Have you been working over the past few days?
I asked this question on Twitter and via my Facebook page yesterday and got some very interesting responses. Almost everyone who responded, said they had been working, but ONLY because they loved what they do. In other words, they were working because for them, work is enjoyable – Rather than something they want to avoid.
A few people even questioned whether what they were doing could be classed as work. I find myself in both those groups. I work with fantastic people and I work on extremely interesting projects and as a result, I look forward to working.
The need for balance
As Danny Brown mentioned last month, even if we love what we do, there’s a need for balance. When work becomes play, the temptation is to keep playing. The challenge here, is that we risk overdoing it without even knowing it! Now, whilst I have never experienced health issues from working too many hours, I find that it DOES help my creativity massively, when I walk away from my desk for a few days. So that’s what I do.
When I set this business up, back in 1995, I worked for 3 years without a vacation – Stopping only on Sundays and on Christmas Day. I was 29, had no kids and my business needed me. Then, I took a break and realised how stupid I had been, not to have had a break MUCH sooner. After a week away from the office, I generated more ideas and made more progress than ever. I didn’t know I needed a break, but I very clearly did.
Working can, and should be fun. If you find yourself wanting not to work because your work is too stressful or you just don’t enjoy it any more, change it. You are a business owner, which means YOU are in control. Design your business so that it excites and inspires you. As my mentor used to say:
If you don’t like where you are – Move! You’re not a tree!
If like most business owners you LOVE what you do, always be aware of the need for balance. Paradoxically, by working a little less, you often find that you achieve a little more.
Your feedback please
Have you been working this week? What’s your take on the work / life balance?
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