By Michael Gunther
No one is immune from the challenges of creating balance — even business owners. When I started my business, I thought I’d experience more free time and flexibility by being my own boss. More time to exercise, be with family and friends, take kayaking lessons, or finally getting around to home improvement projects.
The reality is that I’m so busy working that I’m afraid summer will end before I know it — and with it, any chance to get away and recharge. So, I made sure to create some time to get away on a seven-day trip. However, here I sit, stressing about going out of town for a mere week. I’m stressing about getting out of town, stressing about my business surviving without me, stressing that I will not be able to relax enough before I turn around and come back home, stressing at my hectic schedule I will return to. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
The irony is not lost on me: I work with business owners on balancing their lives, and yet I struggle with that very same challenge. I know that breaks are essential to my well-being at home and at work. Every time I take a break or create more balance in my life, I come back with more energy and focus, plus about 50 more ideas on how to grow or improve my business.
My dilemma is that I know the value of getting away from the office, whether it’s just for just a few short hours or a week. Yet, I always have an excuse for not partaking in the activities or trips that I know would make me a better leader, business owner, and consultant. As a society, we stay so busy working toward achieving a goal or dream that we do not take time to enjoy the journey. Before we know it weeks, months, or years go by – time we can never regain.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and identify a list of activities, goals or dreams that you want to accomplish in the short-term to help you create balance in your life and enjoy this glorious summer season. With this list, plan when you will start the top three items — block the time out on your calendar if necessary. Keep a commitment to yourself that with all the hours you work, you will spend at least a couple of hours a week on activities that will create balance in your life.
To be more effective in your role as a leader or business owner, you need to make sure that you create balance in your life by making time for the activities or relationships that bring you happiness. Once you walk away from work for a little while, you will return energized and inspired.