Too many people in life say, “Hey, I’ll do that when I retire, or I’ll do that at some point in the future.” Unfortunately, for many people, that time never comes.
And busy, successful entrepreneurs and CEOs like you are frequently the ones who pay the heaviest price for this.
A couple years ago a good buddy of mine said, “Man, one of these days I’ll come and visit you.” Awesome, can’t wait, I told him. Shortly after that conversation, he was diagnosed with cancer. He died two months later.
I never did get to see him alive again.
Sometimes tragic things happen in life and we can’t prevent them. But I firmly believe that no matter how busy you are, you can and should make the time to schedule your day and start living life the way you want to be living it—right now.
Schedule Your Day
There’s an old saying that goes like this:
When you’re young you have time and energy but no money. When you get older you have money and energy but no time. And late in life when you finally have time and money, you no longer have energy.
Frankly, I think it’s time we trash that short-sighted thinking.
Here’s what I’ve found—with the right mindset and taking time to schedule your day, you can complete all the “musts” in your life, spend quality time with the people you love, and have plenty of time to pursue the activities and experiences you desire. And no, you don’t have to wait until you’re retired to do them.
Like you, I’m a busy entrepreneur. I run CEO Coaching International, a company that coaches more than 130 of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and CEOs. I travel all over the world and speak at conferences and events. And I spend meaningful time with my wife, my two kids, and knockoff a few bucket list items each year.
In just the past couple months, I completed the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim hike and the Polar Circle Marathon. Those were two big items on my bucket list and I enjoyed them with family and friends.
Even though I spent months training and preparing for those activities, my business didn’t skip a beat. We’re having a record year in terms of revenue, new clients, and client retention.
The first key to making all this happen is having the right mindset. Your attitude and beliefs drive your behavior. If you think you’re too busy or too important to your business to step away and enjoy your life, then you’ll stay stuck in an unhealthy paradigm.
On the other hand, if you believe in a growth mindset, if you believe that through deliberate practice you can design a lifestyle that fulfills all your desires, then you’ll make it happen.
The second key is to effectively schedule your day—as much as two years in advance.
It’s near yearend 2016 as I’m writing this. As I look at my calendar, 2017 is already booked. For example, in March 2017, I’m going on a cycling trip with my wife and some close friends. There will be eight couples, and we’ll travel to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. By the time the trip happens, it will have been on my calendar for 18 months.
I’m now booking activities for 2018. In particular, I’m scheduling a trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro in September of that year—almost two years from now.
You have to be methodical as you schedule your day and put the non-negotiables in first. I start by blocking out dates for my family activities. These could be trips with my family, romantic trips with my wife, one-on-one trips with my kids, or visiting my parents. Next, I add my personal time. Once these rocks are on the calendar, I start filling in my business activities.
Now is the perfect time to schedule your day, to start writing down a list of things you want to do or experience over the next two years. Then take that list and start putting the dates on your calendar.
Begin with your family and block off quality time to spend with them. Then add some personal time and round it out with your key business activities.
My buddy who died of cancer is just one of several friends whose lives were cut short; who thought they’d have the time “someday” to do those things that make life so meaningful.
Start planning now to live your life to the fullest so when your time is finally up, it won’t end with regrets.
About Mark Moses
Mark Moses is the Founding Partner of CEO Coaching International and the Amazon Bestselling author of Make Big Happen. His firm coaches over 130 of the world’s top high-growth entrepreneurs and CEO’s on how to dramatically grow their revenues and profits, implement the most effective strategies, becoming better leaders, grow their people, build accountability systems, and elevate their own performance. Mark has won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Blue Chip Enterprise award for overcoming adversity. His last company ranked #1 Fastest-Growing Company in Los Angeles as well as #10 on the Inc. 500 of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. He has completed 12 full distance Ironman Triathlons including the Hawaii Ironman World Championship 5 times.