80% Busy

How to avoid burn out, make more money and be a better spouse

Today, I’m going to share with you one of the secrets of my success.  Its deceptively simple.

My goal is to be 80% busy.

Don’t worry, this post isn’t a slacker manifesto.

In later posts I’ll explain the nitty gritty of how this works.   First, let me explain how I got here.

For many years I worked all the time. When I first started my business this was necessary.  But once things settled down, I continued to do it anyways.  Who works hardest, wins.  Right?


After three years of going at – let’s call it 110% – I burnt out.

Initially, I refused to accept it.  I kept pushing.

Until I couldn’t.

There’s a cost to being stupid busy.  Relationships suffer.  And so does your health.   For some crazy reason this didn’t bother me.

But then I noticed my work began to suffer too. I was making more mistakes and also missing opportunities.

After one especially bad week –  I lost a great customer, had a star employee quit and my girlfriend dumped me – I knew I had to make a change.

The good news about burn out is that recovery is easy.   Two weeks on a beach somewhere can make you feel almost new again.  The hard part is breaking the cycle that got you there in the first place.

This took me awhile to figure out.

The answer was to structure my life so I always had spare capacity.  By spare capacity I mean extra time and energy to be with my family.  To take on new opportunities.  To put out fires.  To think!

“80% busy” became my new mantra.

Some people will hear this and think “80% lazy”.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Since 80% busy became my goal, I’ve invested in four new businesses, purchased half a dozen real estate investments and continued to grow both of my core businesses.  I’ve also gotten married, had two kids and travelled around the world.

I’m getting shit done.  And I’m still sane.

Of course, no week is exactly the same.  Sometimes I’m operating at 100% busy.  Sometimes I’m at 60%.  But my goal is to always bring it back to 80%.  Its what works for me.  Its my Optimal Functioning Capability (OFC).  Less and I start to get bored.  A lot more and I can feel burn out creeping in.

In my next post I’ll detail the specific things I did to get here.

For now I’m curious to find out how busy you are.  What is your OFC?

Send me an email.  Lets talk.

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