I’m writing this in one of my favorite coffee places in East Melbourne in the Fitzroy gardens, KereKere. One of the reasons I’m here is because they have great coffee and the other reason is that very often I take myself out of my office and work from somewhere completely different, with a different energy, light and surrounds and sometimes that is all it takes for the creative juices to flow freely.
Spending time outside is something I have loved from a very young age. Now, I realise it’s something I crave throughout my workday. Working in the corporate world for many years I was not able to get out so often, in fact most days I felt as though I was working in a cave!!
This year I’ve committed to myself to bring back more time outdoors and more fun of life in general, and into my business.
Okay, so that may sound like a lot about me! Well what I’ve been wondering is how many other people can or do integrate into their work day much of what they love, and what makes them feel excited to be working, building and running a business, and excited to get out of bed each and every day.
We often hear about work life balance, there are a lot of blogs and articles written about it, lots of advertisements that suggest we have to have a good work life balance, I suspect that’s because many, many people don’t have that or feel like they can have, or believe they can have, a great work life balance.
Richard Branson says that work-life balance is all about making sure you take time to live, not just stay stuck behind a desk.
Lisa Messenger wrote in her book Life & Love, about taking some of her staff out of the office to walk around the alleyways in Sydney to take in inspiration and soak up the street life, colour and energy. She has then taken them to an art shop with a budget for paper, pens and paints. She believes there is so much more focus and creativity that happens back in the office because of this, rather than staying in the office and browsing the internet for inspiration.
Many people start a business so they can have freedom and a lifestyle, and then find it’s very different than they first imagined. They find it hard work, long hours and most of the time (depending on the business) they are looking at a computer screen, their phone or some sort of electronic device that can link them to the world of the Internet.
The whole point of having a laptop, or mobile device in my mind is so you can work anywhere, anytime you choose.
Being perfectly honest here, I’ve been known to fall into the trap of getting bogged down and spending too much time attached to my laptop and too much time working on things in my business that someone else could be doing. It’s an easy trap to fall into. The key is to recognise this is happening and to do something about it.
For me, I talked up the mobile business I had, and how wonderful it was to not be in the cave! Then 5 years in, I was back in the routine of attaching myself to my desk, Thank goodness the deep-seated feeling within me that was telling me to do more, to experience more, love life more and get out more kicked in and I changed my habits.
It can be challenging making the change. Often we become all too comfortable doing what we’re doing and continuing a routine that we have grown into along with the never ending feeling for the need to be on social media or attached to our mobile devices.
It takes time to make changes even when we know the changes are what we really want.
If this has resonated with you in some way, if you realise you are not living your dream, or recognise you’ve fallen into the habit of working too many hours and not doing enough of what you love, maybe it is time to take stock and free up some time to think about and visualise, really visualise what you really want in life. Ask yourself the big questions and answer yourself honestly. Are you really, really, happy and loving life every single day?
What I really hope is that you’ve read this and given some thought to your life and whether you need to make some changes. Very often all it takes is to spend more time outdoors, (or what ever it is for you) near water, under a shady tree, on a river, by the sea, looking at a big sky, in a garden, with friends, – you will know what it is for you … fill your life with colour and the things you love.
Take time for you … do more of what you love!!
P.S. if any of this has resonated with you leave your thoughts and ideas below on how you do, or will make more time to add more of what you love into your day …