I got into an argument the other day with someone who told me I didn’t understand what he has to do to succeed or how much time it requires — which is all the time.
“That’s a choice,” I said. It’s good to not be busy. Just turn off the phone. No one will die.
There’s a cultural phenomenon happening right now that might have you believing your business or career won’t grow fast enough if you aren’t constantly working.
Rather than push myself to the brink of exhaustion, I prefer to let ideas percolate. They come to me while I’m showering, mowing the lawn, or hitting the punching bag. Solutions present themselves when I’m not focusing on the problems, as long as I make enough room in my mind for them to bubble up.
To create this space, I do several things completely unrelated to work on Sundays to increase my productivity the following week. Here are four of them:
I remember reading articles in the ‘90s about what humans would do with their lives after technology took over and ran everything. Allegedly, we would enjoy an abundance of leisure time; in fact, the exact opposite is true: We let technology take up all of our time. When I leave the office on Fridays, I let my phone die and don’t turn it back on again until Sunday. I don’t take my computer out of its bag or do anything technological unless I absolutely have to — and when I do, I enjoy that task with a glass of wine.
I train in Krav Maga and jiujitsu. I find the rigor therapeutic, and I like to get my ass kicked. I also love golf; it’s a fun but extremely focused activity. Intensely focusing on something physical, outside of your job, is beneficial to both your body and your mind.
Get out of the house. Go outside. I have a little garden, and I also run a few days a week, ride a motorcycle, and go to the beach. I try to avoid spending time staring at a screen as much as possible. A peaceful excitement and a sense of wellness set in when I explore the natural world.
Hang out with people who aren’t in your industry and aren’t going to talk about work. Making an effort to properly detach from work helps me remember that the best thing I can do to impact the week ahead is recharge my battery.
Don’t Just Take My Word for It.
Many entrepreneurs benefit from getting out of the office for a little rejuvenation.
Brent Ramsey, for example, runs a successful software development company called Hot Pixel Group — but he also goes out on the weekends, whips around in fast cars, and plays golf. He understands that nothing is that important. He’ll sometimes work for 48 hours straight, but when it’s time to relax, he does.
Tim Ferriss has a four-hour workweek. He really knows how to create space, be efficient, and maximize productivity through time off.
Taylor Kurosaki is a bigwig at Infinity Ward, where he develops the best video games on earth and generates billions of dollars in revenue. On the weekends, he hangs out with his family, spends time in his garden, and sees live music. He works in a creative field, so real-life experiences help him create character dialogue that reflects how life actually works.
These folks understand that “analysis paralysis” can set in when you try to focus on too much at once. When you step away from something pressing for a day or two, you see that it isn’t as big a deal as it might have seemed when you were in the middle of it.
Pencil It In.
In my experience, most people aren’t great with calendars, and they really need to work on that. Scheduling tasks reminds you that not everything has to be done immediately.
Your life is full of things to do — and, contrary to popular belief, the world doesn’t revolve around work. Everyone has 168 hours in a week. People who seem laid-back about the amount of time they have to get things done probably use a calendar.
Transfer to-do lists to a calendar so you don’t have to stress out about forgetting something important. Set aside the first few hours of Monday to deal with emails and play catch-up.
Most importantly, reserve Sundays for literally anything that doesn’t involve staring at a screen. You’ll give yourself a broader range of experiences to use as a springboard, providing more context for the ideas and decisions you make — improving not just your business, but your life, too.