Sharpening the Saw

Sharpening the Saw

I appears I take more days off than most.

Taking time off to any degree, particularly as an entrepreneur, is almost unheard of in North America.

There’s a sort of bragging that takes place in the entrepreneurial world related to how much time one spends working. Entrepreneurs wear business as a badge of honor, and there’s contempt for entrepreneurs who need to take vacation time. You’ll hear people say, “Well, my work is my free time” or “I don’t really work; I just play.” Many entrepreneurs don’t draw a line at all when it comes to taking time off. In my experience, this makes entrepreneurs one-dimensional. I can’t help but wonder what their relationships and their general appreciation of life is like when they do nothing but work. There are so many other aspects of life besides work to experience and explore. Not only that, but the quality of their work and enjoyment of their work suffers when they’re burnt out.

I know mine does.

Free time isn’t just a reward for hard work; it’s a necessary prerequisite for doing good work. Taking time to rejuvenate renews your energy and creativity. And taking a number of days off the table for free time leaves fewer days for working, which has the effect of making you more productive when you’re at work. It’s like the Steve Covey story; Sharpening the Saw.

Allowing myself to take days off every year has benefited my health, my relationships, my productivity, my company, and the lives of all the people who work at my company. 

I’m anything but lazy.

I mentor two kids and several entrepreneurs. Similarities are coincidental.