Many of us today are constantly grinding. We put it on t-shirts, we talk about the grind and wear it as a badge of honor. Man, I gotta get out there and GRIND… But the more I thought about what grinding really does, I’m not sure that’s what I want to focus on anymore.
I looked up the definition and this is what I found – (of a state) oppressive, tedious, and seemingly without end i.e. “grinding poverty”. 2 (of a sound or motion) harsh and grating. Or when an individual pushes his/herself to attain a goal. Similar to gears grinding when they are worked beyond their capacity.
And there it is. Oppressive, without end. Harsh. Beyond capacity. Isn’t that what many of us are doing? Grinding, wearing ourselves down. Now don’t get me wrong. I respect the hustle and am on it every day, but its dangerous to go full throttle all the time “grinding” without taking the time to rest, exercise, eat properly, etc. When I examine gears that have been grinding, the end result is something that is no longer functional and ultimately is worthless. Now I KNOW that’s not what you or I want for our businesses, ministries, or whatever else we are pursuing.
So the question becomes how do we find balance? How can we put in the time that’s necessary to find success yet ensure that we are taking care of our mind, body, and spirit? Great questions. A few things come to mind, time management, finding balance and building a team.
If I have learned anything in the past year, its the importance of effectively managing time. There are so many things to do and so many devices and distractions that can steal our time and attention. You can always earn more money, but you can’t earn more time. Once spent it is gone. Just ask the person who just spent an hour gazing through a FB or IG feed! I’m learning to use a specific checklist each day that tells exactly what I need to accomplish. I have also started blocking time and completing specific tasks within the allotted time. Truth be told, I had to eliminate a lot of distracting apps and reminders from my devices. I have also had to build in time for recreation, exercise, and family. Which is the perfect segue to the next point, balance.
I once heard from a great leader and influencer, Dr. Sam Chand, (paraphrased) “there is no such thing as balance”. We experience ebbs and flows, high moments and lows, fast periods and downtimes and it’s important that we understand that. If we are seeking balance, yet we are in a season where we are about to launch a new product we will be frustrated. In that time, you will need to put a little more time, energy and effort in. Conversely, there are down times that will allow us to attend our kid’s recitals and take long walks with the family or whatever you do for fun (and no, you shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying some downtime). So it’s important to know where you are and adjust accordingly. Now, you can’t ALWAYS be up because that is the essence of the grind.
Teamwork makes the dream work right? Whatever it means to you, start building a team to assist you. Hire a virtual personal assistant, prepare to hire staff. Create a plan that will allow you to work on your business, not solely in it. Identify the areas that you can outsource so that you can do other things. Another great idea is to build passive income. Find opportunities within your business that will make money for you while you do other things.
One of the keys to this whole thing is knowing who you are. When you have a great sense of who you are, it allows you to achieve new levels of personal and professional satisfaction. When you know who you are it’s so much easier to establish priorities and live your life by them. Established priorities help you to make some of the critical decisions that will keep you from a life of the grind (BURNOUT) and ultimately dissatisfaction.
So, take a moment. Assess where you are. Grinding? Plan your time better. Identify the distractions and eliminate them. Yes, technology is great but it can also reinforce the grind. Start working on finding your flow and be sure to build in some downtime. If you don’t rest and have fun you’ll be no good to ANYONE! So let’s work really hard, set and accomplish goals but I’m not grinding another day. You?