As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in work and allow your weekends to blend with your work week. The Founder of Tesla Motors & SpaceX, Elon Musk said he tends to work 100 hours a week and recent studies show that some of the most successful people work 60-65 hours –which translates into at least six 10-hour days.
Numbers like these would scare a lot of people. Numbers like these would make some people go on strike and others scream for their sanity.
Are these people working too much?
I don’t think so. Especially if they’re happy with what they’re doing for work and still make time for the little things that matter to them. Yet, I’d be lying to suggest that I haven’t had moments where I’ve ignored the little things and put 150% into my work. I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t love what I do and that I wish I could have those moments back… That said, there’s definitely a balance. Actually no… It’s not balance – It’s an integration between your work and social life that give you the ability to live life on your own terms.
For me, I love weekends, I love mondays, I love tuesday and I love Sundays – especially during the NFL season. In fact, I don’t discriminate my days of the week and love each of them equally. I’m a firm believer that if you hate Mondays you should change your job and if you hate Saturdays, you should change your friends (Tweet This). And if you feel like your weekends are a blur of work, it might be time to reconsider how you’re spending them.
I know you’re busy. I know you have goals. But you also have to take care of yourself and ensure you don’t reach burnout. Here are a couple things I do to keep my own sanity and enjoy my weekends while integrating some work into my schedule:
Challenge Yourself To Try Something New
Habits are great but sometimes you just have to break them for sanity sake. As you start your weekend, switch things up by doing something that you’ve never done before. It doesn’t have to be something crazy like jumping out of a plane or flying half way around the world – it just needs to be something different. It could be something as simple as going to a library and finding a book you’ve been dying to read or trying that sushi dish that you’ve been afraid to try. It’s these simple actions that will help make your weekend memorable and fulfil the need to try new things and break the norm.
Life is about challenging ourselves to get comfortable being uncomfortable. The moment we challenge ourselves to do new things is the moment we start moving forward and growing as individuals. I’m not personal development coach but I do value the idea of growth. Growth in your career. Growth in your relationships. Growth in all aspects of your life.
The moment we stop growing is the moment we start standing still. The moment we stop challenging ourselves is the moment we get comfortable. The moment we get comfortable is the moment we’ll someday regret. This weekend, challenge yourself to do something different. Call an old friend. Try hot yoga for the first time. Do something that you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to doing it.
Turn Off Your Damn Cell Phone
How far is your smart phone from you right now? Is it in your hand as you read this?
If not, I bet you could find it in less than 10 seconds if you had too.
Instead of allowing your cellphone to control your life, ensure that you control your cellphone. When you’re out with your friends, be out with your friends. If you need to force yourself and everyone around you to get unplugged for an evening – Do it!
I love the ad above. It’s from Guinness and is inspired by the phone stacking game. The phone stacking game is a bar game where everyone stacks their phone and the first person to grab their phone buys a round for everyone. It’s simple. Brilliant. And works.
Get Outside & Get Active
It’s easy to get stuck behind your desk, plug in the headphones and get lost in your work, cat pictures, social media and funny videos. The problem with this is not only in how it negatively impacts your health but also in the impact it has on your ability to be productive and energized.
Getting outside or just making a conscious effort to stay active can improve your overall happiness. Studies show that it can positively impact those who suffer from insomnia, it eases anxiety and it will make you less stressed. This tweet from Patrick McKenzie hits the nail on the head:
For solo entrepreneurs, best productivity gained per dollar expended: pocket wifi router plus data plan. Second best: gym membership.
— Patrick McKenzie (@patio11) May 21, 2014
At the end of the day, we were not designed to go 24/7, 365. We were designed to sprint, rest, sprint — just like a professional athlete. If you’re constantly pushing yourself to the limit, you’ll eventually pull a hammy and fall on your face. Ok, maybe that’s a bad analogy but you get what I’m saying. Don’t push yourself too hard or you’re going to burn out.
It’s less about working hard and more about working smart. That’s the motto of a true hustler. I’ve talked about this before. You need to optimize your time between work and life to maximize your ability to get closer to your dreams. It’s the little things like making the decision to cab somewhere so you can take a call in the backseat or ensuring that your vacation destinations have wifi. A hustlers lifestyle isn’t about work-life balance… It’s about work-life integration (Tweet This).
Next time someone asks how you’re doing, don’t talk about how busy you are. Talk about the things you’re doing that are actually exciting. Whether it’s details around what you’ve been up to on your weekends or up to with your next project. Being busy isn’t something you should hold as a trophy with pride but enjoying life and doing the things that you love definitely is.