Where are your boundaries?

life-directionsAs business owners and sales professionals, boundaries from work might be a foreign concept. What’s a work life balance, really? We’ve always been told if we work hard, we’ll be successful. So, why stop working?

A couple years into Evolve Research, my business partners and I still didn’t have an office, so we were working from home. When you work from home, there’s really no separation from work. You get sucked into your computer first thing in the morning and before you know it, your kids are coming home from school and your spouse is home from work.

After a couple years of this, our home lives began to suffer. So we got a little office and it made a big difference for all of us. However, simple physical separation wouldn’t be enough. I found that when I was at home I would think about work all the time.

One day I came home from work and my wife had bought a dog. I was not thrilled about it, but it ended up being the best thing that could have happened. Now when I come home from work I’ve got a big dog named Daisy who will stare at me until I take her on a long walk. Those walks are good decompression times for me. By the time I get back home, work is gone. Daisy was probably the single best thing that ever happened to balance my work from my home.

Daisy helped me transition from work to home, but once family time was over and everyone had gone to bed, I would be back on my computer working away. I was doing a lot of all-nighters where I’d go to bed at 6am, get up at 7am and do a presentation that morning. It took me a long time to realize those late nights didn’t actually have a positive impact on the business.

It didn’t matter that I was up all night changing the color of charts so it would be “just right.” The things I was spending my late nights on were insignificant. The exhaustion from lack of sleep didn’t have a positive impact on my day at work, either.

I can’t stress the importance of getting a full night’s rest and coming into work the next day with a fresh mind. A work life balance is something most business owners and sales professionals need to achieve. It will make for a much more productive “you” during the work day.

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