I received this letter recently from an advisor:
Perhaps you can do an article on finding time to make appointments with yourself and your loved ones; that is, the ones who aren’t too busy?
When and why did this happen? We have more “time savers” than ever before, but there is no need to look for storage for this ‘saved’ time. On the contrary, we could use one more day added to our present 7-day week. Perhaps that could be our personal day. I am feeling very stressed and my patience is stretched to the limit, which I know is affecting my work.
I know I’m not the only one who feels this way…
Here’s how I answered her:
The time issue is one that comes up often in my work.
But it’s largely a ‘made-up’ issue. I’m hoping this never happens, but what if you needed to take one day off each week for some medical treatment like dialysis or to spend it with someone you really cared about that was seriously ill? Would you be able to do all your work the rest of the week and still take that day off?
Most people say they’d find a way, and that yes, if forced to, they could do it. So, it’s not impossibility that keeps us from taking a day off to recharge our batteries; it’s a choice we’re making. And most of us make the wrong choice.
Our best ideas come from slowing down and taking time to think. Our greatest bursts of energy and productivity come after we’ve taken some time away from what we end up calling the daily ‘grind’. (It shouldn’t be a grind; it should be a joy—and one of the reasons it’s not is that we don’t step away from it enough.)
Start with scheduling a half-day a week to do whatever you like: get that massage, have lunch and dinner with friends. Don’t answer your calls; make some alternate arrangement.
Tell me how that feels after a month. I know it’s counter-intuitive, but you’ll eventually start making more money by taking structured time off than you do now by working around the clock…
If you run your own schedule, you don’t need an extra day–you need to make the decision to take time for yourself. Try it as soon as possible, and if you’re having trouble with it, reach out and we’ll talk. In the meantime, keep REACHING…