We've been there.
Working long hours , saying yes to what feels like everything that even hints at opportunity, putting life on general pause to up the hustle for a season. Suddenly you look up and realize that you haven't seen your spouse's face in weeks, your kids have grown, and your friends have moved on.
Maybe not that dramatic, but it's not hard to get swallowed up in work and forget to live.
In many cases it might feel like the gain in success is worth the price, but success means nothing when you don't have anyone to share it with. Often the price you pay is far greater than any gain to your career.
3 tips to avoid this mishap
1. Keep consistent work hours
Working set hours can not only keep your mind sharp but it also enables you to turn your phone off, close the laptop, power down your screen, and walk away knowing that you've packed in your work day and can move on to other things. Working in short time blocks set for work/fresh air/exercise/conversation/repeat is important for those working from a home office that deal with technology based environments. The 'fog' is a very real thing that happens when it's physically hard to disconnect from the work environment and place yourself in to a social environment. As someone that deals with screens all day long as about 90% of my job, I need to be proactive about preventing an onset of fog. That cloudy, gross feeling that comes after little human interaction, can be a trigger for depression for some that can lead to even deeper loss of connection to every day life. Remember to take care of yourself first. The greatest asset to your business is you, and if you're not working at full capacity, neither is your business.
2. Assess the payment
When you are gaining in one area, there is always another area you are paying from. For every yes, there is a no. You might get a new client deal, but you might be sacrificing a piano recital, a soccer game, a getaway trip with friends. Whatever pool of time you add to, you are drawing from another. This is where time management also comes in to play. Focusing solely on one area for a season and rotating through them as time allows is not wise in that either the clients feel your commitment is slipping when your focus is primarily on family, or your family and friends feel neglected when your work is your priority. When opportunity arises, first assess the payment - Where is it coming from, what will it cost, is it worth it? If the payment is higher than the potential gain, that's a pretty clear no in my books and leaves the window open for something that you can fit into your life without paying too high a price tag from your personal.
3. Model your business around your life
If being a friend/dad/mom/wife/husband comes first, put that aspect of yourself on the table as a mandatory requirement for understanding. Clients need to know from the get-go that your life is your priority. Set hours for contact via phone/facetime/meetings/etc. should be stated clearly, as well as a realistic reply time for emails and calls during "off hours". We at Market House run out of a 'People Over Profits' mentality and that carries over into our personal life as well. We thrive on relationship with our clients, but we also hold our relationships outside of work on a higher level than the work itself. We believe that to be truly great at your job, you need to care about the heart behind it. That includes theirs as well as yours. Society portrays an "all or nothing" mentality when it comes to being a business owner. It's ok to push back. Make your commitment to your relationships and personal life something that people hire you for, not something that works against you.
If you want to see how Market House can help free up some of your time so you can take in more of your life again, drop us a line - we'd love to hear from you!