Here's a shout out to any business owner running themselves physically and mentally into the ground.
Yes, your business is important to you, and yes, you want it to become a success, but you should NEVER prioritize your business over your health. Seriously, if you become too ill to work, then your business is never going to succeed anyway.
You see, many of us put our health in danger on a regular basis. Afraid of business failure, we work longer hours than we should. We get up earlier in the morning too, so it's little wonder that many of us feel exhausted during the day. We also fail to delegate, unwilling to put trust in others, and that only adds to our workload. Stress and burnout will follow if we go down this path, and there will be physical and mental consequences.
Of course, there are other ways we put our health at risk. Staring for hours at a computer screen can lead to severe eye-strain. Sitting at a desk without any exercise can play havoc with our joints, as well as those other sedentary health risks, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. And don't get us started on those office doughnuts many of us order in each day! Tasty but terrible for our long-term health.That's assuming we eat at all, of course, as quite often, we neglect the importance of lunch breaks when we have a lot of work to get through.
In so many ways, we are putting our health at risk because of our business priorities, and that won't do at all. Changes need to be made, because not only will we suffer in the long-term, but our business will suffer as well.
So, here are a few things you might want to consider going forward, especially if you are guilty of prioritizing your business over your own health needs.
Get plenty of sleep. Sorry, but drinking caffeine and a mindset of hard-working determination will only get you so far during the day. You will start to flag eventually, and your productivity will drop because of it. You need to get into a good sleeping habit, as you will then wake up fully rested, and have a fighting chance of getting through the day without falling asleep at your desk. Experts say 7-8 hours sleep a night should be the minimum, so get into the routine, as you will only be hit by physical and mental exhaustion if you don't.
Eat healthily. As we said, cut out those doughnuts. Stop eating last night's pizza for breakfast. And hey, cut down on eating pizza anyway! You need to get into good eating habits, because if you want to work hard you need to have the right fuel in your body to keep you going. This starts with a healthy breakfast, so assuming you have made it into bed at a decent time, you should be able to get out of bed with enough energy to make yourself something good to eat. You might then make yourself a packed lunch that is filled with your essential vitamins and nutrients, as this will negate the need to rely on fast food during your lunch break, and will reduce the chances of you not eating anything at all. And when you get home, fully energized from your good eating habits during the day, prepare a healthy meal instead of relying on your local fast food joint for your evening meal.
Engage in exercise. No matter how busy you are in the day, you need to engage in exercise. The more you do, the fitter you will be physically, and the more your mood will improve. Exercise is vital for reducing stress, and it's necessary when you are working at a desk in your office for most of your business day. So, before you have eaten breakfast in the morning, take a stroll around the block. Instead of taking the car to work, consider walking or cycling instead, or if you take the bus or train, get off a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way. During the day, get off your chair once in a while and stretch your legs. Go for a walk during your lunch break, and practice these exercises if you are sat at your desk for an age. The fitter you are, the more productive you will be, so timetable something into your day. Your body and your mind depend upon it.
Get a health checkup. Listen, if you have been overlooking your health needs, you really should get a health checkup today. Book an appointment with your doctor, or speak to somebody online using a virtual service such as télémédecine to discuss any potential health problems. If there are any issues, a nurse or doctor will recommend the next step for you. And if there are no issues at all, then hoorah, but remember to stick to a healthy lifestyle to reduce future chances of ill health. Again, as business owners, we can be lax when making these appointments, because our calendars are often filled to the max. But an offline or an online appointment needs to be circled in your calendar as a priority, so sort this out NOW to protect yourself and your business.
Delegate your workload. You aren't Superman (we are assuming), so stop doing EVERYTHING! To make your life easier, and to reduce the chances of you suffering from the symptoms of burnout, offload some of your workloads to somebody else. If you have employees able and willing to take on extra duties, then put your trust in them. If you don't have the right people on your team to delegate to, or if they are already overly burdened with their own workloads, consider outsourcing some of your work to another firm or freelancer. You will then have more time to focus on the areas of work you are most skilled in, and whisper it; you might also get the opportunity to get home at a decent time.
Take time out for you. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work also makes Jack a tired, depressed, and burned out boy, so you do need to give yourself a break. You need to create a work-life balance, which you should be able to do if our suggestions in this article have helped you with your productivity. Finish work at a good time, and leave your workload on your desk. It will still be there tomorrow, so don't worry about anybody stealing it (as if they would). Provided you have completed your priority tasks; you don't need to take anything home with you. And when you're at home, do something to relax. Put your feet up on the sofa, take a long bath, and/or engage with one of your hobbies. You need to schedule in time to unplug every day because if you don't find the time to recharge your batteries, you will eventually find yourself running on empty.
Of course, for all we know, you might be as fit as a Gold-winning Olympic gymnast, so keep it up if you are. You must be doing something right with your life, and that's great news. Your business is probably as healthy as your mind and body are, so hats off to you.
On the other hand, you might be feeling stressed, tired, and bodily and mentally frazzled, in which case, you need to take a step back from what you are doing. If your business is causing you to feel this way (and we suspect it is), then follow the suggestions we have given you in this article. Your business matters, we know, and you don't want it to fail, but you matter too, and we don't want you to fail!
So today, take care of yourself, and in doing so, you will also take care of your business.