I shared this letter w/ the subscribers of my Friday newsletter “The Balance Sheet” which is 6 quick tips to help you find work-life balance at the end of each week. Sign up HERE if you’d like to receive that one too.
Since I pride myself on transparency with all my readers, it didn’t feel right not to share it with you as well, I think you’ll understand once you read it. So here you go…
This week’s balance sheet is more like the UN-balanced sheet and it’s actually a confession. I have to share this with you because It would be hypocritical and irresponsible of me not to.
I can’t in good conscience give you six tips on work-life balance this week when I haven’t been practicing what I preach the last couple of weeks. Let me explain…
After getting an extension from my publisher, and thinking I had plenty of time to finish my new book before the October 1 deadline, the publishing company was sold to Taylor & Francis and they moved my deadline up by two weeks to Sept 15. All of this was the perfect storm considering I was running an event last weekend that took a lot of time and energy leading up to it to plan. I basically put my life, my family and my writing on hold last weekend. Intellectually I realized it was for a great cause (far more important than a book) but emotionally in the back of my mind I was feeling angst and resenting it.
For essentially the last month I’ve been working around-the-clock seven days a week trying to get my manuscript finished. I tried everything to maximize my productivity.
I locked myself in my office to get away from distractions, I would hole up in my favorite coffee shop until it closed at 10 o’clock at night, I even checked into a hotel two weekends ago to spend the entire Labor Day weekend in seclusion writing. (Ironic, I know) Did I get a lot of writing done? Sort of. Was it quality? I don’t know, doubtful though.
What I do know is that by NOT writing at all last weekend and instead being active, connecting and serving others I’ve gotten my best writing done this week. I sat down at my laptop refreshed and focused. The lesson: You can’t redline your engine all the time and expect your performance not to suffer. We need to step back in order to stay productive and creative. More isn’t more, less is more… It helps you have more focus and productivity when you resume your work.
We all get wound up and we all need to unwind.
I thought I was putting myself through hell, in reality I’ve been putting my family through it. I’ve been irritable, preoccupied and unreasonable; especially with my wife. I picked my kids up from practice at the wrong time yesterday and blamed everyone but me. I asked my wife how their big audit went at work yesterday and she said “That was Monday”. I had lost track of time and couldn’t remember what day it was. I feel like a selfish jerk and for good reason, because I was one.
I apologize to all of you (and especially to my wife) for not modeling my values better. We each are either a good example or a cautionary tale. Recently I’ve been the latter and that ends right now. You have my word that I am back to being an good example for others.