How I learned to love time off

In my last email, I talked about how intoxicating it can be to work hard at something you are fully engaged in. Especially when you can see how your extra effort results in quick wins for your business. It feels great.

It is so great that I will give up rest, time with my family, doctor appointments, vacations, you name it, if it would further my business.

One day, I realized that’s the textbook definition of an addict.

Addict: a person with an uncontrolled compulsion to continue engaging in an activity despite suffering negative personal or professional consequences.

But still, I didn’t want to stop.

  • “I’m not an addict; this is just a busy time.”
  • “I love what I do; what would I do if I weren’t working?”
  • “I’m just an active person; I’m not very good at rest.”

Finally, I was having a conversation with an older friend who told me about how driven he had been and its cost. I was shocked to hear his story! My friend, as I knew him now, was the vision of chill and balance.

“How did things change for you,” I asked.

I learned to love to rest.

His formula was simple, but not easy.

1. Set work hours. Work 9 – 6 and then quit—no laptop after hours.
2. If you’re working, it’s a workday. Don’t mix work and time off. If you have to work a Saturday, then work. Don’t take a 2-hour break to see your son’s game.
3. Take one day a month and turn off all your technology. Phone off, don’t touch your computer. Get out of the house and spend some time doing whatever you want to do. This is time for you to take in, time for restoration.
4. When you feel the “itch” to be productive, practice rest.

That conversation was in 2013. I’m still not good at resting, but I am getting better.

Where are you on this journey? Are you fully engaged in addictive behavior? Are you sick and tired of it but don’t know how to stop? Are you actively working on finding a different way to live?

Hit reply and let me know. I’ve been there; I’m still learning.

By the way, you can get a 5 day plan to get rid of that overwhelmed feeling and get moving again. Learn more here.