Editor’s note: “The Angel Connection” is a regular feature in WRAL Local Tech Wire. LTW asked consultant Bill Warner to share advice for entrepreneurs seeking venture capital investment. He is chairman of the Triangle Accredited Capital Forum, an angel investor network with over 100 members throughout the Southeast. The Angel Connection is published weekly.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK –
At this time of year, it is a good time to reflect and rethink our priorities and assure that we have work and life in balance.

An important part of that balance is finding time for your personal interests and taking time to maintain your physical, mental and emotional health.

No Personal Time!

Busy professionals sometimes feel it’s necessary or expected to drop personal activities to complete deadlines or meet a deadline on a project. People in a committed relationship may need their spouse to work extra at maintaining the home and caring for children. If the spouse is also engaged in income producing work, additional pressure is put on the relationship. Stress related to work, the busy work schedule or feeling overworked can lead to lost sleep. Not having sufficient time with family leads to stress at the office just like workload and lost sleep.

The executives who take their work with them on vacation and even interrupt vacation activities with work are generating stress for themselves and their family. As time goes on, you may find that you are working, eating and sleeping, with no time for yourself and feeling bad about it.

What to Do?

Life is simply too short, so don’t let things pass you by without enjoying them. Here are some ideas that may help you be more effective and enjoy life:

• Don’t allow yourself to feel overwhelmed. Take charge of your time and develop a prioritized list of things that need to get done.

• Set priorities and be realistic about establishing goals and deadlines, and then stick to them.

• Commit to much less than your full time capacity, giving you some leeway to handle the unexpected. Then, enjoy meeting commitments. You will find that you do higher quality work ahead of schedule.

• Give yourself time to think. Schedule more time between meetings. Allow for adequate travel time. Leave room for planning time. Leave time for evenings and weekends.

• Sometimes you have to just let things go. The wisdom is in knowing what things you can have an effect on and letting go those things that you cannot do anything about or that don’t really matter.

• Take time for yourself. Get some form of regular exercise to maintain good health. Satisfy your need for your personal interests like hobbies, sports, and charities. Make time for your spiritual needs. All of these things need to be put on your calendar and are just as important as your work time.

• Get away from everything. Take a weekend vacation several times a year where you completely get away with your loved ones. Take at least a week long vacation each year with the family. No cell phone, no email, no computer, no conference calls.

• Carve out special devoted time with your loved ones every week. Don’t invite friends. This is a time alone with them. If you want to go out with friends, schedule that for another time.

• Be engaged. When you are working, be fully dedicated and attentive to work. When you are playing, be fully dedicated and attentive to play. When you are with the family, be fully dedicated to and attentive to the family.

With your investment in personal and family time you will realize you are more focused, less stressed, more productive, making fewer mistakes, better organized, and better equipped to deal with changing business conditions when you are at the office.

Bill Warner is the Managing Partner of Paladin and Associates, a business consulting firm in the Research Triangle Park area of central North Carolina, and is the Chairman of the Triangle Accredited Capital Forum, an angel investor network with over one hundred members throughout the southeast.