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?