By Jeff Bowman
I have never been one to place too much stock in recharging my batteries. As a business owner, I had fooled myself into thinking that client jobs came ahead of my downtime, and that they had a right to have their work completed, since they were paying for it.
While others left on Fridays for cottage destinations, or took a few weeks off to travel, I would manage to squeeze in a few good hours of work after 6 pm or on Saturdays between my kids’ sporting activities and my housework duties.
When I did take a day off, I worked extra hours before and after to ensure that even though I had vacated (in body) my office, the client was still getting their money’s worth.
I have come to the understanding now that math was not my strong suit.
Working 60 to 70 hours a week has provided a measure of success in my business and allowed me to grow it substantially, however with the increased growth, came an increase in workload, an increase in hours spent away from friends and family, and a decrease in the real hours I could manage.
I had always prided myself on being able to re-charge my batteries with 5 to 6 hours of sleep, however, like a rechargeable battery, I now realize that over time I was accepting less and less of a charge and my useable output was decreasing with each week. Perhaps I was lucky, maybe my clients didn’t see a difference in the final output, but I sure noticed the frequency of small errors, the short fuse when something didn’t work, and the fact that my sleep patterns were changing.
I think I have seen the error in my ways. I have been convinced by friends, colleagues and family to slow the pace down a little. Enjoy some free time, let my thoughts wander to things other than work and spend more time relaxing. I must admit I do actually enjoy getting away from everything, no responsibilities, no deadlines, a true feeling of freedom. I can do what I want when I want, as I sit here on my dock at the cottage, typing a business blog on my laptop …. I guess I still need to work a bit on the relaxing thing!