This past weekend I had two solid days with my friends and family. One day I was enjoying a BBQ at a friend’s home and the next I was spending time with my kids and the neighbours on our back deck, breathing in the lilacs, laughing, eating, and enjoying a beer. I did not lose sleep about the work I had to get done or feel guilty about giving up family time for business.
I hear a lot of business owners complain they don’t have enough time to do everything they feel must get done. They don’t ever take a vacation. They don’t get weekends or evenings for themselves. They work all the time but their business is still not generating the money they want or they cannot grow to the size they want. There are many factors involved in this, and I don’t want to simply negate the hard work and challenges that come with owning a business, but I do want to give you a simple tool to allow you to add important family stuff into your calendar. By important, I don’t just mean weddings, I mean family dinners, time with your kids at the beach, beer on the back deck with your neighbours, walks in the forest, etc. These are the things that create space in your life to be able to continue to push through the challenging times and also help keep you healthy (mentally and physically).
So here is my big secret! – “Block it in your calendar.” By “block it” I mean book it and treat it like an appointment you cannot miss. When someone says, can you meet tomorrow afternoon, and your calendar says, “take kids to the beach”, your answer is, “I am booked between 1 and 3 pm. How does 4:00 pm work for you? Don’t tell them what you are booked for. Don’t say, “I have an appointment” or “I can’t at that time, I’m with my kids,” just tell them you are booked. Your personal time is an important time in your calendar. The more you get used to knowing that all your blocked times are essential to you and your business; like meeting the bank manager or a client, you will see your personal times as important and they will become a bigger part of the success of your life. Making your personal time a regular, important, and a non-negotiable item in your calendar emphasises the value it is to you. If you want more wealth, start by being wealthy at home.