The coaching program I’ve been participating in for decades now has a system that classifies each of your days into one of three types:
- Focus days
- Foundation days
- Free days
Focus days are spent on your business with 80% of your time spent working in your unique ability zone (i.e. activities in your business that give you energy and that usually give you the biggest bang for your buck for the business). These days are planned in advance with care and diligence to ensure that you are utilizing your unique abilities.
Foundation days are days spent doing at least 20% of your work outside of your unique abilities zone. Typically these days might be spent doing work with your team or preparing for focus days. Foundation days are heavily focused on delegating and organizing.
Free days are when you completely disconnect from your business. This means no emails, no voicemails, no reading of files, no phone calls. This is very difficult for entrepreneurs in the beginning since many business owners connect in one way or another with their business every day; they never really disconnect. The purpose of free days, though, is to give you the chance to rejuvenate. It helps prevent burnout. It’s incredible for your mental health. A good rejuvenation day helps build up your mental energy so you are ready for game day back in the business. Everyone needs a different amount of rejuvenation time. Some of us are high energy all of the time but the rejuvenation is necessary for a balanced lifestyle. All work and no play is unhealthy for family and other relationships. These are tough days at first for entrepreneurs since they might have 10 or 20 years of habitually always being connected. My advice for entrepreneurs who are caught in this trap of connecting every day is to start with baby steps.
What is the best thing to do when you have a free day? Do activities that rejuvenate your body, soul, and mind. One of the best ways to do this is to get close to nature – forest, mountains, desert, lakes, rivers, the ocean – anything to breathe in the fresh air and connect with Mother Nature.
This three-day work system really worked for me but I had to change out some habits that I developed in the early years of my business.
I’ll conclude by sharing a quick story about a bad experience I had while traveling in Europe. I had to check on some information back at the office about a building we had just purchased to make sure that everything was completed. In the process of connecting with my office, I was informed that a client was leaving our firm, and I couldn’t do anything to prevent what was happening with the client. This essentially ruined my vacation. If I had not been told, I would’ve come to the same result but would have enjoyed a wonderful holiday full of rejuvenation instead of the turmoil it caused in my mind.
Focus days and foundation days are clear investments in your business but so too are free days – and they’re important investments in your personal life too. I strongly encourage every entrepreneur to do this too. I would love to hear about the difference it makes in your life too.
I hope you’ll join me for the next edition of Intentional Success.
Clifford A. Wiegers, CFP, TEP, Ch.F.C., CLU, B.Comm.
Insurance Representative, Wiegers Financial and Insurance Planning Services Ltd.
Financial Planner, Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. Mutual funds are offered through Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. Insurance products and services are offered through Wiegers Financial & Insurance Planning Services Ltd. Banking products and services are offered by referral arrangements through our related company Manulife Bank of Canada.