Get A Life! | Idea Firm

Get A Life!

 In How to Be a Pro, Managing, Delegating, and Leading, Time Management

Do you need to get a life? When I was a teenager, my father scolded me for mowing the lawn, doing my chores, and working on my car on the weekends. (That’s my dad on his Harley in 1946.) He asked me why I went to school, worked all week, and then worked all weekend too? He suggested that I get better organized, hustle, and complete my chores during the week, which would free up my weekends to do things I enjoyed. His philosophy was “Work Hard-Play Hard.” He said a person needs the time away from work to re-energize and re-inspire themselves. He should know, that’s him jumping his 1949 Harley one weekend. He said life is like a fly-wheel, the work/play, work/play, back and forth creates balance in our lives. He said “it’s not just play that we need, but curiosity and imagination.” He was interested in the world, science, the arts, and learning new things. He was very involved with his children and grandchildren, a photographer, backpacker, reader, poet, music lover, gunsmith, cyclist, motorcyclist, car enthusiast, traveled all of Europe on foot and by train. He walked the walk. He set a good example. Work Hard-Play Hard! How about you? Do you have balance in your life that keeps you inspired?

Numerous clients have gotten used to putting excessive hours into their business. I have certainly been guilty of this myself off and on over the years. Some clients have literally never taken a vacation until after my arrival. Re-read my piece on “the time value of money “ discussion… If you still worked for your previous employer, they would have no doubt told you to go home to your family and you would have most likely taken the weekends off. Do you value your free time in your own business now?

One of my mentors was the director of HR for Proctor and Gamble. He said if he hired an executive and noticed the light on in his/her office too often after 5 pm or on the weekends, he would be planning to fire them. He would have believed he made a bad hire, that the person was incapable of managing, delegating, and completing their work during normal work hours. My recommendations to clients are to plan 4-5 days off every 90 days to go away and take a trip. The mental downtime will open your mind back up. You may have to force yourself to do this but just do it. You will likely feel out of place and believe it’s a waste of time and you should be back at work – you’re wrong. Just stick with it and don’t stop. You will come back better, refreshed, and with new ideas if you take time off. You and your company will be stronger in your absence, not weaker. Begin taking time away immediately if you are not already. Work Hard-Play Hard!

Consider four ideas:

  • List your work priorities
  • List the personal priorities that re-charge your battery
  • Think about family/friend relationships… What do these people need you that will make their lives better?
  • Get out your calendar, and schedule 3-4 days off every 90 days. Start Now!

I hope you win the day!


About the Author

Hi, I’m John Blakeney!

Since 1999, I’ve dedicated my life to building high-performing people and companies. I’ve been hired to advise hundreds of CEOs and I’ve doubled revenue for most of my clients. I have hired and trained thousands of employees in leadership, and on how to be profitable business decision-makers. Clients include small businesses, mid-market, and Fortune 500 Companies. I’m an active keynote speaker on leadership and a university educator on innovation. For fun, some friends and I brew IPAs with attitude. My wife and I are parents to three adult children.

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