Wow. It’s three weeks since my last blog post and I haven’t really spent any significant time outside. I would like to tell you that my knee woes have been the reason for this neglect.
However, that would only be part of the truth. I have been working more than I would like and I think I am nearing a point when I need to step back and delegate more in order to maintain the kind of healthy balance I desire.
It is perfectly normal to take on too much. It is often much harder to say no in life, and if you run your own business it can be tricky to relinquish any control to others. But I preach that it is the only way to grow, so I must also practice it.
I spend my days telling people how to delegate successfully, how to outsource work to make their lives more balanced, healthier and allow them to concentrate on what they want to do and what they are good at. But how often do we hear of people not taking their own advice?
I have been struggling to get outdoors
In comparison to many of my peers I work relatively short hours. I am pretty good at getting stuff done when I need to and I am naturally cautious so I do not really take on more than I can cope with, but in recent times I have been struggling to get out for an hour in the day or even keep to a regular gym routine.
My recovering knee has been the excuse I have used to justify to myself that I am simply working more. It is a half truth.
This weekend I was able to demonstrate this to myself.
I diligently took 4 days away from emails (I mean... it was a holiday) and tried to do something outside every day to remind myself how easy and how beneficial it is to my mental and physical wellbeing.
4 days, 4 microadventures.
On Friday, as a family, we wandered around our local woods looking for wild garlic and admiring the bluebells. On Saturday Emma and I went canoeing. We have a 2 day trip planned down the river Wye in July so the spectacular bank holiday weather meant we had a good opportunity to practice on the River Ouse. Easter Sunday saw us complete a short circular walk (leaning heavily on my walking poles) in the Barton Hills and yesterday we all ventured out again in a canoe for an hour at Nene Park.
Obviously my wife and I had no pressure of getting back to our desks to work over the holiday weekend, but it just goes to show what you can do with a bit of willing. It is so important to find the time to totally switch off and disconnect from the day-to-day concerns of work. This can be so hard to do when you run your own business and yet it is vital to maintaining the sort of energy required to build something.
I flipped open the laptop this morning around 7 am, expecting to draw up a long to do list but I did so with renewed energy. In fact, simply because of my positive frame of mind, I was less daunted by the tasks in front of me and found time to go to the gym before lunch.
Many people work very long hours and do so brilliantly and efficiently. But it is also true that we can all get into the rut of simply being busy without achieving a whole load. It is easy to feel guilty for stepping away from our screens even when workload is small, as if we are somehow cheating the world if we are not hunched religiously over our computers, working - or worse still - trying to look as if we are working.
Now that I am preachy again it is time to step outside and take my own advice for a few minutes.