Every morning I take a forty minute walk with Beth & Macey. Often we’ll follow it up with coffee on the porch until Macey’s nap time around 9:15. All in all it’s about 90 minutes smack dab in the middle of my morning routine.
I’m blessed to be able to work at home. But I’m very aware that there is a tremendous amount of work to do, both on Debt To Life and in my “real” job. Usually I’ll get up a couple of hours before the rest of the family, so that when it’s “walk time” I don’t feel the pressure to skip it since I’ve already got a head start on work.
But this morning I overslept. Ooops.
It’s an awful feeling to feel behind before you even get out of bed. My temptation is to skip the time with my two favorite ladies and jump straight into work. But this morning, while sipping my coffee on the porch with Beth and Macey, I knew I made the right decision. These moments are precious, and oh how fleeting they can be. It seems that Macey was just born yesterday…I blinked and now she’s 13 months old. And really….how many dads wish they had spent more time at the office? Which brings me to the point of this post.
Crush It! Just make sure to define “It” Very Carefully
I recently finished listening to “Crush It”by Gary Vaynerchuck and would highly recommend it (I’ll do a book review later). But the path laid out in the book to the top of the mountain borders a major cliff from which many, many good people have fallen.
The premise of the book is to turn what you’re passionate about into a profitable business online. But while there are numerous practical steps to take in the book, the overarching theme is that you will need to (or want to since it’s your passion) work 14-16 hours a day for months or years on end.
Vaynerchuck is incredibly clear in communicating that family always comes first (I love this about him by the way). But if you do the math on the work hours needed to crush it, is there any time left for anything else?
Since our culture already tends to overwork and neglect the family, I want to shout it from the rooftops that succeeding at home is infinitely more important that succeeding in the workplace!!!
We’re seriously out-of-balance on the work/family scale, so for every exhortation given to work your tail off, we almost need 4-5 reminders to not neglect your family in the process (especially if you have small kids). So how exactly do you crush it in business without losing your family?
1. Think “Priorities” over “Balance”
I’m not against seeking balance in life, but balance seems so seasonal that it’s hard to always keep it as a focus. For example, if you’re working on a major project at work, just had a baby, or have a serious illness in the family, balance is the first thing to go out the window. So instead of pursuing balance, you need to be crystal clear on what your priorities are in this season of life. Make sure your priorities are taken care of and forget about balance.
2. Determine Who Loses Up Front
Let’s face it, there will always be a tension between work and family, and more often than not the demands of your job and your family will collide. And when they do, there will always be a loser.
Too often, we put work ahead of our family because we don’t immediately see the consequences of putting our family second. So determine now who the loser will be. Andy Stanley has an excellent book on this called When Work and Family Collide: Keeping Your Job from Cheating Your Family.
3. Be Fully Present Wherever You Are
Geez…how many of us have been guilty of wasting time at work? How about thinking about work while spending time with our family?
Develop the discipline of being fully present and engaged wherever you are. If you’re at work, stop checking Facebook and stay focused on exceeding your employer’s expectations. If you’re playing with your kids, shut off the work-brain (and the TV), and play with your kids. For that matter, throw your TV in the lake…you’ll thank me for it later.
It is possible to be successful at home and at work. But it requires discipline and diligence in both areas. Just know this…you can fail at work and always get a new job later. But you can never get back time lost with your family. Don’t neglect your family…you will always regret it.
Comments: Which of the three points do you need to focus on the most & why?