It’s good to be the biggest fish in the ocean, right? When your business is the predator all the little fishies fear, you never have to worry about
being run out of town. Becoming that megalodon is a challenge that inspires you to work harder, longer and with more dedication in your ultimate quest to step out and leave your mark.
But what happens when your business becomes the megatooth shark that’s gobbling up all the other fish in your life?
I was reading Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Blog this morning and stumbled on the great debate between being inspired to make your business into a multi-billion dollar industry and being inspired to make your mark on the next generation. Author Kyle Lacy ‘fessed up to something all of us have been guilty of at one time or another: Putting our personal lives on the back burner to get our business moving.
That Zen part of Utopia where all the aspects of your life are in perfect balance is a beautiful place-or so I hear. I personally haven’t seen it, nor do I know how to get there, but if you have suggestions feel free to share! I can tell that you, however, that there are some tried and true techniques that will help you keep your sanity while you’re looking…or at the very least, stop your kids from selling your clothes on eBay when they decide you’re not coming home!
- Leave work at work. The idea that getting out of the office and bringing work home helps you make more time for your family is a good one. It is. I personally love that flexibility when one of my kids is home sick or there’s a basketball game or ballet recital I absolutely cannot miss. The problem is, at some point you’re going to have to actually do the work you brought home. The added pressure of trying to do work when your family wants your attention can make it more stressful than just spending that extra hour or two at your desk. Schedule work hours for when you know you’ll be uninterrupted, or leave work at work.
- Schedule a break. Seriously. Between work, housework, supervising homework, spending time with your kids and your spouse and trying to be an active part of your community (oh, yeah, and finding time to eat, shower and sleep for an hour or two) your day can disappear in a blink, leaving you standing there wondering, “When do I get time for me?” Schedule a break. Block off an hour after dinner and take a walk every day. Take your lunch from noon to one, shut off your phones and go outside. Lock the door and turn out the lights. By zealously guarding your time, you’ll have a clearer head for the rest of the day.
- Delegate. No one can do everything, all the time. When you’re first getting your business started you’re going to be boss, employee, bookkeeper, marketing team and clean-up crew. There’s no getting around that. But as soon as you can, delegate the parts of your job that don’t leave you dancing with glee each morning. You’ll enjoy the work you do do that much more.
- Do one thing at a time. Did you know that someone once actually had the audacity to declare that the amount of multi-tasking we do in a day isn’t good for us? *gasp!* What were they thinking? Isn’t the ability to multi-task solid gold when you’re talking about an employee? Yes-in the short term. Sure, it’s great to have someone at your beck and call that can schedule appointments while they proofread that brief and pick up your dry-cleaning, but the more you multi-task the harder it is to focus on just one thing…including relaxation!