You may have noticed I had to take a couple weeks off from sending emails. The week before last I went back to Minneapolis to help out with a slight remodel of my gym. I knew I was going to be helping out all weekend, but I didn’t know I’d be working on it from 6am to 9pm every day.
On the plus side we went from this:
Obviously it’s not totally finished but we moved the big rocks and now Mark is in charge of putting the finishing touches on it.
The whole project was a great example of how it pays off to develop a wide variety of skills and competencies like I talk about a lot. I did a ton of electrical wiring (adding new outlets, moving switches to different walls, re-routing circuits, etc), some drywall installation, basic carpentry, and cut and welded a big box store shelf into a perfect custom fit for our space. Besides the costs these things would have incurred, the delays in getting them done would have been in the days or weeks.
Anyway, it was a lot of work in a very short amount of time and it gave me a hangover for a few days last week.
I thought I could sneak in an email in the morning or evening, but there just wasn’t any extra bandwidth, and that’s ok. If I’m good at anything, it’s drawing the line where I know I’d be paying too great a cost in terms of stress to do more. I could have stayed up an extra hour, or gotten up an hour earlier, but sleep is something I never sacrifice because the cost is too great.
If you’re just clocking in a regular 8 hour work day, exercising to maintain health and not do some big transformation or competing, don’t have super young kids who keep you up all night, and so on you can probably get away with “doing it all.”
But as soon as your work becomes a high-stakes project with tight deadlines, or you’re gunning for a major body transformation or competitive sport, or you’ve got a screaming baby, or any other number of things that up the stress quotient, you can not do it all.
Something has to be dialed down. Maybe it’s exercise (dial it down, don’t quit it completely.) Maybe it’s work. Maybe it’s friends. Don’t be an idiot, sleep isn’t an option unless you’re into taking out debts you can’t repay.
The key thing to remember though, is that it has to be temporary. It’s fine that I didn’t send some emails for a couple weeks. It’s not fine if I just stop completely and it takes me two years to get going again.
It’s fine if you take a few weeks off from hanging out with friends, or exercising at the level you normally want to.
It’s not fine if you never cycle out of that and get back to a balance.
You are not a machine, everything has a cost, and you can’t do everything.