One of the most important things you can do is to incorporate balance into your life by allocating time to different pursuits.
Work is something that many of us allocate a disproportionate amount of our time to, and this is especially so when you are building your own business. It’s so important to bring some level of balance into your life away from the grind of the day to day in business. You can easily feel compelled to sit in front of your computer as much as possible because you might just find that little gem of information, or perhaps you’ll feel you’re working just that bit harder than the next guy (or girl) and that might give you the edge?! (And yes, I realise the irony of me writing this on a public holiday….)
One of the interesting things I have noticed along the way is the timing around when those little gems actually find their way into your mind; when the creativity flows the best. I think it’s been clear for me that it’s not when I’m glued to my computer! It’s been the times when I’ve been doing anything but work. I might be driving my car, or laying on the beach, or more mundane tasks like working in the garden or cleaning something up. It’s these times when you only have a peripheral work focus that you allow the creativity to be front and centre.
It’s all too easy to become consumed by a passion project that you forget to live the rest of your life at the same time. You may not even realise that you’re doing it! Friends have told me that when we first met, they thought all I had to talk about was my business; that I’d go on and on about it. Perhaps (likely) this was true, and this was an interesting point because although it is a passion of mine, it’s not the only one. The same friends later said that although I did talk a lot about my business initially, they realised it was because it is a part of who I am and upon getting to know me better they found there’s a lot more to me than just a business.
This brings me back to the point of balance. There have been times when building the business has taken a large proportion of my focus and time, and although I love doing it and it is a part of who I am, there also needs to be other things to offer contrasting thinking and ideas as well as keeping myself relatable to others. It takes a different kind of thinking to chase your own pursuits and challenge the status quo. The difference between the mindset of comfort (status quo) and the mindset of ambition and ambiguity are worlds apart, and it is key to not let them define you on only that one element.
I suggest you consider what the current balance of your life looks like, and if you’re allocating enough time to the things that matter to you. For most of us, work takes up a large part of our lives, but there is an absolute need for other things to be included as they add up to make us who we are and make us relatable to others with differing interests and priorities. If you have been working too much and haven’t taken a break in a while, go take some time and give yourself the space to allow those other parts of who you are to be front and centre. You’ll thank yourself later!