Let’s face it, there are more and more freelancers and small technology businesses sprouting up these days (incredible). For all of us, time management hits close to home as the freedom that we have becomes a blessing and a curse at the same time. I reflect on this after just taking an entire day off this week (my teammates were worried about my general sanity and workload, and forced me to do it :)). I planned it out with my teammates, communicated expectations with clients, and ensured deliverables were delegated in a way so that this decision would still allow me to be responsible.
While just on the phone with a teammate, Josh Colter, we realized another thing: we set our own pace. I admit, I find myself waking up and checking email on the iPhone to prepare myself for what’s ahead that day and to answer anything important enough that “requires” my attention. This type of rush in the schedule can make one feeling as if they’re always catching up. And I’ve noticed (for myself), it’s often rooted in an unhealthy perspective. In fact, my wife and I have agreed to maintain the rule of even keeping the computer out of a certain room in the house so work doesn’t infringe more than it should.
One may ask: why stop when one can continue moving forward in building more solutions or gaining more clients to make happy, always progressing? With endless opportunities, and in a world (America, specifically speaking) where the race to improve only increases by the night – people (like ourselves at Elias) who desire a healthy balance of work and play are confronted with a decision to make. How will we pursue our ambitions while still keeping healthy priorities? Nonetheless, our goal for ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) has been a challenge to hold true to. We’re still learning.
Why do I say all this? Well, I feel it appropriate to communicate a few things that have become more clear to me on this wonderful day off:
- We set the pace. If we allow the culture around us to make us feel guilty for taking a day off, the reality is that we will feel guilty.
- Our challenge is to do the absolute utmost we can with the tools and skills we have, in an effort of working to live – not living to work.
- Time spent in front of the computer doesn’t necessarily equate to productivity and results. Often times, I find myself being more “productive” in a fewer amount of planned/organized hours. Thus, I’ve started taking time for myself each morning to jot out the needs/wants of the day (in respect to the overall progress of the week/month/year that follow). As a remotely connected team, this can be crucial for us as a company.
Oh, another thing to note: What did I do to ensure that I really had a full day off? Well, I did take action on a few of the following practical things (otherwise, it wouldn’t have been a true day off!):
- Turn off iPhone email push notifications
- Keep my business emails out of the inbox for the entire day
- Make the first thing I read during the day something non-work related
- Spend time reading, writing, praying, and progressing internally in forward thinking
Let us (together) live fully by working hard, playing hard, laughing hard, and crying hard.