Whether you spend twelve hours a day, six days a week or four hours a day, five days a week in and on your business, there is absolutely NO reason why you can’t find a happy balance of playing, thinking and doing during your business hours. Getting this balance right will lead you to more happiness as a business person which will reflect in all areas of your life. If you’re not having fun, if your overworked, or miserable, you’ve got the balance wrong! When the balance is wrong it’s far more easier for you to become disengaged, demotivated or worse case scenario, destroy your business.
Here’s the thing about an unbalanced business person living in an unbalanced business time: doing without spending time thinking will take you in any direction and there is a good possibility of going somewhere you don’t want to go. Over-thinking, on the other hand, can stop you from taking the necessary action needed to reach your goals. Too much thinking and too much doing without enough play lends for a very dull life indeed. Too much play, not enough doing or thinking – where does revenue come from? So, where’s the balance? The balance is dependent on what you define your business time as play, think and do.
We recently had this discussion in our business groups and one of the women said “Going through our profit and loss statements and reconciling the accounts is a play activity for me“. The creatives in the room recoiled at the thought of doing anything related to the financial aspect of their business; it’s just not fun for them. On the other hand, a male landscape designer said “Seeing my suppliers and going on annual three day trips to see all kinds of plants is my idea of happiness“. After twenty plus years in business, he knows that if he doesn’t book in these trips as a regular part of his business time he’d gets bored and loses his enthusiasm.
Some people may not enjoy the thinking part and some business don’t require much thinking anyway. Other people don’t enjoy much of the doing but love the thinking. Being human, I would think everyone loves to play but each individuals concept of play will be slightly if not completely different.
Here’s some questions to consider to get the balance right:
- What does play mean to you? E.g. Problem solving, learning new things.
- Where is the fun for you in your business? E.g. Client delivery (lots of problem solving), continuous professional development (lots of learning).
- What fires you up and engages you so much that you lose track of time? E.g. Attending seminars, networking, white boarding.
- What does it mean to take time out and think? E.g. Strategic thinking time (focus on big picture), creative thinking (disrupt your industry).
- What are the important things to think about for your business? E.g. Annual goals and tracking, ways to improve services, processes and systems.
- What are the essentials that generate the results for your business? E.g. Marketing and sales, customer service.
- Where are you wasting your time that could best be spent in play or think time? E.g. Admin, accounting.
- Would you hire yourself to do the roles you do in your business or could someone else do it better than you? E.g. You’re a designer and you do the financial activities but it takes you a very long time. Maybe it’s time to get a bookkeeper.
Do you have a good balance of play, think and do during your business hours?
Article by Angelique Milojevic