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Curious how you all manage your work life balance with friends, family and personal time.

Do you have specific principles, schedule, goals that you stick to to stay focused and enthusiastic about your business?

What types of activities do you do to keep up your enthusiasm and non-business priorities?

Have you ever been or are you now a workaholic?

If so, what did you do or are you ding to balance things out better?

How often do you like to take a step back from your business to give yourself a break from thinking about it by doing something fully unrelated to your business?

Do you work for weeks or months at a time without a break or do you make sure to get some down time?
 

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Hair Splitter
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Most nights I'm working in the office, but I always try to be home to eat with the family.

I don't work on Saturday unless it's a must. Saturday is family/honey-do day.

Sunday is for God and family.

Twice a year vacation time. Two weeks during Christmas and new years and two weeks at the end of July after my daughter's travel softball is over and before fall ball and marching band starts.
 

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Talking Head
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5,388 Posts
I did a big switch in my time allocation when my daughter was born, four years ago. I used to work on-site about 50-60 hours a week and then some 80-90 hour weeks when I needed to catch up. The office work happened at night after my wife went to bed(I'm an insomniac, for the past 22 years). Saturdays were usually work days and Sundays were pretty frequent but usually only for a few hours. I always asked HO's before I planned on Sundays.

Now, I work 45 hours a week on-site or material runs, meetings, etc.. I don't leave my house before 7:30 and I'm home by 5:45. I still do my office work at night. The only thing I'll do on a weekend is meet a customer if they have a difficult schedule or live out-of-town.

It's been a difficult switch as I had to relearn how to estimate, both for time and money. I've learned to be better about managing my expectations and the customers and not to book jobs as tightly. The lower hours have resulted in less income and that's been my goal for this year. I think way to many of us in the trades look at our income and say "that's enough" or "that's not too bad" while ignoring the fact that we're really putting in 1000 hours or more extra week than the "average" worker would.

I almost forgot. We take a week long camping trip every summer and usually three or four long weekends for weddings and holidays.
 

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Working
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I'm trying to do what EthanB did. So far I'm half way to my goal, we will see if I can keep it up or if the money will win out.

Basically I have trouble balancing both.

Cole
 

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Punching above his weight
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Definitely don't put work over the important stuff. As much as you feel like you and your customers are both depending on you to get it done, it's generally not as big a deal as you think it is.
I've only asked a customer to reschedule a job on a few occasions. Each time I had the biggest knot in my stomach when I was calling them, feeling like I was calling to tell them I killed their best friend or something. Each time they said, "Yeah sure, that's no problem."

Make time for what's important. Blowing off work to go to the beach with a friend is important. Blowing off work to lie in bed with your girl until noon is also important.
I'm positive when I'm 80 I'll wish I'd done it more than I have.
 

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I work 40 hrs a week plus all the time I spend on here reading and learning. All reading and research happens after the wife goes to bed usually.

God is first every day, it helps the days go well when your joy is in something other than your circumstances. Family is extremely important to me. Wife, 18 month old, one due in july. I love my wife and kids a lot.

Work is a way to provide a living for my family while I'm here on earth. When I'm dead and gone, I want no regrets.
 

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Good stuff:thumbsup: Right now work is consuming most of my time. I have managed to take a vacation ( or 2) each of the last 4 /5 years. Going to Disneyland next week for 2 days with the family and getting some major chill time in Palm Springs. The only reason this is possible is cuz of busting your arse pays off. Plan a few months in advance and put money into it even if its as little as booking a motel room in advance.
 

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Head Light Bulb Changer
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A couple of years ago I transitioned from doing small/medium reno's to home repair/handyman type stuff. Less hours, less aggravation, same/a little less money per year, and no more weekends. Making a LOT more money per hour. At one point I had 5 guys working for me and all the headaches that went with it. I'm now a one man show with a helper that works 30-40 hours a month. I'm much happier being smaller. I don't have to advertise to drum up leads, it's all referrals. Life is good now, not trying to chase that next big job that will 'put me over the top'.
 

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EricBrancard said:
Still trying to find that balance. Right now it's 99% work : 1% everything else. That has to change or I may not make it to 40.
That's where I am too, but I might not make it to 30. No kids and a girlfriend who works into the evenings means my long days go mostly unnoticed. I've been trying to take Sunday off each week but it turns into a day at the desk. I was running a bunch of little projects all winter but I'm hoping that subbing all summer in one place will bring some routine back.
 

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Work starts at 0800hrs, 30 min break, ends at 1630hrs. We rarely deviate from that 5 day schedule. Weekends off.

Do we work past 1630hrs and Saturdays?, yes, but rarely.

I've done the 6-7 days for nearly ten years. Guess what, it didn't make me a millionaire but took time away from my family.

Guess what, I'm still not a millionaire but I have a life with family, and I'm making more money because I realized it's not the amount of time you work that makes you more money, it's the amount of money you make with your time.

My Father always told me, anybody can get rich working 7 days a week, but it's the smart guy doing it in 40 hours.
 

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Livin the dream...
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Just starting out my business. Pretty much all I do it work. Usually six days a week 7 - 8ish.

I enjoy the work though so that makes a bid difference. It is also my hobby. Work funds my tool buying addiction which gives me a lot of satisfaction.

My wife is an angel. She handles it all well. She is very understanding that we are starting out and that the life of a contractor can be hectic and unpredictable. Hopefully someday I'll get to the point where I don't have to work so much but then I'm not sure what I'd do with my time. Sometimes if I get home by 5 I start looking for another job to start...
 

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Livin the dream...
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I work 40 hrs a week plus all the time I spend on here reading and learning. All reading and research happens after the wife goes to bed usually.

God is first every day, it helps the days go well when your joy is in something other than your circumstances. Family is extremely important to me. Wife, 18 month old, one due in july. I love my wife and kids a lot.

Work is a way to provide a living for my family while I'm here on earth. When I'm dead and gone, I want no regrets.
Amen! You are a wise man! I could never work like I do if my strength didn't come from somewhere else. The desire to provide for a great wife and family is also an incredible motivator.

Knowing that you have a purpose and are using the talents God has given you to fulfill the calling He has for you is a source of tremendous strength.

And as for joy, I agree 100%. If it was dependent on circumstances I'd be in tough shape everyday because there are always things that go wrong and I almost never meet my goals on a day to day basis because I set the bar high.
 

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Spencer said:
Just starting out my business. Pretty much all I do it work. Usually six days a week 7 - 8ish. I enjoy the work though so that makes a bid difference. It is also my hobby. Work funds my tool buying addiction which gives me a lot of satisfaction. My wife is an angel. She handles it all well. She is very understanding that we are starting out and that the life of a contractor can be hectic and unpredictable. Hopefully someday I'll get to the point where I don't have to work so much but then I'm not sure what I'd do with my time. Sometimes if I get home by 5 I start looking for another job to start...
Just wait till you have kids if that's what y'all want. You come home at 5 with a kid who is so happy you're home and then you get to play with him for a bit before dinner. Then we do projects together inside or out outside after dinner to bless my wife with time that she doesn't have to watch him.

He's 18 months but the little guy knows how to put a screwdriver on a screw and turn it. It's a fun time of life.

I think by the time he's 10 he'll know as much as I do about construction... Lol. He watches every single work project I do.
 

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90%-er
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When my first was born four years ago, I started a transition to a more strict balance. It happened slowly, but now I'm at a point where the only weekend work I'll do is a bid in the afternoon while they're napping, and that's if there is absolutely no other way to meet this customer.

During the week, the only time you'll catch me on a jobsite past 530 is if we're less than an hour away from finishing a big job that I'm owed significant money for. Otherwise, it can wait.

We have made a conscious choice as a couple to trade income for priceless time with our kids while they're still young.

I'd kill for just one more day with the ten month old version of my daughter, and I don't want to feel that way about her current age a few years from now. I wouldn't waste a minute of that day working, either.
 

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I've been blessed with a lot of work. With that being said it's always 6 or 7 days a week. On rainy days, I'm working in the shop servicing equipment or out checking on jobs or collecting on payments. Every night, it's a late dinner with my wife , then off to the office.

We hadn't been on a vacation in 14 years, but we're changing that this year! I tell everyone I won't go on vacation cause i'll probably won't come back! :laughing:
 
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