One of the hardest things to do with any time-consuming enterprise is take a break. As most of you know, I haven’t blogged very much over the past 3 months. This is not due to my disinterest in blogging, but only my new obsession with business development. I have always been kind of an all-or-nothing type person and it’s always been hard for me to balance work/play and taking time for myself. I feel like I keep learning the lesson to balance life in order to be the most productive.
Since the inception of UBD (last August), Matt, Josh, and I have been working 7 days/week and 12-15 hours/day to build the business. It has been both incredibly fun and stressful at times. Stressful not because I don’t enjoy the work, only because I have cut out all other distractions in my life. This includes saying GOODBYE to partying, working out, watching TV, and any other type of non-business activity.
Have I regretted any of it? Not for one second. These past few months culminating with BWE have been some of the most exciting times of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. That being said, there are a lot of ways I could have managed my lifestyle better and that includes taking more time for myself.
What do I classify as taking time for myself? Working out is a great example. Sitting in the same space for 8-hour shifts is something that most people want to quit their jobs so they can stop doing, but the fact is that working for yourself oftentimes means spending WAY more time in front of the computer. That makes it that much more important to get physical activity.
It is uncommon for Matt, Josh and me to spend less than 12 hours a day working on the computer – and that means not reading Digg, playing computer games, surfing the net, or any other type of non-work behavior. Just sitting and working.
Getting back to what I was originally saying, nothing burns off stress more than working out. I worked out for the first time in three months tonight and it felt damn awesome. We all used to be regular gym rats working out 5x/week, but again, since my new obsession with overworking, I have not worked out once.
It’s Tough To Break Away When In The Zone
Anyone truly dedicated towards a cause knows that it is especially difficult to break away from work when you are are on a roll, or “in the zone.” In other words, when working for any sustained period of time at a particular task, productivity increases exponentially over the work period. I notice I don’t reach my “in the zone” period until about 45 minutes into a task, but once I have reached that point, I can sustain my in the zone activity for several hours at a time.
Breaking away from what one feels as incredibly productive time is very difficult. Crossing A LOT of things off a to-do list is a great feeling, but what separates the almost successful from the really successful are those who manage their time more productively. Oftentimes, increased productivity comes not from working more, but from balance and managing time better.
If you were to spend all day doing one thing, would you want to be just “kind of” successful or extremely successful? I have done some interesting things, but real success is gauged over a long period of time, not a few months. I have been blogging consistently since January of this year and to me, that is a better indication of success than running a business for a just few months.
Taking Time For Myself: Trying To Get Back Into Blogging
Blogging is another task that can be incredibly fulfilling. After all, blogging is what got me where I am today. I would have never stopped working at my day job, developed relationships with fellow bloggers, and started UBD if it were not for consistent blogging since January of this year.
I have said time and time again that consistent and quality blogging can have tremendous effects on one’s life. My only wish is that I had spent more time blogging over the past three months. That is something that I plan on taking more seriously as we are starting to streamline many of the processes of our business.
I could never get burned out from doing what I most enjoy, but taking time for yourself in business is a valuable lesson that I have been trying to learn for a long time.
How about you guys? Do any of you workaholics feel like it is next to impossible to break away from your in-the-zone time? Golf, blogging, working out? What do you do when you take time away from business?
20 thoughts on “The Importance of Taking Time For Yourself In Business”
You just described a period on my life that I struggled with for over 2 years. When you are a entrepreneural spirit driven person, remembering to find time for yourself can be hard. However, once you make it a habit of doing so, you find it is the most rewarding thing you can do for both yourself and your business as well. Good post.
I went through that period for a few years. On an average spending 22 nights month away from home and when at home, with evenings of official dos, inviting people for dinner/lunch/breakfast meetings etc,. My domestic life took a dive and I almost lost my son, an only child. I was making a lot of money and for the outsider, it was all very glamorous. I was in permanent jet lag, my weight was like a yoyo and generally, I was heading for a serious break down. Perhaps it was divine intervention, something made me leave all that and settle down to a more sedentary vocation and I am here to tell you about it. I had to take a deep drop in my earnings but was able to save my marriage, son and health. Now, I work mostly form home though I do have to go out for my freelance consultancy work. I blog two to three hours a day but find a lot of time to read, do my daily quota of cross word puzzles, attend to a lot of domestic chores etc. Am I hapy? Yes. It however took a few years before I stopped missing the earlier high flying life.
Now I know that it was the right thing to do. Three of my colleagues are no more and what use is all the money and glory that they earned? One’s child is in and out of rehabs and the other’s financial affairs are going through painful legal problems for the family.
All of us have to decide what our priorities in life are and structure our life to attend to those. Living to meet some one else’s expectation is what gets one to be crazy. Workaholics are a different breed all together. They are like any other 0holic addicted to work instead of something else. They too need ask themselves at some point of time whether it is all worth it.
Sorry, in all that wanting to share my experience with you, I clean forgot to welcome you back to the blog. Believe me, I have missed your blogs. I hope that you will be regular now that you have got off the new business to a flying start.
Congratulations are in order I think. My best wishes to you.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Sometimes in the past I have also wondered myself if all this stress and hard work is worth it, but no matter what, the only thing I cannot lose is the valuable knowledge i am gaining from these incredible experiences.
I am also looking forward to returning to my blog. Thanks again for the words of encouragement and for sharing your experience! 🙂
I know what you mean, it is so hart to leave for a short holiday asking yourself what is your business doing without you? I have been there.
You need time for yourself since this is what loads your batteries, you need it from time to time otherwise you will go nuts.
Yeah its tough. I’m the same way, all or nothing, working 24/7 or not working at all. I took a trip to the Virgin Islands a month back and didn’t bring my computer. It was awesome and so refreshing. Sometimes you just have to do that, ya know?
I don’t know how long I could be able to be away from the computer for lol. It is like a bionic extension of my mind and body… LOL that was probably the weirdest thing I ever said on my blog…
IS THE REVERSE FUNNEL SYSTEM A SCAM, PLEASE VOTE
I don’t know whether it is a scam, but I get a ton of people who buy ads from me for it, so there must have to be some bit of legitimacy for it.
WELCOME BACK n8 . . . . i’m glad you found some time get a blog post up . . . you know it ain’t the same without you around . . . . anyways, to comment on your post . . . I try my best to take one day off a week where I go play golf . . . it’s the perfect getaway for me so that I can not lookat anything electronic and just have a good time with friends . . . . honestly, if I didn’t have this, I know i’d be too burnt out to ever produce anything of quality . . . balance is key!
My best and i mean BEST stress-buster is to play with my kids (aged 4 and 1). It is invigorating, relaxing and just makes me so happy! Before i had kids it used to be taking a walk with my favorite music or just curling up with a good book.
I share my hobby with several of my customers and that makes it easy to actually “do business” and relax at the same …
But otherwise, trying to keep the gym visits regular and spend time with family, away from computers 🙂
It is always good to take a break even from the thing we are addicted like work, bloggin, reading and I could go on and on, this gives us a chance to re-group and recharge the old batteries. Carry on mate!
Welcome back Nate, and congratulations on all the success.
I think we all struggle with “balance” in some way or another. Posting on my blog everyday, or every week, is not a requirement that I have set for myself. I mainly use my blog to share my thoughts and to have a “blog presence.” For me, the pupose of my blog is to interact a little bit with others while I am pursuing my main goal of developing new sites. I guess it just feels too commercial to me if I have to post every day. So, I applaud you for taking a break and not feeling like you have to keep “the blog machine” going.
On the other hand, I can definitely relate with getting so involved with something that you don’t take enough time for “real life.” That’s something that I have been thinking alot about lately. I spend alot of time in front of the computer and I am constantly asking myself if it is taking away from family time.
I guess in order to take time out, you just need to stick to a schedule. Once you have figured that out, then you should be all right. However, having said that, once you are “in the zone”, it can be hard to pull away from what you’re doing.
I definitely think it’s important to take time for yourself EVERY day. While building a business is great, it helps if you spend a little time each “decompressing” and relaxing a little. I’ve found that this is the best way to have lots of energy for when I do work.
time for yourself is key. all work and no play, burns you out man. play doesnt mean you have to party, it can be setting some time aside to do what makes you happy (outside of being online.)
IMO the most important thing you can do is try to get a little physical workout every day … Even if it’s just 20 minutes.
The thing is that it makes you feel 300 % better…. It takes out frustration and stress and gives you the opportunity to get back to your work recharged … It may sound strange but it should be on top of the priority list of anyone who does alot of computer related work …
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