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Taking Time Off For Creativity Recovery

I was requested the other day to talk about how I balance work with life given the many things I’m working on today. Coincidentally, I read “Success at Work, Failure at Home” by Scott Weiss, entrepreneur turned VC.

Scott recalls the years his startup was doing great were years life at home was anything but. Now as a VC, Scott coaches startup CEOs on dealing with the pressures of work at home.

I’ve had several downs with the ups over the years, and now, taking on a few projects as I consider my next startup. I get questions, like from my friend, of how I balance work and life. That’s easy to answer, though, because my work is part of my life.

I don’t work all the time, but a perfect day for me includes some work. I love what I do, and I love challenges. Over the years, especially since Body Boss, I’ve weaved in slow-down and even shut-down times.

Compared to years past when I was constantly working, I’ve learned a few things.
  • Not everyone needs everything immediately. I was too wrapped up in saying yes to others. Now, I realize how others value themselves and me. Those who matter respect my priorities.
  • Taking a day off each week makes me more productive. Like my body from work outs, my mind needs rest days to recover. These days off allow me to step out of the day-to-day and practice creativity.
  • There are two types of “me-time” – alone and with friends. Because I interact with many different people throughout the week, my alone times are havens (like morning workouts). Otherwise, I see friends on specific days of the week. Scheduling days prevents me from forgoing social activities.
  • Schedules allow for more spontaneity and freedom. Described in the Make Time post, explicitly scheduling things that matter (i.e. meetings with VCs, workouts, seeing friends, etc.) ensure high-priority things are accounted for. All other time becomes flexible to call audibles.
Whether it’s watching Netflix, running the neighborhoods, or writing journal entries, taking time off work makes me more productive. I let my mind recover and find creativity again… creativity that comes from anywhere.

How do you “balance” work and life, if there’s a distinction for you? What are some ways to mentally, emotionally recover from work?

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