So far, 2014 has been an eventful year with more than its fair share of tensions and distractions. And if you believe the recent financial advisor surveys, there is no let-up in sight.
For the well-being of your clients and your personal sanity, I believe you should turn your business completely off for a couple days. Do it this weekend or take a couple days off next week. Your clients would rather have a rested, healthy advisor than a one who is overworked and stress-out.
You might be thinking, “I always take the weekend off.” But, do you really? The temptations to dabble in your business when you’re away from the office are all around you.
When I suggest taking a turning your business COMPLETELY off, I mean:
- No Saturday morning office hours. Whatever you need to “catch up” on can certainly wait until you get back to the office on Monday.
- Limit your newspaper reading to the sports and entertainment sections. Resist the temptation to read your copy of Barron’s on Sunday night.
- If you enjoy TV, don’t watch the news or news channels. The financial markets never seem to sleep, so avoid cable channels like Bloomberg and MSNBC.
- Resist the pull to check your business email. In fact, why not enjoy a “computer free” weekend?
- Steer all of your casual conversations away from talk of stocks, bonds and interest rates. Many an enjoyable cocktail party has been ruined by friends seeking financial advice.
- Turn off (or at least limit) addictive electronic devices. For example, only answer cell phone calls when you can identify the caller as someone without the need to talk shop.
I’m sure I missed a few things, but you get the point. Even when you’re not in the office, you can spend a surprising amount of time engaged in the busyness of your business.
I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best. My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Now, you might be wondering what to do with all of this free time. And, of course, I have more than a few recommendations:
- Enjoy the company of your family. They don’t see enough of you during the week. Take your spouse on a dinner date. Roll around on the floor with your kids. Be the loudest cheerleader at the basketball games.
- Catch a couple extra hours of sleep and get some exercise. You’ll feel refreshed.
- Invite a few old friends or relatives to dinner. Sometimes it’s fun to escape into conversations about your high school escapades and the many colors of Aunt Sally’s hair.
- Consider a movie-marathon and watch a bunch of movies. You know – the ones you’ve put off so long they’re now available on DVD.
- Go on a weekend getaway to your favorite summer vacation spot. It may be too cold to sit on the beach, but it could be a good place to enjoy some quiet time.
- Spend some extra time at church or volunteering in your community. Worship time and time spent with those who are less fortunate can help put a different perspective on the stuff that makes us worry.
I know I missed more than a few possibilities, so feel free to use your creativity. The whole idea is to have some fun and free your mind from the constant onslaught of work related thinking.
All weeklong, you do serious work for important people. If you take a couple days completely away from your business, you’ll be taking care of another very important person — YOU!