Don't let the title fool you, this isn't going to be a blog about the obvious reasons why you're too busy to do anything. This is about the less obvious reasons your busy and why you should take a step back and breath for a bit.
Here's a little story for you. There was once a guy who was so hell bent on getting his business off the ground that he spent every waking hour trying to get his name out there. He has a wife and 2 kids and his motivation was to make as much money as he can doing what he loves to provide for the the family he loves. One day, his wife says to him, "Do you want to have a date night?" He replies, "I can't I gotta meet with (insert person's name here) about this project". She becomes furious and tell him she wants a divorce. Confused by what she just said, he asked, "Where did this come from?" She says, "You're never here! All you do is business this and business that! You never spend time with me or the kids and I'm sick of it!". That's when it hit him, he spent too much time trying to make a life for his family instead of living his life with his family.
We all get a little preoccupied when it comes to business, some might say it's like raising a child. You may read this story and say, "Wow, that's totally made up". Well, not entirely. This story comes from many stories that I've heard over the past few years about different people getting into business and not knowing when to hang up the business hat for the day. So in order to save yourself the emotional stress of what happened to the guy in the story, here are some ways to know if you're taking on too much work.
There was a time where I was doing the video version of Cranked Up Live and I gotta say, it was a blast! Like other things in life, it came with a price. The show was recorded, mixed and then sent to me by Thursday for me to edit and upload by Thursday night so I can have it uploaded and ready for viewing by Friday. Some days, the computer wasn't as cooperative as I needed it to be so I'd spend 5-6 hrs doing that on top of all the stuff I normally do in a day. I usually wake up about 5 in the morning everyday and start working. On those days, sometimes I'd be in bed by 1 a.m. trying to get everything done. It took a few weeks for me to realize that I was neglecting my responsibilities at home for the sake of a 1 hour show. Eventually, the viewership started going down and they decided to cut the video show. Although I was disappointed with that decision, I understood. When that first week rolled around and I didn't have to do it, I felt a wave of relief wash over me and I was able to hang out with my wife again. I wasn't tired or agitated, I was my normal self again. I didn't know it at the time, but I did take on too much at once. I had my normal clientele and I added a weekly rush job that had to be done in a matter of hours. If you look at the videos that I did for them, you'll see why some night's I was up so late.
There are other times where you want to do whatever you can to make your client happy, and there's nothing wrong with that at all, but don't make yourself on call 24/7. You may decide you want to do something next weekend and then that client calls you up and says, "Hey, we need this ASAP!" and you feel obligated to drop all your plans to get it done for them. That's where things can get messy too. When you have you're business hours set, stick with it. You don't see real estate agents trying to show a house at 10:30 at night. Unless you're in the medical field and you're working in a hospital or another member of a first responder team or a plumber, you shouldn't be working on call. (I'm sure there's other professions that are on call 24/7 but let's just stick with these for now). Know your limits and know when to call it a day. Everyone needs some mental time to rest. I know it may be hard to do that when you're in business, but you'll find the time when your health comes into the equation.
Make the time for yourself and your family. Yes, business is an important thing to manage and maintain, but so is the family you're trying to support and who supports you as well. Hopefully these tips will open your eyes to other things you may be doing that you didn't realize before.