Find Time to Do What You Love
If you’re like many business owners, you started your company to do something you enjoyed. Maybe you were a chef and you started a restaurant, or a doctor who wanted to take care of people, or a marketer who enjoyed the creative challenge of engaging customers with a product. Whatever it was, you started your company to do that thing.
Along the way, you figured out you also had to do sales, bookkeeping, human resources, and dozens of other tasks which take time out of your day and your week. So how much time do you really spend doing what you set out to do? It’s unlikely that 100% of your day is comprised with things that you love. At some point, you have to deal with an unhappy employee, preparing paperwork for your accountant, or calling clients who are behind in payments.
Get back to what you love
It is important that you make time for the things you really enjoy doing. Here’s a simple test that every business owner should conduct at least once a year. Draw a box on a piece paper, and number the squares 1 – 4 and fill each box with answers to four simple questions about how you spend our time.
What’s in your box
Box #1 – What are the things you get to do that you enjoy. This is the easy box. Hopefully you have a few things that come to mind right away; your job, spending time with family and friends, vacations, or just carving out an hour to read a book.
Box # 2 – What’s on your wish list? These are the things that you would do if you had more time. As I answered this question I felt a sense of regret. These are things I love to do, but rarely seem to find time to fit them into my week.
Box # 3 – Which activities drag you down? The trick to this exercise is to find ways to get things on this list off your plate, or do them more efficiently so you have time to invest in things which will bring you joy.
Box # 4 – What tasks have you let go of? Celebrate the things in this box and your strength in letting them go. Maybe it is a bad habit or toxic relationship or a job that was sucking the joy out of your days. Letting go of things that weigh you down is as valuable as making time for things that lift you up.
Commit to take action
The next part of the exercise was harder. Sam asked us to pick something from Box #2 and schedule it for some time in the next few weeks. And just to make sure we didn’t back out, we needed to find an accountability buddy in the room and share our commitment.
As I was scheduling my event, I realized the power of putting a date on my calendar. Instead of hoping I will carve out some time, I have an appointment, not just with myself but with my accountability buddy. And I find myself excited and looking forward to keeping that appointment.
Bring the Four Squares Into Your Business
As important as it is to have a balanced life, it is also important to have a balanced business. So I am going to do this exercise again, this time with my team. As we have grown, everyone has projects and tasks on their plates that they love or hate. While we can’t get rid of all the things we don’t like to do (after all we have to keep the lights on), we can look at ways to creatively manage our schedules so there is more balance and more joy.
What about you? What will you move from Box #2 to Box #1? What will you make time for, and what will you take off your plate?
#562 Make Time for What You Love
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