Do you seek a greater work/life balance? Would you like next year to be the most exciting year your family has ever had together? Does more time off from work sound appealing? What if working less actually meant higher productivity?
In today’s fast-paced work environment, it’s more important than ever to take time off so you can invest in the relationships in your life that matter the most. With that said, consider a solution that I’ve developed called the Lifestyle Entrepreneur’s Time Advantage™ (LETA) that will provide for more freedom to take off while achieving more as the head of your business.
Implementing the LETA requires organization, discipline and accountability, and most importantly a commitment to actually follow through. These keys are contingents to an effective work schedule.
Freedom and Leading/Managing a business or organization.
Low productivity and low levels of freedom caused by poor prioritization and time management.
A complete reintegration of time, from the top to the bottom. The LETA has helped us gain discipline as it relates to our precious time.
- Actually and fully committing to the time system
- Building a network of people around you to hold you accountable and support you in it
- Not getting discouraged if it takes some time to get a handle on it.
4 Types of Days:
Freedom Day- A day designed to be completely free from the mire of work and work-related tasks.
Game Day- These are days dedicated to your top few results- producing activities. These days are essentially high output days in areas where you are uniquely gifted to do work.
Training Day- Training days exist to prepare you for maximally effective Game days. Handling duties not specifically assigned for Game days and doing any prep work necessary for game days are allocated to this day.
Dreaming Day- The least frequent day, Dreaming Days are set apart for the future, where you’ll look ahead and brainstorm about what’s next and what is possible/practical for the future of your business/organization.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in implementing this time system, with its four distinct days, is observing the proper amount of freedom days and actually observing them correctly – NOT WORKING! This also happens to be arguably the most important element of the LETA.
The Power of Freedom Days
As mentioned, Freedom Days are days that you do NOTHING work related. You don’t field business e-mails, browse business literature, review business strategy notes, or even clean up your office! You spend your day doing things that are life-giving to you. You’re effectively rejuvenated with a day completely detached from work.
This might sound easier than it is, especially at first. It took some time to master this myself and before I was able to fully observe Freedom days I often cheated, finding convincing reasons to do work. But these “cheats,” which come in many forms, do not allow for true Freedom Days, and can affect the balance of your life, your overall productivity and, most importantly, the harmony in your important relationships. By definition, a Freedom Day is any 24 hour period of time where you do absolutely NOTHING work related. It is a day where you do everything and anything but business-related activities for the entire day.
Planning Freedom Days and Changing Lives
Many people struggle to take true Freedom Days because they don’t plan them in advance by treating them like any other appointment they would have at work or with their family. In helping other business owners and their teams map out their upcoming year using the LETA, we plan their Freedom Days either in 90 day blocks or up to one year in advance (like I do). We are able to do this despite business conditions and it can even be observed when the implementer runs more than one business.
In doing this exercise with other business people, I have found that the more days they plan to take off (and actually do), the better their results have become. More importantly, these business people have been more excited not just about their business, but about their life in general. Freedom Days insure that you have time to be rejuvenated in life and to fully embrace what matters most.
The Beauty of Unplanned Freedom Days
Regardless of your thoughts about approach #1, there is also value in the unplanned Freedom Day. These days are actually still planned from the standpoint that you block them off on your calendar and commit to taking them, however, the way you spend them is more spontaneous. You are free to spend the day doing anything you enjoy by yourself or with your loved ones. However, you wake up with no plan and make game time decision on how you want to spend it. If you do this consistently, I have seen how you can rekindle a childlike exuberance for life and a desire to explore the beauty of the world around you. I recommend taking one of these days every two to three months, if not more frequently.
A Few Freedom Day safeguards
- Designate an accountability partner on your team. This person understands the LETA and can hold you accountable if you cheat
- Physically stay away from your office or office computer so you’re not tempted to fall into the work trap
- Avoid lengthy conversations about business-related items- even with a family member or friend, again with the express intent of resisting the temptation to work.
- Give yourself grace as you begin to implement the LETA. Focus on progress, not perfection, and learning from any times that you do cheat.
Recharging and repositioning yourself in between "work" days works, and we can vouch for it.
If you would like to find out more about LETA™— a system that can transform you from working an 80-100 hour work week to taking off 150-160 true Freedom Days per year, feel free to contact us. My team and I help our business clients focus on matters like these so they can achieve better balance professionally and personally.