Thursday, 6 September 2007

Successful People Book Time Off Before Work Time

I've felt for a long time that the masses have got things wrong when it comes to work and play. People generally play their time off around their work and many work themselves to a point of exhaustion before finally conceding that they needed to take some time off to recharge their batteries. This means that time off is often not fully optimised.

However, the more I studied successful people the more I realised that they had a very different approach. First of all successful people do what they love and because of this they are naturally more energetic. I was listening to a presentation by Dr John Demartini recently. He said that he has over 400 speaking engagements this year. Yes, he has more speaking engagements than there are days in a year but he absolutely loves what he does. Work to Dr Demartini, and others like him, is play.

Yet successful people still regularly schedule time off to relax, spend time with family and friends, experience new adventures, reflect and contemplate, etc. The thing is that they tend to schedule their work around their play.

Peter Thomson, the UK's leading strategist on business and personal growth advises:

"Always book the 'time off' before you book the 'time on'."

Life is not just about hard work. Life is also meant to be enjoyed. What you gain through taking regular time off is immeasurable. Benefits include improved health and well being and also increased profitability.

With improved health and vitality you are better able to perform in your business. When you allow yourself to have regular breaks your thinking becomes clearer and you become a better strategist. This is far better for long term sustainability rather than being a tactician. It is the difference between working to a long term vision and plan and working on a day-to-day basis to put out fires. Time off work also allows your creativity to develop. But how does having more time off improve your bottom line, your profitability?

Have you ever noticed how your productivity increases just prior to going on holiday? There are things which have to be done and you pull out the stops in order to complete them. There are some individuals who confess to not having a holiday in years. Can you imagine that? It's like being caught in a rut. Now, also imagine how your productivity would increase if you were to schedule regular breaks? Here's how your working ethic would change. You would:

1. Be better organised
2. Better prioritise your workload
3. Work smarter instead of harder

You would also discover ways in which you could earn the same amount of money in a shorter space of time and you would develop streams of passive or residual income so that you were earning money even while at play.

So here's my challenge to you. Get a year planner for 2008 and schedule the time that you will take off during the year. Then decide where you will go and what you will do during that time. Make it exciting. Then think about what you will need to have in place and the things you will need to do to make your plans a reality. Don't worry that you don't have all the resources - financial or otherwise - in place at this time. You'll be amazed at how things can fall into place once you are clear about your goals.

You may also want to create a vision board that symbolises the places and people you will visit and the things you will do during your time off. Place your vision board in a prominent place to inspire you as you work.

Now you need to examine how you can improve your efficiency and productivity at work. Make a list of ten things you will implement over the next month and once you've successfully implemented those actions continue to add to the list. One excellent way to improve your efficiency and productivity is to make a list of everything that you do. From that list identify the things which you are 'qualified' to do, do well and that only you can do. Find a way to delegate or outsource everything else. This act alone will free up your time so that you can focus on what will increase your profit.

So book your time off work before your work time and remember:

"Life is best enjoyed when time periods are evenly divided between labour, sleep, and recreation...all people should spend one-third of their time in recreation which is rebuilding, voluntary activity, never idleness."
Brigham Young

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