Beyond 'the grind' of work there is life
Are you familiar with 'the grind'? It goes something like this:
You go to sleep (max, six hours), you wake up, you check your phone (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and emails of course), you jump in the shower and check your phone again.
You might go to the gym, boxing, run or swim, then rush to your business or job in between getting the kids ready for school, trying to make at least one phone call on the way.
You grind through the day trying to get through your 'to do list' but inevitably get distracted by phone calls and emails that weren't part of your grand plan for the day.
When you finally 'finish' work you try to relax by watching television and then go to sleep and do it all over again the next day.
I haven't forgotten that while achieving all of this you need also to give your children and/or your partner love and attention, which you manage to throw in while looking at emails and taking telephone calls after hours.
It's exhausting, but hey, at least you feel important and it's what you need to create financial security, right?
This grind we refer to becomes an obsession for us and can be very destructive, destructive to yourself and your relationships.
The outcome of this obsession is often suffering.
Stop and think about it for a second.
Many will say that they are not obsessed by building their businesses, assets or career. That they actually love doing it.
Don't get me wrong, we all have to do the grind to build security and a strong business, but have you got the capability to shut the grind off and actually shift from obsession to enjoyment?
Personally, the intention behind creating my business was so I could have financial freedom and time to do what I loved. I have found myself grinding away at projects that eat up every minute of my free time.
This obsession, that I truly believe all entrepreneurs and business owners have to be successful, must be given a finite life.
Many of us don't know how to switch off or turn it down and so continue the journey of suffering as they forget why they are doing it.
What would your life be like if you slowed down just a little?
What if you realised sooner rather than later that you did not need to grind and hustle as you did in the first 20-40 years of your life at the same intensity, but rather enjoyed the journey more and found more balance?
What if you took your time waking up, scheduled breaks for self-care, were fully present when you were with your loved ones, and made your working hours as productive and focused as possible so that you had less of them?
Sometimes it's better to take one step backwards so you can take two steps forward, instead of incrementally ploughing through life and being forced to slow down when you inevitably burn out or become unwell.
Too much of the 'grind' has serious consequences; it kills our focus, our results, and often our relationships.
Become aware of the grind you are in and choose when and how you can slow down ... you may find that you actually achieve more rather than less.
This article was originally featured in the Newcastle Herald.