Remember Aesop’s fable about the race between the tortoise and the hare? The hare sprints off, gleeful that he’s far outrunning the tortoise, but he soon gets tired and stops to take a nap, thinking he has all the time in the world because the tortoise is miles behind. The tortoise, however, walks at a slow and steady pace. It may seem like he’s never going to get to the finish line, but because he’s learned to pace himself he passes the hare and wins.
In your business, which are you? The tortoise or the hare?
So often, home-based entrepreneurs can fall into the trap of being the hare. You zoom along totally focused on accelerating your business, building your team, growing your list, or reaching out to prospects. You go 90 miles an hour trying to build your business – often to the detriment of everything else around you. Then you get to the point where you’ve burned yourself out and you stop dead in your tracks.
It can make you feel like your world is falling apart! You have to stop and try to catch up on all the other things you’ve been ignoring like spending time with your family, doing the household chores, or attending to other necessary aspects of your business, like the dreaded administrative work. You can get to the point where everything feels out of control and hopeless.
Why You Need to Develop a Work/Life Rhythm
Many people talk about achieving a balance between work and life. And realistically there never is a time that you can find a 50/50 balance. Life just doesn’t come out that way.
Instead it’s more like creating a rhythm in how you handle things. Be like the tortoise and find a pace that allows you to consistently and sustainably keep moving forward. And if it doesn’t seem like you’re achieving as much as you’d like, don’t beat yourself up. That doesn’t accomplish anything.
You’ll find that in the big picture you’ll accomplish your goals without sacrificing all the other important things in life and without burning out! This can be a really hard lesson for Type A personalities who want to do it all now! On the other hand, don’t use this as an excuse to procrastinate.
When you create a work/life rhythm that works for you, there’s going to be an ebb and flow. There will be busy times, then quiet times. There will be times when your family life demands more of your time and attention and others when your business needs it. That’s how life is.
And if you find yourself not accomplishing everything you have on your daily list of things to do, maybe it’s time to get more organized about how you do things instead of sprinting ahead only to collapse from burnout and not be able to finish the race.
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