Posted by: faultlessfinish | May 2, 2011

All Work and No Play…

…makes for a very unfulfilling life. As I’ve talked about in previous posts, two of the most challenging aspects of freelancing are finding a good work/life balance and not feeling guilty about taking time off. It’s vital for the success of your business (and life) to devote blocks of time solely to non-work activities. However, there are several ways you can grow your business that wouldn’t necessarily be considered work.

I’ve set some new goals for this month that I would like to share with you:

1. Do something you love every day (and work doesn’t count!) Not as easy as it sounds. Of course it’s important to spend time on professional development, but I believe it’s just as important to focus on personal development. Having something that you enjoy to look forward to every day helps keep you motivated and happy. And spending time on pursuits that you love will only make you a more well-rounded person and therefore more attractive to clients (and everyone else in your life).

2. Do something out of your comfort zone every week. While work is often challenging, it can become very easy to slip into a routine and coast through the weeks or months on autopilot. So give yourself a jump-start – go to an event where you don’t know anyone and start conversations with new people, public speak, try a new sport, or even read a book about a topic you are uncomfortable with. You just don’t know where the results will lead you. And if nothing else, you’ve cultivated a new skill, perhaps one that will be useful for your business.

3. Learn something new every day. This may sound quite vague, as we’re usually learning new things on a daily basis, but I mean make a concerted effort to learn about a topic that interests you. Do some extra research on your field or read up on a concept you heard about years ago and never bothered to explore. You don’t have to devote hours a day to this – as little as fifteen minutes, even five, would suffice. Incorporate it into your work day – make it something to look forward to. Knowledge is never a waste and will ultimately only help you further your business.

Become a renaissance man or woman of your time – learn, grow, challenge. Make it a priority to become a more well-rounded individual for the sake of your business but more importantly, for your own sake. Life is to be lived.

How do you challenge yourself?

Namaste 🙂

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Responses

  1. I challenge myself every day to make high quality use of my time no matter what I’m doing. This means no mindless sitting in front of the tv (no cable in the house so this one isn’t too tough!), and always doing my best to think in terms of priorites, what is going to give me the biggest bang for my buck!

  2. Great idea, Adrienne! My cable wasn’t working for a few months and it was so liberating.

  3. I like this post FF and I think it is something that most people struggle with often throughout their working lives. I really liked your second idea and that’s something I have been trying to do myself for years now.

    Like you said in your third point I agree it is important to challenge yourself to learn, even with the abundance of spontaneity and learning that new careers provide. I learned this the hard way; In my job almost every patient presents me with some new problem or challenge, I did feel treating them to the best of my ability but I found that after awhile I was treating patients too much based on formulaic methods of rehab, rather than on creativity and problem solving which I think is crucial to adapting to their problems. To amend for this a few months back I started booking off 4 hours every Thursday as self-learning time: I would grab a textbook, head over to the local coffee shop, and then just sit and read up on some question or some patient I had that week who I felt like I could have given more to had there been more within me to give. To say the idea was well received and understood by my colleagues would be an over-statement but I felt like the time away really gave my mind a chance to re-focus and be a better practitioner which superseded any financial loss.

    Great post FF. I also think a talk I saw a few years ago may be interesting to you; while the presenter has his own methods, I think it speaks well to the topic of work/life balance.

  4. Thanks for your comment, Chris! I think your idea of devoting those four hours every Thursday to personal development is a fantastic idea. It’s definitely outside the norm in the 9-5 world, but I think employers need to understand the importance of “recharge” time, even if it’s during the work week.

  5. Omigosh, I’m so on autopilot these days! =P I suck at prioritizing, so I’ve been spending way too much time responding to messages and emails.

    Thanks for this post, Rachel! I love how you rationalize doing something I love every day. This past weekend, I went to a field with my partner and we practiced acrobatics. Made a huge difference to my energy and self-esteem and the effects have carried over even to today! =)

    What are some of the things you do that you love? =)

  6. That’s so great, Samantha! I hope you keep finding time to energize yourself like that.

    I love being outside! I live really close to the mountains so I just love to surround myself with nature. I go for long walks and runs. I love yoga as well. And finding new music. I could sit and listen to a new band for hours 🙂

    • Wow! Sounds like you’re really active! You would love the Andes. =)

      • Haha, yeah I probably would! What do you enjoy doing?

  7. Never underestimate the sounds of a flowing water. Through in some mountains or cliffs for a back drop, some nice sunshine, and everything seems perfect. Throw some fishing tackle into the water, and wait. Catching anything is always a bonus, but you just have to admire the surroundings.

  8. Agreed!!

  9. Hmm! I really love going for walks with my partner. We call them “paseos,” which literally translates to “stroll,” but it also has the feeling of going on vacation or going somewhere far away, even if we’re just walking through the city. =)

    I also really like dancing, gymnastics and reading. =)

    Thanks for asking, Rachel! =)


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