Man, why is it so hard to let go?

By Edward Plant

So this year I am blessed to be working a four-day week.  

It’s a bit of a dream goal, really.  

Not so long ago I joking remarked to someone that the ‘inventor’ of ‘5 days working, 2 days off’ has a lot to answer for it. I said it should be 4 days of work and 3 days off.  

Little did I realise at the time that this would be my set up for 2018.

So whilst this sounds great, it’s been a real challenge for me and for Bec, who’s stepping into the business for an extra day. From my side, the problem isn’t one that I saw coming.  

I come from a long line of ‘hard workers’. Both Mum and Dad come from the school of ‘get in and get things done’.Throughout my school years I remember Dad being up working at 3 or 4am.  My 17 years in the Army only served to reinforce this further.

So the big challenge I’ve had is letting go.

Much of our work with business owners is around supporting them to let go in order for others to step in and take on certain tasks to enable the business to grow.

There are a number of reasons this is difficult, especially for men. Some of the reasons business owners have trouble letting go are:

Trust

They don’t trust the people to get the work done. As a result they don’t want to let go as the work doesn’t get done if they do.

Standards

The old, no-one can do this to the standard that I can and that my customers deserve, chestnut.

Time

I don’t have time to properly hand over the tasks to someone and train them up to do it.

Ease

It’s easier to do it myself.

And there are probably a few other reasons as well.  

So which one is my challenge you ask? Well, none of those actually.

I trust my team, know they can do much of the ‘doing’ better than me, continually invest time to up-skill the team, and know that time in training is seldom wasted (an old Army adage).

For me the biggest challenge with letting go was not being busy.  

I’m having trouble shaking the ingrained habit of always ‘having something to do’.  

Most of my life I’ve had something else to do. In the Army there was always something to improve, the next thing to prepare for. And in business, well, the list of ‘things to do’ and ‘opportunities’ are endless.

So I admit, the biggest challenge was being comfortable doing nothing. 

Creating MORE TIME is one of the 4 Frameworks we’ll be sharing in our next free training, so if you could use an extra day in your week give some thought to how you might use that.

The first of my ‘off days’ with 2 year-old son Charles was spent at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.  We didn’t visit a single animals — we simply sat on the train. For an hour and a half. By the time we disembarked it was time to leave for his afternoon sleep.

The temptation to grab my phone and check emails or make a quick call was HUGE.

I tried to resist it. But to give you the HONEST truth….

That day I didn’t.  

As we got into the car, I checked my emails.  In the car I made a call.  During Charles’ afternoon sleep, I jumped on the computer and got some ‘work’ done.

So my goal is make this particular ‘off day’ 24-hours of no work. Not checking an email, not making work calls,  just doing nothing.

From one ‘busy’ person to another, this is a bit scary, but I’m looking forward to letting go and seeing what happens. Plus, I’m so grateful to be able to hang with my 2-year old dude at this age.

That’s worth letting go of in my books.

Could you use an extra non-work day in your week? We’ll be showing you how to CREATE MORE TIME in our upcoming webinar, Million Dollar Playbook for Couples in Business, on Wednesday, April 18 at 12.30PM. The session will be packed with smart strategies you can implement in your business to get more reliable results with less friction and more ease. You can learn more and secure your (free) spot HERE.

Get Bec’s take on stepping back into the business for an extra day and find out why guilt is good for you and your business: www.instituteforcouplesinbusiness.com/mother-guilt

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About the Author

Edward is the Co-Founder and Lead Strategist at the Institute for Couples in Business. When he’s not nutting out smart strategies you’ll find him hanging out with wife and business partner Rebecca and his sons Samuel, 4, and Charles, 2. For the past seven years Ed has been working with business owners to double profits, halve hours and build self-sustaining business that thrives with or without you. Ed is also author of #1 best-seller Lead-The-Ship and a sought-after guest speaker who often gets mistaken for Prince Harry.