Do you need a bucket list to get a life?

I recently enjoyed the Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman movie The Bucket List, a tale of two men in their 70s (one a billionaire businessman, the other a car mechanic with an encyclopaedic mind) who learn that they are terminally ill and write their ‘bucket lists’ – the list of all the things they wanted to do before they kick the bucket.

Great movie – full of laughter and tears – I blubbed at the conclusion – but that may have been my third glass of Tesco’s finest Sauvignon Blanc at work.

What did they do with their last days?

Well, until some familial responsibility took hold, it was a boys\’ list of travel and thrills, driving Mustangs, sky-diving, the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids.

Which reminded me of the old phrase from writer and philosopher Wayne Dyer that \’nobody on their deathbed wished they had spent more time at the office\’ – which statement he recorded for posterity after working as an intern in a cancer clinic many decades ago.

All of which brings me to today, 12 August 2008, the day before I pack and go to the Greek island of Ithaca and spend seven days pootling about on a speedboat and enjoying the finest wines and food of the Ionian islands.

By the time you read this, my wish is that you too will have enjoyed some R&R, some sunshine and some quality time with yourself and your loved ones.

So here is my brief message before packing my snorkel and flippers.

Plan more time off.

Its not about a few precious weeks in the summer – or, for that matter, about the 4/5 weeks holiday that many of my dental principals take as annual leave.

My firmly held belief is that if you run your own business you need at least 8 weeks vacation every year, to fully recover from the stresses you place yourself under.

So take the time NOW to book next years weeks off – and make a commitment to yourself and your family to invest more of your life in them – and less in the practice.

You can make a success of your life and your business without sacrificing so much.

More profit in less time – make that your mantra.

Eight weeks holiday, three-day weekends, three days of clinical dentistry per week and one full day of business development.

That’s what my most successful clients have organised.

When you get back to work in September, make a commitment to hire a coach who can help you do this.

Don’t make the best times of your life a bucket list.

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