I know, I know, you want business tips, not life tips.  But here’s a truth that I have learned over the years: without balance in your life, you will never be as good at business as you could be.  No matter how dedicated, smart, and talented you may be, we all need time to clear our heads, before getting back to work.

Have you ever spent hours trying to solve a problem, only to give up in frustration?  But then, upon revisiting the problem a day or two later, immediately spotted an obvious solution?  We often experience this same scenario with our work life.  We focus so hard that we drive ourselves crazy and, as a result, we end up missing obvious solutions.  So what should you do about it?  Here are a couple of suggestions that have helped me and my clients:

  1. Try to have at least one work-free day each week.  For most small business owners, the idea of taking a weekend completely off is laughable.  And I know that oftentimes, taking even one day off is impossible.  But as much as you possibly can, try to give yourself at least one off day each week.  You’ll return to work the next day rested, focused, and re-energized.

  2. Pursue your hobbies.  It’s easy to become so wrapped up in your business that they don’t have time for any other interests.  But in the long run this will hurt you.  Pursue your hobbies, whether that means playing sports, riding your motorcycle, or playing in a garage band.  Life is too short to neglect your passions—and the time you spend pursuing your hobbies is a great way to clear your mind.

  3. Spend time building relationships.  Whether it is your spouse, your kids, other relatives, or your friends, it is important to cultivate your non-work relationships. Make a list of the relationships you value and make it a point to spend time each week growing these relationships—even if it is only a quick phone call.

Trust me, I understand the demands that running a business places on your time.  I’ve run my own businesses for decades and I’ve helped hundreds of clients to do the same.  But the reality is that, in order to maximize your potential as a business owner, it is critical that you find the time to get away and relax.

What are your thoughts on “balance”? Are you able to spend time each week on non-business related activities? How have you made time to relax and recharge?