Forcing Entrepreneurs to Take Time Off: Different Perceptions of Time

Entrepreneurs are experiencing time at a different rate than the rest of the world. That’s it’s so hard to find a work/life balance.

There is a great column by Meg Cadoux Hirshberg in the Febuary 2012 issue of Inc Magazine about Entrepreneurs balancing work time with vacation time and spending time with their families. She writes:

The problem isn’t that entrepreneurs find so much family time onerous but that they and their families have been experiencing time differently. Most company founders charge ahead at warp speed, grappling with one huge challenge and momentous decision after another…Consequently, when entrepreneurs take months off from work, they are transitioning not just from fast to slow (slower, anyway) but also from making things happen to experiencing life as it naturally unfolds.

While numerous studies show that taking an extended vacation increases productivity, it just never seems to be the right time to take a break. Entrepreneurs often have multiple projects running at the same time, all progressing a different rates, so there’s always a sense of anticipation and forward movement. When removed from a work setting, the result is not necessarily a sigh of relief. Rather, it’s a feeling of loss. The rushing sensation of time and the ability to influence its course is gone.

It’s the constant feeling of being right on the cusp, right about to accomplish something big. That’s a force powerful enough to warp time. It’s not about refusing to take a sabbatical, but literally feeling like you haven’t been working as long as you actually have. When you’re doing something you love to do, time flies.

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