Stop working in 2013 for a more insightful 2014
Posted on January 01, 2014
For those of you who know what 4HWW means, you will already know the deeper meaning underlying what this post is about. Basically I wanted to ask you all to do me a favour, and make the most of the new year:
Just stop working.
Seriously! Don't quit your job or your business, just stop doing work. Why? Because I want you to get as close to meditation as possible, and let's not lie to ourselves, we aren't going to sit there cross legged and rid our conscious minds of the trappings of daily life. I realise that you're not that much closer to a meditative state by simply not working, but by not working you have freed up some time which is everyone's biggest barrier. Meditation allows you to free your mind to try and get as close as possible to attaining a high level of serenity and inner peace. The likelihood of you transcending our current plane is very unlikely, but even trying meditation gives you a new perspective because you're considering things differently! Ever heard the phrase "you've got to want help before you can truly receive help"? Well the same applies here, you've got to want to improve your business and that means taking some downtime to have a high-level reshuffle of how your life plays out every day. Ultimately after taking a bit of time off, you will have fresh ideas and you will have experiences that aren't biased by work requirements.
There are other benefits too which are obvious but I spose I should spell them out: I want you to destress and relax! The most important thing with managing or running an effective business is in my books knowing when you need downtime. Failure to properly look after yourself means that your business, your staff and your clients suffer, along with you - So it's never good for anyone.
For four years before starting my engagement with Optimising I had been running three different companies, collectively consuming a vast number of hours a week (80+) with millions in revenue that made spending all the time working worth it. Financially. And only financially. Mentally it burdened me beyond belief, personal-life wise I lost relationships, and it gave me the false sense of superiority because not only was I living the dream of every young entrepreneur, but somehow burying myself in work meant I could avoid life. I could hide in plain sight and nothing could touch me even though I seemingly had no barriers up.
This April I read the 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss a sixth time, and realised I had leveraged myself to the hilt but missed a golden nugget of learning: just because you can draw blood from a stone doesn't mean you need to wring it dry. Taking time out for several months and simply putting my work on hold allowed me to realise that I was content with a fraction of the workload (and the associated changes that came with it), so I took the necessary steps to focus on the 20% that gives me 80%. Now I produce some of the best and most creative work of my life and I have what I truly priorities: flexibility. See financial freedom is just one part of having a flexible life, and by taking a step back, I was able to readjust things so they worked much better for me. Not everyone starts or ends in the same place when they do this, but now is a great time where the rest of the business world is predominantly shut down and there are a large group of people who think it's smart to work during this period because they "get stuff done".
Don't. I can't stress this enough. You aren't trying to just get things done, you are trying to live a fulfilling and exciting life, the minutes of our day filled with things that make us happy. Yes there are boring minutes and tedious minutes. But we all know life is getting "faster", so when did we forget we are the ones that can set how fast that speed is?