Close your business or retire once every seven years

By on February 11, 2015

We spend a large portion of our lives working. We then spend another chunk of it sleeping, eating, travelling (to work), and waiting. Then what time is left is ours for living and enjoying ourselves. Many of you reading this will be thinking, ‘but I love my job’ or ‘my work feels like play’. If you’re in this happy work realm, then good for you.

For the other 98 percent, life is short – so it’s worth figuring out how to make the most of the time you have while at work and building your career. Even so, employees and entrepreneurs alike, everyone needs a break. And could it be that the longer the break, the better the return?

On average you spend about 26 years sleeping; six months waiting in line; nearly 100 000 hours working (assuming you start at 20 and finish at 65 and only work 40-hours per week). Ninety percent of your time, if you work an office job or drive for work, is spent indoors and you spend 11 years in front of the TV.

Sadly most people only spend about 14 days kissing and 115 days laughing.

Given these stats, a one year break per seven years of working won’t change that much, aside from making us happier and able to put more into our work upon our return. It’s about yin and yang – take time out so you can give everything you’ve got when you’re working, instead of a half-hearted attempt for 40-plus years, save a holiday here and there.

If we knew we had lengthily breaks in our working lives, we’d think more wisely about how we spend our money and who we spend it with and on. Many people work to shop away their blues, or spend all of their spare income on activities that help them feel more alive. Either way, working or not they never have any money left at the end of the month.

Take out some of that time you’re spending waiting on the phone or travelling to do an imaginary plan of how you’d fund your year’s break. Once you have a rough idea, what would you spend the time doing? Who would you spend the time with? How would you communicate it to clients and your staff or boss?

Once you’ve finished, if it’s even close to possible, why not give it a try? We can all be enterprising when we want to be. And life is short after all.

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