Success of any kind has got no particular formula and we have been made to understand that we can only be successful when we work hard. The problem is that this phrase has been widely misunderstood and people are trading away immeasurable value because they want to be branded hard workers. Well and Good, but hard work without rest is equal to trading value for quantity.
As long as we will remain social beings, our value can only be seen when we impact other lives positively. We could be doing this at work but there are people in our lives that need more than work we can do. A good example is family. Nothing in this world can replace the time well spent with family. That moment spent laughing with kids, putting a smile on your partners face, making dinner for that little one who calls you daddy or mommy or even playing board games with friends.
In my last year of university, I started thinking of what I wanted to do after I graduate from school and as everyone who lives in America, I decided to chase the American dream by becoming an entrepreneur. Having full course load and starting a company made me work overtime. The earliest I could go to bed was at 2am. By the end of the year I had a major burnout and was not interested in pursuing my dream anymore. This mostly came about because I had not created time for friends, family and all I focused on was work and more work. Here are some of the areas where I went wrong and failed in.
1. Misplaced Priorities
I failed to priorities what was important in life. Instead of slotting family time or even time to rest, I worked hard believing that hard work was going to pay. The more I worked the less value I created. Projects I started were half perfect because most of them were done half a sleep.
2. Lost Friends
Every entrepreneur who has built a company from scratch understands the importance of solitude. The more isolated I became the more friends I lost touch with. My relationship with family became weaker and the worst part of it was that the big vision I had for the company started fading and growing dimer day by day.
3. Health Problems
Our bodies need enough rest to perform to their best and this is what I was denying myself. With poor eating habits and drinking less water, I started losing weight and my stress levels went high. Accompanied by poor performance of the organization, my emotions started dwindling and that is when I knew that something had to be done.
My Solutions to the Problems Above
I took an entrepreneurship course and read the book Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter F. Drucker, a book that I highly recommend for any start-ups and entrepreneurs out there. The book advised to not try and be clever but rather an ordinary person. It warned against innovating for the future but rather for the present and finally not to do too many things at once. When prioritizing, remember to only have three major things in your to-do-list. More than that becomes “a grocery shopping list.”
As my company was going through rough times, I met a clergy who told me to put everything a side and take a one week break doing absolutely nothing. He told me to eat healthy, drink a lot of water and rest. Within two days, I was already feeling better and wanted to go back to work. He kept checking on me if I was resting as I promised him and after a week, we met and he told me that the secret of every successful person out there is getting enough rest.
I also met with another organization leader who advised me to focus only on the important part of the work and that was leadership. Other mundane tasks were to be done by employees and volunteers. From these three sources, I coined a philosophy that I had to be at home during dinner time to spend time with family because I need them more than they need me. Spending quality time with my wife a day before, easily translates into high value in the number of lives that our organization touches the day that follows. Believe in resting.
Originally published at medium.com