My tough love approach (heavy on the love) focuses on bringing order to chaos, and creating solid (and straightforward) strategic plans. I take surveys for fun, never met a process I didn’t like, and am a big believer in personal growth as a keystone to business growth.
A battle is being waged in the lives of every entrepreneur and small business owner over life’s most precious commodity: time. If you’re enthusiastic about what you do, there will always be the temptation to commit every moment of your day to it. Unfortunately, when you eventually come up for air, you may discover that your life has passed you by while you were busy at work.
Finding the right balance between work, family, and life in general is rarely easy. Here are a few ways you can cut out the things that don’t matter, make rules to allow for the things that do, and make sure that you live a happier, healthier life while still driving towards success.
Downtime is critical, but for many it either becomes something they never leave time for or accidentally spend far too much time pursuing. By blocking off specific times on your calendar to get away from work or intense activities, you ensure that your brain gets the right amount of time to discover your best ideas without time getting away from you. Most professionals recommend an hour a day.
Go for a walk, play your favorite sport, or even just do a little house cleaning. All of this can help you get out of your head, and interacting with the world around you. You’ll often find that you come back to your old ideas with a fresh perspective, and your body will thank you for it. This is also a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family, reinforcing important emotional bonds.
Turn your smartphone off for an hour, and stay off of the Internet. For some, just the thought of this is scary, but that’s the point. Online life can be addictive, and in the information age, face to face interaction is becoming a rare skill. The ability to socialize is something none of us should take for granted, and is considered almost a super-power among Millenials.
You might not think you have too many of these, but how much time do you put into surfing Facebook or YouTube, or playing games on your phone? Hours can be lost to these things, which stop serving both work and daily life purposes after the first fifteen minutes. It’s best to engage in these activities with a clear intention of what you want to accomplish, and then get out right away without getting distracted.
Everything is better with a plan, and every plan can be improved. Sales, marketing, human resources, and the basic methods you use to fulfill what your business offers, should all have a written process that keeps things efficient and simple. You would be amazed how much time and money you can reclaim by taking a look at what gets done on a regular basis and streamlining the process.
If there's work that could be done by someone else, send it to them. Wasting your day on tasks other people could be doing is inefficient, and can lead to those dreaded all-night work sessions that destroy your life and make you resent work. In the end, outsourcing directly boosts profits as you're finally able to take care of the big things that build your business.
How often have you stayed up late in order to wind down, or gotten up early to fit in a workout? Ultimately, sleep is not optional, but it’s often sacrificed in favor of something else. This eventually catches up to you, making you less effective at what you do and less able to enjoy the company of others. Sacrifice other things for sleep. Your body, mind, and family will be glad you did.
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