In the last few weeks, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a number of people who run their own businesses. All of them are fantastic people with a drive to succeed and reach for whatever it is that stretches their business to achieve new opportunities… really, really, great people who I always learn a lot from.
It’s always interesting to see how much these people have in common regardless of their type of business and more often than not, one of the similarities that stands out is the lack of time they afford themselves. These people always put others and their business first; a selfless act indeed but how long can this effort be sustained without something breaking personally?
Somewhere in the unwritten rules of running your business, someone thought it was a good idea to add to the point on page five, subsection 2, point 4, where ‘the 9-5 job doesn’t exist anymore’. What they did was go one step further and say that as soon as you get up to the moment you fall asleep you must follow up emails, plan for your business, read about what everyone else is doing, and overall work yourself to a point where you don’t make time for anything else.
Here’s a list of the anything elses some choose to not make time for:
- Sitting still without any distractions around to allow the brain to relax and wander into new ideas and thoughts. That’s right, no TV, no phone, no computer, just you and some peacefulness.
- Exercising your mental health – how many books have you bought but not found the time to read yet?
- Exercising your physical health – until sitting still and typing becomes an Olympic sport, walking for 30 minutes a day is still a great way to energise your body and mind.
- Finding something or someone to challenge the norm – whilst the norm is safe and comfortable, throw yourself into something that promotes positivity back into your life. Be it helping with a local charity or even considering something that you would typically ignore or disagree with; whether or not your viewpoint changes as a result, you will find that you have so much more understanding about where you are today.
- Appreciate life – working at the pace we do without letting up to acknowledge everything around us seems crazy! Enjoy what you are working for; be it family or friends, the countryside around you, or anything that makes you feel positive.
In all most all cases, work is not the be all and end all and by working all the hours available and feeling no closer to your goals* is a waste of your time that could have been better spent. By re-energising yourself and making time for at least some of those listed above, you will be able to approach your existing work load with a better frame of mind and plenty of ideas to implement.
Most of all, enjoy everything that you do – if something isn’t quite right then change it. There are so many resources out there that you can use and here are just a few:
- Stress Personality Test
- Honouring Yourself
- Be Passionate About You
- Mental Health at Work
- “Just Do One Thing but do It Well” Podcast by Gary Bertwistle
*make sure you set some!
Susanne Dansey is the Managing Director of Purple Cow Ideas Management – an organisation that facilitates a paradigm shift in the collaborative nature of the ICT Industry. You can follow her on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.