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When a little time off can help bring balance

At home this weekend I had what for me, was a crazy, crazy thought. I was mulling over everything that’s happening right now, all the people being sent home to work, being sent home without work and just the surreal nature of a world in lockdown when it suddenly hit me. 

A sense of relief. A sense of relaxation. That feeling you get when for a split second, you dream about ‘what if’.

What if you won $300m on the lottery tomorrow?

What would you do first? Where would you go? How would it feel? 

It was that kind of feeling except I hadn’t won the lottery, I was simply thinking ‘what if I stayed home for a few days, or a few weeks, and didn’t have to work my normal normal 60-70 hour week’. As the thought rolled around my head it actually felt… good!

It only lasted a few seconds before ‘reality’ set back in. Of course I’d still be working, even if it was from home. 

As an entrepreneur who’s spent almost 6 years thinking about, building and then growing my current business, taking time off or even weekends off is something that just hasn’t been on the cards a whole lot. I’m not saying I work seven days every week, or never stop, but to actually be home for one or two weeks, unable to leave, left me with a feeling that at first had a glimmer of excitement, but quickly turned into guilt. 

  • Was it ok that I liked the idea of not doing any work and just ‘switching off’, vegging with so many others and just relaxing?
  • Shouldn’t my responsibility to build stability for my team and customers drive me to not stop?
  • Was it ok that I secretly got excited for a few minutes at the idea of just being home?

Although I’m not sure I could really do that because I’m wired to hustle, I know that deep down, finding the balance of work life and home life is an ongoing struggle. I want to spend more time with my kids. I want to be in the moments when I’m home more and find a way to force my mind to switch the rest off even though it won’t relax long enough for me to stop looking for ways to do better, to grow more and serve my customers in an improved way. I suspect many of my entrepreneurial friends are the same.

These feelings of relief mixed with anxiety tell me I need to do better.

So if you’re healthy stay healthy out there. If you’re sick, I’m sorry to hear it and I’m believing with you that you’ll be fighting back in no time, going on to make a dent in the world. But if you’re somewhere in between like me, let’s take a deep breath, tell ourselves it’s ok, push the guilt away and think of it like ice cream, it’s always ok to have a little, as long as we don’t eat the whole tub.