It takes a lot of hard work to be successful, but being successful is not all about hard work. Being successful involves planning, goal setting, getting out of your comfort zone and in some cases taking time off. To get ahead in life you may have to work more than 40 hours a week. However, you can’t spend all your time working, because you will burn yourself out, miss out on life and you may be missing inspiration that could make you even more successful.
This article is part of my series on success in life and business. To see my other articles in the series please check out How to succeed in life and real estate.
What is the most important reason to take more time off?
This article is not geared towards people who already have no problem taking time off. Success usually comes with hard work and if you aren’t willing to work hard to achieve your goals you will never reach them. This article is geared towards those that have learned success comes from hard work, but have a hard time getting away from work. They are either constantly working or thinking about work to a point where work runs their lives.
The most obvious reason to take time off is to spend time with people you love. How many times have people lost the respect of those around them because they spent all their time working? It is easy to convince yourself that you are doing what is best for everyone by working and providing for your family. I am not saying you shouldn’t work hard or work long hours, but you can’t work all the time. Your family may say it is okay and they understand the work, but are they telling you how they really feel? Some of the most important time we can spend with our children is when they are young, you don’t want to miss that because you were gone constantly.
Being successful is very important to many people, but is it more important than your family? To some people it may be, but to me it is not. I have set up my business so that I work about 40 hours a week, sometimes less, sometimes a little more. When I first became very successful in real estate I was working much longer hours. My wife understood I was going through a transition and I had to work those long hours, but I made changes so that I could work less and I worked at times that let me see my family more.
When I had to work long hours, I still tried to come home for dinner so that I could spend time with my wife and kids. I would go home at five or six, spend a few hours at home and then go back to the office when my kids went to sleep. This was not the most efficient way to work, because I spent time driving back and forth and it takes time to get back into work mode. But I thought it was much more important to spend time at home than to work non-stop.
When you stop working, stop thinking about work as well
When you are done working for the day, don’t continue to think about work all evening and into the night. I know there are things that come up that have to be done, but you can’t always be in work mode. If you are still thinking about work, you are not paying attention to your family and that may frustrate them more than if you weren’t home and still at the office. I know it is hard in today’s society to stop thinking about work when you are excited and motivated. We have smart phones, tablets, laptops and even televisions that keep us connected at all hours of the day. It is really hard for me to put my phone down and not check my email constantly, but I make myself do it. If I check my email for a minute, I then end up responding to emails for 30 minutes while I am supposed to be playing with my kids. My children are only three, but they still know when I am paying attention to them.
If I do pay full attention to my family they are happier. My wife is happier and my kids are happier which makes me happier. Being happy is great, but I also think it makes us more successful to be positive, and when we are happy it is much easier to be positive. Being happier is not the only way taking time off from work will make you more successful.
How will taking time off from work make you more successful?
A lot of my articles discuss the subconscious mind and how using our subconscious to help us be more successful. In order for our subconscious to help us achieve more we have to listen to it. If we are constantly working and thinking about work, we never have time to think about the big picture and get big ideas.
Our subconscious can process much more information than our conscious mind. Our subconscious runs our vital organs, remembers statistics and motor skills, while our conscious mind has a hard time rubbing our belly and patting our head at the same time. Our subconscious also stores all the information we see, hear, touch and think about. Our subconscious is smarter than us and we must let it help us succeed. If we are constantly working and thinking we never give our subconscious time to help us. When we quiet our mind, stop thinking about work and relax, our subconscious has a chance to tell us what to do.
I always seem to get my best ideas for my business on the weekends or when I am on vacation. I mentioned not looking at my phone when I am in non work mode, but I do keep it handy if I get a great idea. I take many notes on my phone and when I thing about a way to improve my business I make a note in my phone. Our brain can forget a new idea in 37 seconds and that idea may never come to use again so I make sure I record my ideas.
My best ideas come when I am not thinking about work. I will be playing with my kids, or camping with the family or on the beach somewhere and I will get an idea that I know will make me more successful. The ideas are not brilliant observations, but usually simple things that I never thought of before. I usually am not thinking about work when I get these ideas, and it has to be my subconscious telling me what to do after finally getting a chance to speak its mind.
How can meditation help you become more successful?
When I go on vacation I get really good ideas; the less I think about work, the better ideas I get. I think this is why mediation produces great results for some people and can provide huge breakthroughs. The basic idea of mediation is to clear all thoughts from your head and think of nothing. It’s hard to think of nothing, our mind wants to constantly fill our head with thoughts. If you can quiet your thoughts and think of nothing, you give your subconscious a chance to speak up. After I am able to think of nothing for a long enough time, more random deeper thoughts come to me that on occasion are business related and help me become more successful.
Hiring a team has made me much more successful because I have more free time and more time to think
When I started listing REO and HUD homes, I became very busy. I had no time for fix and flips, rentals or even my family. I had to make changes and those changes were hiring more people to help me out. I hired an assistant who started as part-time and then became full-time. Then another agent joined our team and we kept growing. Having a team allowed me to stop doing busy work and concentrate on the business. I started to fix and flip more houses, buy rentals and I started InvestFourMore. I had more free time with my family and I no longer had to work on my vacations! The more free time I have, the more great ideas I get and the more successful I become.
It takes hard work and long hours to become successful. But you don’t have to work long hours for the rest of your life and you don’t have to work all the time. If you work all the time, you leave no time for your family and no time to think about the big picture and what is really important. It is okay to take time off and not think about work, in fact it will help you become more successful.