Owning your own business is crazy, nuts, and wild. There are a few benefits, but mostly we see those wiped out by the insane amount of work it takes to keep the business going. Remember that analogy I spoke of a while back about feeling like I'm holding onto a merry-go-round with my hands but still running with my feet on the ground, trying to keep up? I'm pretty sure that's the same way James feels about the business. No matter how much he does, he can't get caught up. Which translates into many, many late nights, logging lots of hours after he already puts in his 7-7 day.
Over the past couple of weeks, I could sense his frustration building. Because when you're constantly trying to play catch up, there is a lingering sense that you're not really getting anything done. And that is frustrating in itself, and often debilitating also.
So I told him to clean the garage.
Okay, at first glance that might seem like a selfish request. I usually do all the big cleaning and organizing like that, but of course it hasn't been touched in the last 8 months, and has been getting worse as it became a dumping ground for stuff we didn't have time to tidy. But my wifey-sense was tingling when the thought jumped into my mind. James was sitting at the computer, frustrated at a million things he had to do, but he had to wait for information coming from several different people before he could start. So he paced the kitchen floor, knowing he would be pulling a really late night again.
So I told him to take a couple of hours and clean the garage.
As usual, I had to convince him that one of those supposed benefits of running your own business is that you can set your own hours. He was planning on putting in at least 4-5 hours late at night, so it was okay for him to take 1 or 2 hours now and do something un-business related. Once I won that battle (a rare victory, for sure!) I sent him into the garage.
The experiment was a resounding success. Over the 2 hours of emptying the garage, sweeping, bagging garbage and reorganizing, I could hear his mood pick up. He was whistling along with the music. His step quickened.
This was a good lesson for all of us. A sense of accomplishment is vital to mental health. There is something satisfying in starting AND finishing a project, with the ability to look back and see a project completed.