Self Care vol. 1: The Hit by the Bus Test
Being your own boss comes with some incredible perks. I don't have to report to someone else or clock in from 9 - 5 each day. I'm lucky enough to be able to craft my own vision and follow my own rules. However, it comes with a lot of demands that most people miss from the outside looking in. For instance, there is no such thing as a "day off". When push comes to shove, if an emergency occurs, even on your vacation, it is still your responsibility. There's no passing the buck or expecting someone else to handle the hard times. Much like a baby, a business requires constant care. Having an entrepreneurial pursuit is not the only way to tempt exhaustion. In this day and age, we all tend to overwork and under-recover. Our responsibilities and to-do lists could drag on forever, if we let them, and there always seems to be more that we could do. As a born workaholic, I have faced this problem every single day of my life. Even when I reach a goal, it's hard to feel a sense of accomplishment because my brain has already started to ask, "What next?"
You will never be able to care for others if you don't care for yourself
In my leadership program at Belmont University, I had a professor who would always present us with a question when evaluating the health of an organization: "Would it survive if its leader got hit by a bus?" Seems morbid, maybe, but give it a thought. Would your business, organization, or family survive if you disappeared? If the answer is no, there's an opportunity at hand. It's time to take a step back, understand the workflow of the organization at hand, and delegate. An organization is only as strong as it's weakest member. As a leader, it's your job to foster your people's strengths, rather than simply spotlight your own.
but what about you
Let's take it one step further. What would happen to your schedule, your routine, your day to day if just one thing changed? Maybe you wake up one hour earlier to have some quiet time or sleep in one hour longer to take a day off from the gym. Maybe you skip your morning coffee and save those dollars for something you really need. If one little detail of your life was hit by a bus, figuratively speaking, do you feel like everything would fall to pieces? Hear me when I say that it won't. Watching an hour of TV will not ruin your productivity any more than one impulse workout will reshape your body.
It's necessary to find moments to recharge if your goal is to be a successful boss, leader, friend, parent, or human. Stop looking at your life as a 24-hour time bomb. If you don't get everything done, the day will reset in a mere number of minutes. The sun will rise, and you will find the time to complete your tasks. But, you can't rewind the clock on moments, so give yourself permission to soak in a few every now and then. Your to-do list will still be there when you return.