Creating Lasting Memories Are Life’s Best Investments
The 1/7 Energy Solution
You may be waiting for the day when life will turn out better and when you’ll have all the surpluses of time and money, but what do you do on the way there? Is there merit in thinking of your Golden Years as a later time in your life?
Living now has become a major force in the human experience of modern times. Investments aren’t necessarily financial; they are energy centric. You could postpone the good life for 20-30 years, and never live to see the day.
So what if you take that 10 years you’ve been planning for retirement when your energy is less, and your life is at its closing stage, and intersperse it into each year you have now. What if for every 7 years of life you live, 1 of these years is spent on free time that is not work related?
Of course, a year sabbatical is a radical idea, but many entrepreneurs actually do it. My thought is to take one week out of every 7 and spend it with those you love, doing activities you love, and in places that fascinate you. That’s 7 weeks of vacation every year including weekends and holidays. When you step away from your business, you get breakthroughs that constant work doesn’t inspire.
As you’re reading this, you begin to think of all the money it’ll take to live like this. You shouldn’t think this way, because it’s not about the money, it’s about all the time you’ll look forward to where you can create new memories that last a lifetime. When you go somewhere new or begin a new trip, you add new life to yourself. Just imagine what 140 vacations like this would feel like when looking back on 20 years of a great life. You’d retire from the thought of retiring. Wouldn’t you?
That’s my point. The currency in life is life-giving experiences and not financial independence. If you’re flat on your back with $1 million dollars, because you’re ill due to overwork; that’s a tragedy. You must remember that your best work actually depends on creativity that creates value for your clients. The best source of creativity is free time. So counter-intuitive to steady work ethic, we can work smarter by having greater free time to renew our intensity. What you discover is that you aren’t paid for time in the first place. You’re paid for creating results and enjoying opportunity via the value you create. You can master this process with less and less time doing less and less things.
The 1/7 Energy Solution is just this. Every 1 in 7 weeks you do deliberate recreation, which means to “re-create” yourself. You let go of having to justify doing this, and consider is as the beginning of how you operate and not the ending. It is the source of your creativity, and the reward is second. By feeling anew again, with lower stress, you’ll be more effective with the time you have. You’ll delegate during the 6 weeks leading up to the 7th week. When you come back, you’ll begin another cycle.
Now, if you’re panicking or worried about doing this; that is perfect. You should be, because it’s a sign that you’re not using free time productively. The reason you worry is that you haven’t offloaded what you should or setup your organization to be led without you being around. You await the day when that will happen. Yet, scheduling your 1/7 solution on your terms will force you to drive your organization into you being a business owner and not a self-employed person (like you are) who owns a job with very little long range payback for all your sweat and blood.
A good step is to start writing down your dream free time content. Who do you want to enrich your time with and how? What activities inspire and motivate you? What places have you dreamed of visiting?
Second, get together with those people you wrote down and ask them to sketch out an ideal year with you together. Get out a 12 month calendar and block your 1/7 free periods, all seven of them, with no compromises. You must do this for your self-care and those you love the most.
Third, let them have voting rights also on the subject matter of these periods. Let it also be part of their personal vision coming to life too, so they’re just as engaged as you are and excited to be with you.
Fourth, round up your support staff that you most depend on to get things off your plate and run your organization. Tell them that their greatest job impact to you and your organization at this time is to help you never touch technology while away. And second, that when you come back, you can hit the ground running with little or no downtime. Ask them to propose which structures must be in place to realize these capabilities. Then, generate a plan together around these ideas.
Your employees will get a lot more done without you around all the time. During periods leading up to free days, schedule maintenance days to finesse their roles and goals to accomplish and to have them tell and show you how they’ll stay on task if you’re not there.
Lastly, consider doubling your teams free day time off over last year. You’d get twice the amount of work done with a 46 week year than a 48 week year. It’s proven that a happier workforce is less expensive, stays longer, and contributes greater impact on others like you, their peers, and clients. You depend on a healthy team, and free time is live-giving and not life-taking. So take advantage of this driving force.