Okay, so I just read another time management article on Medium. It is great advice and down to earth. I applaud Zdravko Cvijetic who incidentally is an excellent contributor on Medium. I encourage everyone to go read his article here.
I agree with Zdravko that the current advice on time management is a bit off track on how to manage one’s time. I also believe that Z nailed the four pillars of productivity as he puts it. And he did it in an easy to follow method which helps us all.
So if I agree with Z, why am I writing this? Because his article brought to mind a recent epiphany of mine that one additional thing is missing from all the time management advice I have read and tried to implement over the years. No one ever addresses play time!
Why Do We Need Play Time
If I work hard to manage my time and be successful, where does that leave me? It leaves me drained and weary, that’s where.
I’ve also heard from other mentors about their commitment and the time they work on passion projects. Stuart Ross, Founder of the Six Figure Mentors, noted in one speech that he was getting ‘sour and surly’ and he didn’t like that about himself. He has also been an entrepreneur long enough to know that he was becoming sour because he was working too much. Yes, he was driven and excited and passionate and loved what he was doing and his work was moving him closer to his dreams and vision. But it was turning him into a bear for other people to be around and work with.
I’ve seen this in myself and other workaholics.
We can be great time managers and highly efficient in our business lives but if we do not take the time to play then what are we working so hard to be successful for? Aren’t we doing to ourselves what our former bosses did? Demand all of our time in producing for ‘the business’? Didn’t we become entrepreneurs to achieve Freedom? To achieve a ‘work/life balance’?
Don’t Become a Burnout
So what I propose is that in your pursuit of Freedom and Happiness, in your drive towards success through helping others, be sure to schedule in your play time so that you don’t become burnt out and forget your mission and vision.
Be efficient. Set your goals. Schedule your focused work time. Be creative. Meditate. Pursue your vision with passion. And make time to play.
I have always struggled with weight management. One of the most effective systems I ever used was the “Body for Life” system by Bill Phillips, Founder of Energy-Athletic-Strength (EAS). It is a great 12 week meal and exercise plan that is intense but gives great results if you stick with it.
One of the key success factors that Bill built into this effective system is that it has a ‘cheat day’ every week. A day where you forget about your meal plans and pig out on a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs if that is your dream food. Or maybe a whole pizza like me. And forget about the gym on that day too.
You see, Bill figured out that any system that denies us what we really want is not sustainable. When we humans want something, we usually will do whatever it takes to get it. In the case of a weight loss program that denies us all our favorite foods, we quit fighting our weight and go back to bad habits of eating whole pizzas. In the case of pursuing our vision, without play, we lose our ability to focus on that vision and lose our Why we started in the first place. This then steals our reason for working when things are hard or we are tired.
I believe we need to look at our play time the same way.
Put In The Hard Work and Then Remember To Play
Being an entrepreneur means putting in the hard work if you truly want to achieve your dreams and real Freedom. But if you put in the hard work without the play time to enjoy yourself then you are following a time management system that denies you the Freedom and time you really want.
Just like dieting and endless sessions at the gym, this is not a sustainable system.
So again I say pursue your vision with passion. Set your goals. Be efficient. Schedule your focused work time. Be creative. Meditate. Read empowering books. Listen to Podcasts that expand your mind. Learn new skills.
And schedule time to play.
One last thing…
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Founder, Freedom Life Solutions