Life as an entrepreneur is a rollercoaster which requires sacrifice and dedication. Sound familar? Without the right self management tools and mentality, the entrepreneurship journey can wind up affecting physical health, social life, and emotional soundness.
No matter how busy you are as a business owner, you should have a plan to keep fit physically, emotionally, socially, and mentally. Keep reading for our guide to help you bridge the gap between being between reaching your professional objectives and being mentally fit.
1.Energy vs workload
Bridge COO Julie Murat says her top tip is ‘not to think in terms of work, but in terms of energy.’ Thinking in terms of energy instead of hours/ workload might seem like a strange concept at first, but let us explain. When you have the right kind of energy, you are more productive and efficient in your work. You can start by asking yourself which times of day are you most productive and engaged and whether you could reserve your most challenging tasks for those moments.
You could also take a look into a productivity structure that allows you to optimize your energy in an efficient way. At Bridge, many of the team like to use the Pomodoro method which involves taking a 5 min break after every 25 minuites of work. As you become more productive in your tasks, you’ll probably find yourself feeling more energised and mentally prepared for the tasks you need to complete, even the ones you have doubts on.
2.Create a Plan (and follow it)
We understand, planning can be impossible when you’ve got a million ideas and meetings with investors, partners, mentors seem to spring spontaneously out of nowhere. However, planning can’t be overplayed when seeking success in any area of life. Getting through the day without a solid layout will make you unproductive with work. Then, in trying to catch up, you’ll end up neglecting your physical, emotional, social, and mental health.
On the flip side, creating a concrete plan, with space for flexibility and a true understanding of the time you need to complete tasks will rocket your efficiency. At Bridge, we like to use Trello, a free management tool, to plan our daily and weekly sprints.
3. Automate or Delegate Tasks
Following Alan Lakein’s ABC rule, prioritize the tasks you have to execute in your business as “must do,” “should do,” or “nice to do.” This will help you know the activities you can avoid or know when to ask other team mates for contributions. Tools such as Traqq allow you to stay updated on these contributions for both remote and presential teams. Like Trello, it’s a free software and has features such as website tracking, real-time logging of activities and uploading of reports and invoices.
As well as contributions, challenge which tasks you are currently doing manually which could be made automatic such as automating emails to create a workflow for new leads. This may be painful at first, but after the initial switch it will create a more efficient process.
4. Physical fitness and healthy eating
At this point your probably thinking, on 8 hours sleep, planing and executing that plan, there’s not a lot of time left for working out and eating right. But, in our experience there are some low effort solutions which mean you can do it all (or at least get close to it).
For example, think of planning a menu of 3-5 easy to do lunch and dinner recipes at the start of the week. These can be quick – around 15 mins preparation time each. Try it and if it doesn’t work adjust based on what’s realistic for you.
The same goes for working out. Many entrepreneurs have the impression that physical fitness only benefits the body, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you are reluctant to workout for your physical appearance, train for your mind. Help Guide suggests that exercising helps prevent depression, stress, anxiety and increases motivation, mood, concentration, resilience and memory.
When it comes to putting in the hours, maybe all you can manage right now is a 30 min walk to and from work. Or, maybe you want to explore creating a routine that, like healthy eating, fits around your schedule and limitations. The first step is to recognize the essential role excercise plays in mental health and productiviy and act on it.
Nora Young, Content Editor at Traqq reccomends “yoga or core workouts to loosen up and release bad energy” to recuperate and prevent burnout from work.
5.Prioritize Rest and Sleep
Setting ambitious objectives is essential for your the growth of your business. However, it should not be done at the expense of getting quality rest and sleep. Most people who try to cheat nature often pay back with serious health conditions, such as heightened stress, inflammation, high blood pressure and more.
Recently, Very Well Health published an article about the ten benefits of sleep, suggesting that quality rest boosts productivity by increasing mental alertness, memory, and intelligence. Other benefits of sleep are weight loss, reduced risk of heart diseases, alleviated symptoms of depression, and accelerated body repair. So having adequate rest and sleep is a recommended self-care for all business owners. 6-8 hours every day will keep you healthy, but it will also help you achieve a balance between mental health and your professional goals.