Being an entrepreneur and running your own business can be one of the most gratifying experiences, but it can also be extremely stressful — it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns like many assume.
When I founded Market Domination Media I was working very hard to the point of mental and physical exhaustion. Over time I learned how to work smarter, and developed a set of personal rules to follow. If you are feeling overwhelmed or rundown use these tips to remain sane and achieve your entrepreneurial goals.
1. Restore energy with deep sleep.
In the early stages of a business you can run on pure adrenaline. You are overflowing with excitement and there are a million things to get done. Eventually your tank of gas is going to run out, making getting a quality rest every night essential.
You need to be full of energy and ready to take on the day when you wake up. I focus on quality over quantity when it comes to the number of hours I sleep. Personally, I perform much better on four hours of deep sleep compared to eight hours of poor sleep.
2. Be active.
Sitting at a desk all day is not healthy. I know that. You know that. There are several health studies and statistics showing that sitting all day is slowly killing us. So, why do we continue to remain glued to our chairs?
Entrepreneurs are so focused on reaching their goals that sometimes the blinders go on and everything else is ignored — including health and well-being. Join the gym and get in at least an hour of physical exercise daily and also get up out of your chair and walk around multiple times throughout the day.
3. Take time off.
So many people say they want to be an entrepreneur and own their own business to have the freedom to take time off whenever they want. It sounds good, but the reality is that starting and growing a business can consume every ounce of energy and time you have if you let it.
If you find yourself on the verge of complete burnout, force yourself to take time off. The time away will recharge your energy and focus, making you more productive when you return to work.
4. Occupy off time with hobbies.
When you aren’t submerged in your business, it is important to keep busy. If you don’t have hobbies or activities planned, guess what you are going to do? Work on your business! A quick, “let me just check my emails real quick” on a day off can easily turn into a full day of work. Spend your time off doing the things you enjoy.
5. Have a comfortable workspace.
It amazes me how many people will drop several hundred dollars on the newest iPhone but they are super cheap when it comes to a chair for their office. A nice supportive chair, standing desk, lots of natural light and plenty of organization can create a pleasant and comfortable area to work on building your empire.
6. Set communication boundaries.
Thanks to technology you can be connected to your business 24/7. While smartphones, mobile email and business apps are convenient, the pressure to stay connected around the clock can implode the business/personal life balance. A solution is to set boundaries — for example I disable my mobile email every Sunday, giving me a day to disengage and recharge without being distracted by emails.
7. Remain social.
Sometimes entrepreneurs want to remain in their creative area and focus 100 percent of their effort and time into building their dream. This isn’t healthy — you need to interact socially with friends and family to remain sane.
Getting together with a group of friends can help take your mind off potentially stressful business situations and help to keep you connected with the outside world. Don’t pass up the occasional night out with friends because you feel like you have a full plate of work. That plate is always going to be full and it can often wait until tomorrow.
8. Establish a clearly defined cut off time for your day and week.
A lot of entrepreneurs feel that they need to work around the clock to keep their dream and business above water. This results in mental and physical exhaustion, severely impacting your productivity. Establish a time that you will stop working each day along with when your workweek ends — and stick to it. You will notice that you start each day refreshed and become more productive.
9. Eat well.
When strapped for time, fast food is extremely convenient. The combination of sitting a lot and eating horrible food can result in you taking on extra pounds faster than the Titanic took on water — as well as increasing your risk of heart disease. Preparing healthy meals days in advance is a great way to eat healthy while still having a convenient “fast” meal that you can eat while multi-tasking.
10. Remain optimistic all of the time.
You are going to be thrown curve balls on a regular basis as a business owner. Regardless of the situation you need to remain optimistic and know in your mind that everything will be fine. Negative thoughts never breed positive results, and your business becomes vulnerable the moment you start to have doubts.
Jonathan Long via Entrepreneur