“Who can afford the time?”
This is a phrase that becomes more common in our conversations as we progress into our adult years, but you will notice yourself referencing it more also as your mindset shifts.
I shared this thought with my mom, the irony of how when we don’t have money we want money, but when we have money we want time. Given my mom has a few additional decades of life experience under her belt, she extended my observation and said “and when you have time you will want health.”
As I have progressed through my career and been fortunate enough to reach a certain level of financial stability, I have worked harder and harder with each passing year. When I did have time to reflect, I realized that I hadn’t seen some of my closest friends in months, that it’s abnormal for me to have lunch at regular lunch hours, that I rarely finish work before 11 PM at night.
I WANT TIME
If I continue working at this pace and shouldering additional workload in the future I will quickly want health, because I am already feeling the repercussions of late nights staying up working, weekends spent working, and with that the lack of time for regular exercise to maintain my health.
I am sure you have compromised time and health for work if you are in your 20s and 30s. Does this sound like something you have done?
“Oh it’s ok, I can eat lunch after I get this done at 2PM.”
If you mess up your eating schedule consistently and starve yourself, your will quickly feel the effects of your health deteriorating (maybe not in your 20s, but in your 30s you will realize you DO only have ONE body).
“Let’s get together next month? How’s the third Thursday of next month looking for you to grab a coffee together?”
Is it hard to maintain a friendship with you? Pumping out great work you take pride in is great, but don’t forget about your support network; if you don’t put in the time to see them and nurture the relationship, they won’t be there when you need them most.
“Sure I can work the weekend.”
This is where you have to learn to say no. Being in the agency / consulting business, some clients assume you are on call 24/7. Know that just like everyone else, you need your down time in order to be a functional human being, so even IF you are working over the weekend, make sure you have at least one day to yourself. The mind needs to recharge for those great ideas!
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
This doesn’t mean I am going to drop a bunch of work and enjoy some extra time off, it means I need to figure out the million dollar question of ‘work-life’ balance. The solution is to delegate efficiently so I can free up my time to focus on running the business. Realistically, it will not happen overnight, but at the very least I have mapped out a path to get there.
Hopefully I can figure out how to have more freedom with my time before my ‘want’ for health kicks in. My mom refers to our want for health following a common career path of getting into the workforce in your 20s (money phase), working until you are 65 (time phase), and then travelling with your savings (health phase). The current generation seems to be a bit more flexible with the time phase, fitting in a variety of travels starting from their university years.
Plan for the phase before you mentally hit a wall and ask the question(s) “why don’t I have time?” or “why am I not healthy?”
What’s your solution?