A few weeks ago, my wife said to me, “do you realize you work incessantly?”. She said it with no judgement or anger towards me. It was just a fact and she voiced it. For some reason I heard her words, I did not push back, I just let it settle in.
As the Chief Worry Officer (CWO) at my companies, in 2017 I realized that my work had become 24/7. If I was not actually working on something, I was worrying about something else. My days had become a grind.
After my wife’s comments, I started connecting symptoms to causes. Not sleeping well. Feeling of unease often and expecting the worst…just around the corner. My remedy for the unease had been to just work more. I have not checked the signs for exhaustion or burn out, but I was probably getting there.
I am guessing that most people running startups, or their own businesses, often feel or experience similar reactions to the stress of entrepreneurialism. It is a roller coaster ride!
I always am reading articles about taking time off and its restorative power…and how it helps you get more done.
Bonus points is that aha moments often happen when the (my) brain is disengaged.
However, I realized I had developed a great reluctance to “not” working. There was always something else to do that was a big priority.
That actualized itself into my current day to day of: no hobbies, no sports, no volunteering or no time to be like a kid again!
Jim was a dull boy!
The CEO in me overrode the CWO and took action. I volunteered at the dog shelter, restrung my old tennis racquet, started doing yoga and tried not working on a weekend.
Data analysis is that as of today I have 9 hours in at the dog shelter, I have played tennis twice, yoga is an every other day routine and last weekend I only worked 3 hours. My goal is to schedule something fun, active or giving, everyday…AND look forward to it.
What a surprise. I feel fantastic. My work output has increased with less hours employed. I sleep better and I get to meet some really cool dogs and we talk about important stuff!