After 12 long years of working seven days a week, I've made a decision. I'm taking tomorrow off.
Sounds strange? Well, I've had vacations. Many of them. And I've taken half-days off, here and there. Sometimes, I've even taken whole days off. But I would still check my email in the morning, or return to my computer at night.
Aside from my vacations, I've not taken an entire day off in over a decade. I mean, a full 24 hours without doing any work, including using the computer even if it's to surf the web.
My wife and I are finally heeding to some very powerful advice about taking an extra day off to earn more money from Terry Dean, a person I admire and follow closely.
Like Terry Dean says, by taking some time off, it helps you to focus more on the work at hand on those working days. It clears your thinking, and also applies the Law of Contraction.
That means, work tends to expand or contract depending on the time it is allotted. As if to fill a void or meet a deadline. If you were given five weeks to write a salesletter, for example, you would take five weeks, often unconsciously — even though you might have completed it in four or even three.
Similarly, if you had four weeks, you would cram your work into whatever time you'd have. (Take students who cram at exam time.)
The Law of Contraction (once enunciated by Brian Tracy, and it actually has a name but it's escaping me right now), is powerful. And the reason why I don't set long-term goals.
Why? Because a long-term goal is self-limiting. What if you could have reached that goal in half the time? Unconciously, you would take all the time you have given yourself to fill the void, thus limiting your own potential. (I talk alot about this in my book, “Drop Your Goals.”)
The Law of Contraction also forces you into right action. It forces you to do what needs to be done to get things done. Other, small distractions are less important when more important work is calling for your attention — and even more so as time contracts. That way, you learn to be effective. Not efficient.
There is a difference. A big one.
We have personal assistants taking care of things until we return, which Terry Dean also preaches — and which I highly recommend you have, too. So using “what about emergencies” as an excuse is just that… an excuse.
(Evelyn, my assistant, as well as LaDawn, Allison, Shiela and Arlene, and other key staff, are holding up the fort for us. Without them, we wouldn't be able to do this. If you haven't hired a personal or at least virtual assistant yet, you should seriously think about it. We've made more money with the help of our assistants than we ever did by ourselves. Trust me on this one.)
Anyway, this time around, we're taking the entire day off, from one dawn until the next, completely. No computers, no surfing the web, no checking emails, no writing copy, not even a phone call.
And we're doing it on every Friday from this point on.
I must also add that, I don't “work” seven days a week. I play and make money while doing it. To me, I love what I do. I adore it. But I think that it's time for me to start thinking about… me! (My lovely wife, Sylvie, is not only backing me up on this. She's the one who suggested it.)
She, too, loves her work. (Her company is called “Workaholics For Hire” for a reason!) But with events of late, it's a reality check that we needed.
In fact, she recently posted an update to her blog, where she talks about her end of chemotherapy and the beginning of a round of five weeks of radiation treatments. (Ostensibly, to kill off any leftover cancer cells the chemo might have missed.)
But Sylvie is convinced, and has done enough research, to know that the direct cause of her cancer is caused by what I believe is the number one killer of all.
Cancer is not in her family, so it's not genetic. It's not due to enviromental factors, like asbestos, pesticides, hormones and so forth. (We're vegetarians, after all. And we eat organically as much as possible.)
The culprit is, without question, stress.
Stress is the number one biggest killer, in my estimation — if not at least contributor to other killers. Sure, you can suffer from a heart attack, stroke, cancer or whatever. And you can blame it on carcinogens, toxins, lack of exercise, diet, smoking, or even genetic predisposition.
But what causes it and, in many cases, accelerates it, is stress, pure and simple.
For my coaching students, I told you I will not answer emails on weekends, and that won't change. But questions emailed on Friday will be answered Saturday, as normal. (And then, I won't answer any questions until Monday.)
There's a massive snowstorm heading our way, so my beautiful wife just went to the video store and rented several movies. We were originally planning on going to the movie theater, but from the looks of it, we're going to be stuck indoors, I'm afraid.
Nevertheless, just making such a decision is like a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders. We already feel good, and Friday is not even here, yet! I highly recommend you do the same. Go “unplugged” for one, full day.
All I can say is, “It's about time!”
Michel Fortin is a senior marketing specialist, renowned copywriter, and digital marketing expert. For the better part of 30 years, he's produced countless successful marketing communications and profitable campaigns that generated in excess of $300 million in sales. He's broken many industry sales records, including being instrumental behind the first ever “million-dollar day” online marketing campaign in 2004. He's worked with thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs around the world in a wide variety of industries on building their businesses, improving their marketing, and increasing their profits. He's a published author and often speaks at industry events. To connect with him, visit his LinkedIn profile where he is most active.