Have you ever thought about how many hours you work compared to how much time you set aside for what truly matters in your life?
I recently came across a book my leadership coach gave me called “Strength to Strength” by Arthur Brooks. The author unravels our relationship with work and success and he puts a spotlight on the line between passion and obsession. As I flipped through the pages I came across a few hard-hitting questions that caused me to pause. It was a good place to stop to inspect what I expect.
- Do you work well beyond what is required of you?
- Do you usually spend your discretionary time in work activities?
- Does it make you anxious or unhappy when someone — such as your spouse — suggests you take time away from work activities even when nothing in your work is unusually pressing?
I’m crazy passionate about my work and I have more ideas that I can implement. The potential I see in A.I. convinces me that there are more opportunities today than ever before.
That doesn’t mean I should pour myself into them like I’ve done so many times in the past. I have to lean hard against this tendency because I’m wired to go fast and hard when I want something and believe I can do it. The irony is, I truly love my work, but the reality is, work is not my problem. My approach to it is. It’s the fuel that kicks my addiction up a few notches. My addiction is my work.
Life is filled with moments of truth, those defining moments that ripple through our lives and in some cases the lives of others, like my recent decision to sell my 25-year old company that I started back in college during my days at Ohio State. This was a game-changer for me, and a necessary one so I could let go of something that had a hold on me for a long time. It was my time to pivot — and it was a good time to make this decision.
Letting go of this constant and never-ending need to go so hard and achieve so much is tough. It’s not always easy or practical to make a change, but when you want it bad enough, you can find a way. The alternative is to wait, but somehow life has a funny way of kicking us in the gut until making a change feels inevitable.
This idea of “letting go” aligns with our relationship with time, our most precious commodity. Why? Because no matter how successful you are, and no matter how much wealth you can accumulate, everything with a price tag is replaceable. Time, not so much.
Value of Time
Waste it, use it, or invest it, but you can’t get it back — And with every passing second, we can change. I have to remind myself often that even though I can’t see my clock ticking doesn’t mean it’s not…..It’s a harsh reality — because all of our clocks are descending, not ascending.
In our fast-paced world filled with constant noise and chatter, it’s important to slow down and embrace, protect, and guard against wasting our time. Less is more in this case and falling in love with saying “No” to more so we can say YES to what really matters.
Work life balance can certainly make good headlines, but I don’t buy it. Instead, I recommend cheating. Cheat with your time. Cheat towards your priorities. Cheat towards your loved ones.
My gut tells me that’s the key to growing old with no regrets. I doubt that, looking back, I’ll be bummed that I didn’t get my emails to an inbox zero.
What do you think? How many hours do you work? How much do you try and balance? How’s that working out for ya?