I want to talk to you now about the last of the EOS Life® disciplines: With time to pursue other passions. This one is tough for me. Just as with the other four aspects of the EOS Life, it requires discipline.
When I tell the story of my EOS journey as an entrepreneur, I talk about how I was missing the kids’ soccer games and missing concerts and stuff because I was traveling a lot, building my companies.
So I have struggled with keeping my time not focused on work. I love what I do. I love the action and the complete focus it requires. If you are like me, you run the risk of neglecting your family and friends, not having hobbies, and essentially being a very boring person. You’ll end up dying alone without friends or family if you aren’t careful!
Be Intentional About Your Time
There are a couple of tools in EOS to help you free up your time: Delegate and Elevate™ and the Accountability Chart™. I talked about them in the post about the first principle of the EOS Life: Doing what you love.
But what I really want you to do here is set up your “Container.” Decide how many days per year you’ll devote to work and how many days you’ll take off. For me, it’s 220 days dedicated to EOS Worldwide and 145 days per year completely free. That’s the goal, that’s the plan.
However, I will tell you that if you aren’t intentional about your free time, it can easily be taken over by checking emails, returning phone calls, and before you know it, you are at 365 days per year of work. This is called Parkinson’s Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. So what you want to do is define your 100%.
Let’s say you’re a 40- or 50-hour-per week person. Whatever it is, you just need to define what your 100% is. So what I want you to do is write down how many days a year you plan on working. Then, how many hours per day. Write that down, whatever comes to your mind — you can always clean it up later. So for me, I’ve allocated 220 days a year for work, working 10 hours per day. That’s my 100%. Any more than that, I start to get burned out. I also plan on taking 145 free days per year. That’s my goal.
I have a wife, three kids, a dog, and a mother-in-law in my house, so our schedules can get pretty hectic. But I’ve found that if we don’t plan our vacations and travel far in advance, we don’t take them at all. I end up sitting at hockey practice with my son checking emails or on the phone with someone.
Time is your most precious resource… treat it well.
I want to challenge you on something here. Take a look again at Parkinson’s Law:
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
If you stay disciplined, you can minimize your work days and still do amazing things. For example, EOS founder Gino Wickman only ever gave EOS Worldwide 45 days per year and built this tremendous company. Former EOS Visionary Mike Paton gave it 80 days. With me at 220 days, you know the pressure is on.