Self-care and entrepreneurship are not mutually exclusive.
I propose that to be a better entrepreneur you must keep your health a priority. I have maintained a healthy lifestyle as I launch my creative agency 23 Sons LLC, because I understand that it is essential to my success and productivity as an entrepreneur. A few tips that help me stay healthy:
Managing to get enough sleep has been a huge issue for myself and other entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is incredibly taxing and the unknown as to whether your business will succeed or fail has caused me a lot of restless nights.
When you don’t get a good night sleep you crave unhealthy high sugar and high fat processed foods. Additionally, you are significantly less productive during your waking hours. The focus on 100 hour work weeks leads to compromises to your ability to think clearly, lead effectively, and build a strategic business.
Make sleep a non-negotiable and bring ritual to it. Shut down devices an hour before sleep. Have a calming routine such as yoga, meditation and/or reading to relax your mind and allow for the production of melatonin. Arianna Huffington’s new book Thrive has helped to remind me of the necessity of sleep. Don’t work more; work smarter.
Savor the Space
Stop multitasking everything. Jon Stewart shouldn’t be the only source of your daily moment of Zen. To start creating space, I recommend you rethink your commute. Between traffic and aggressive drivers, driving to your office often leads to more stress and requires a more sedentary lifestyle.
I bike to the office and to meetings and the time outside provides me clarity, relaxation and exercise—versus the typical stress and inactivity from driving. I feel so strongly about folks getting out of their cars I have launched BikeStylish.com as a project to encourage non-hard-core-cyclists to get out of their cars and bike!
Even if it takes a little longer, remember you aren’t just commuting; you are exercising and providing a moment of mental calm (which will make you a more productive entrepreneur). See my latest Bike Stylish installment on Elephant.
Don’t pull out your phone at every moment, enjoy the silence. Trust me you’ll become smarter. Ever heard how brilliant ideas come to people in the shower? Down time allows your brain time to process all of those unresolved issues while you’re not focusing on them consciously.
Similar to sleep, exercise is something that often falls to the backburner behind all other responsibilities and demands. Similar to being on an airplane, first apply your oxygen mask and then assist others. Beyond staying thin, which you will, exercise gives you laser-sharp focus better than any caffeine buzz.
As mentioned in the sleep recommendation above, don’t work more; work smarter. When you are firing on all cylinders, you will be much more effective than when you are constantly in an unhealthy haze. Fitting your schedule around a class schedule can be difficult; keep sneakers and something you can exercise in at the office so you can take a quick run, do 10 minute on abs or free weights while you work.
Begin to rethink your exercising; how can you combine this with other activities that you are already doing? For me I routinely use exercise as my social hour. Instead of inviting someone over to watch a show or go out to a bar, invite them to climb, run or bike ride.
If they are anything like you, they probably also have difficulty fitting in exercise and will be glad to fit it in. Challenge the conventional meeting; take meetings outside on a walk. Fresh air and movement will get your creative brain going!
There are so many other tips to help you find a balanced lifestyle, but start with these to have a healthier, happier, and more strategic entrepreneurial you!
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Editor: Travis May
Photo: Provided by author
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