As a business leader, you’re always busy. Whether you’re working for a startup or a small business, or you’re a freelancer who’s constantly making connections with new clients, it feels like you’re always busy. Usually, that’s a good thing. After all, when nothing’s going on, that doesn’t mean the best for your business. But never stopping to take a breath or to take stock of your physical or emotional health can have devastating consequences not only for you but your business, too.
Whether you’re a dropshipping supplier or run an environmentally-friendly printer’s shop, health comes first. So if you’re ready to change your busy entrepreneur lifestyle, and make a little room for health in it, remember to follow these tips.
1 Remember to sleep
Yes, we know. Sleeping is, ironically, your worst nightmare. Not only does it take a lot of time away from your business–seven to nine hours is a lot to lose when it comes to making money–but you probably have a lot of trouble falling asleep in the first place. For some reason, all the best ideas seem to come to you late at night, just as you’re finally shutting your eyes. But that doesn’t matter. The fact is, sleep is essential.
In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, “In a separate study of 81 organizations and 189,000 people around the world, we found that four types of leadership behavior are most commonly associated with high-quality executive teams: operating with a strong orientation to results, solving problems effectively, seeking out different perspectives, and supporting others. What’s striking in all four cases is the proven link between sleep and effective leadership.” So if you were losing sleep before because you thought it was beneficial to your business–think again. It’s time to change those habits, and invest in a white noise machine.
2 Eat well and exercise
Okay, we know. It’s hard to eat well, especially when all you’re doing is taking business trips or getting drinks with potential clients at a cool club downtown. But unfortunately, we live in a world where people are taken less seriously if they don’t look in a suit or pantyhose, being unhealthy is dangerous in two ways. For one thing, it will impact how you feel (and how you look). For another, it will impact how you’re seen in the business community. Hopefully one day this will change, but for now, if you take your career seriously, eating well can be key to making that next partnership or locking in that next deal.
We know, however, that it can be hard to make time for eating well. That’s why it’s so important to use technology. Take the app MyFitnessPal, for example, an alternative to calorie-counting. According to pocket-lint.com, MyFitnessPal “is a free calorie counting app that features a food database of over 5 million foods…The app…creates a custom plan for you, providing you with a calorie goal to work towards, which appears on the top of the diary page where you add your food, exercise, and water intake. As you add, you’ll see the food calories being deducted and the exercise calories added, so it’s easy to keep track.”
Don’t forget to be healthy with your relationship to food, too. It’s easy to overeat anytime you’re stressed, or feeling guilty about losing family time because of your job. And remember: if you do slip up, don’t beat yourself up more. Instead, you can focus on exercising to feel better. Using an app like ClassPass or Fit30 means that you can make time for exercise even with the busiest of schedules.
3 Spend some time with people you love, doing what you love
Most importantly, don’t forget to spend quality time with the people you love. Whether it’s spending Saturday with your family on a hike or getting a drink with your best friends on a Friday night, this will distract you from all your worries and remind you of the importance of personal connections. Especially if you’re starting a new business, it can be easy to lose sight of this. But remember: work is the top cause of stress in the US, so you need to get away from it sometimes. No matter how hard you want to be working.
If you find it hard to pull yourself away, try some of these techniques from Lifehack.
By following these tips, you’ll be healthier than ever, no matter how busy you are. Which of these health tips do you think will be most challenging to follow? How do you plan on facing that challenge?