts started.
. . . but what I found after doing this for several years is that while I was putting hours in, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted.
Many times I had my best ideas to a problem after a day on the lake or on vacation when I wasn’t even thinking about work.
And when I came back to work, I got more done. I was fresh and excited to be back at work, even after only a day off.
How could that be? Isn’t working more hours a better thing?
Now I’ve had this conversation with other clients as well as in mastermind meetings and with friends.
Since I live in the entrepreneurial world many of my friends work 6 and 7 days a week and take few vacations.
I’ve watched them burn out, take time off and come back ready to go, and I’ve watched others burn out and sell or close their businesses.
I’ve found that if you want long term success and real wealth you’ve got to have harmony in your life between work and play.
I like harmony rather than balance. With balance I picture that I’m on a teeter totter and I have to work to maintain it and a little movement one way or the other throws off my balance.
Now in my business balance doesn’t happen. There are times when I have a project I’m working on that takes 60+ hours a week for two or three weeks, but when that is done, I take some downtime and get back to my regular schedule.
With harmony, that means that at times I’m going to work extra and at times I’m going to play extra, but I’ll be in the right place when needed.
When I achieve harmony, my life flows. I get to work on what I want, and I get to play on a regular basis.
I now know that you can work hard, get stuff done, and have a successful business.
But you can also play hard and have a successful life.
After all, what is the hard work for if not to enjoy life now?
Comment below and let me know how you maintain work/life harmony.
Have a great day!
P.S. I still am not perfect at this, but I’m getting better every month. I actually work between 40 and 50 hours a week now most weeks! Step one of my goal.