The Beatles made a lot of money from a song called “Eight Days a Week” but to make a lot of money in your small business doesn’t mean you have to work Eight Days a Week.
Work life balance and starting a small business are not often seen on the same page. Somewhere in the “silent code book for small business – author unknown” there is a rule that says you have to work your butt off to be successful.
Most certainly you do need to put in a lot of time and effort in the early days ……. BUT if you work yourself into a burnout frenzy, you are NOT going to be able to work effectively IN your business, let alone ON your business.
One of my fabulous coaches and mentors taught me that you MUST have regular time off to rest and recuperate.
If you aren’t 100% filled up, you can’t give 100% to others.
In the early days of setting up your business you need to be out and about seeing and speaking with a lot of people. It can be exhausting.
If your business is well established, it can be exhausting just giving as much as you do to your clients, so balancing that with adequate rest and down time is vital to your success.
BUT there IS a lot of work in getting any small business working well and sometimes you do have to burn a bit of midnight oil to get all the things done that you’ve got to do. Plus most of us have a home office, known fondly by many as “international headquarters” and the temptation to overwork is generally just a few steps down the hall.
So I’ve come up with a strategy that works for me.
I have ONE NON-NEGOTIABLE DAY OFF EVERY WEEK.
That means no matter what is going on I MUST NOT go into my office, nor turn my computer on, nor answer the office phone, nor do filing or paperwork – nothing! One day a week has to be completely for me. That rule never gets broken!
I found if I had two non negotiable days off and there was a back log starting to build in my office, all that would happen is that I’d end up stressing about it.
To overcome the stress, I created the concept of “CHOOSE DAY”
I create a CHOOSE DAY in my diary one day every week. So I cross the day off and write in CHOOSE DAY. It can be any day of the week, it doesn’t have to be a set day each week but it does have to be in your diary every week – months in advance.
So when CHOOSE DAY rolls around I can look at that day and think – is there anything so pressing it can’t wait until tomorrow?
Sometimes there are pressing things that MUST be done so I choose to work part of the day. Sometimes I use CHOOSE DAY as my creative writing day, which I love and it fills me up. Other times I know there is nothing pressing so I have CHOOSE DAY off to dig my garden without guilt, or go shopping or just rest and read a book.
What is important is that I get to CHOOSE.
The golden rule is that you NEVER book anything else on a CHOOSE DAY so that when it rolls around you have a true choice in how you spend that day.
I find by having a CHOOSE DAY I end up with eight days in a week because I tend to jam everything into the other days of the week so CHOOSE DAY remains free. I find it stops me procrastinating on the other days and I just get on with whatever needs doing so my CHOOSE Day remains a “me” day.
The video below is how I spent my Choose Day this week – it just happened to be a Tuesday and everything you see in the video is about three minutes walk from each other – guess it’s going to be my Choose Day location for a while anyway!
How I Spent One Of My Choose Days in Ocean Shores NSW Australia