In the frantic life of a modern entrepreneur, it’s easy to forget the basics, and self-care often gets pushed to the periphery but, according to studies, strong health management is linked to an improved immune system, increased productivity, and higher self-esteem — crucial attributes for business success. For the smartest among us, good work comes from first working on yourself.
Finding a good balance between work and your life outside of it is key to self-care and staying mentally/physically healthy. Overworking is actually shown to be counterproductive as output tends to drop after a 50-hour workweek — and those who work 70 hours produce no more than someone who works 55. As ZenBusiness details, once we get beyond an optimal stress level, performance will suffer. If you can say ‘no’ to overtime or set your own limits, you may actually find your performance improving.
The steps towards a better balance are simple: You need to make sure you’re taking vacation days, working remotely when possible, and enjoying plenty of breaks
throughout the day. It’s also important to set clear boundaries with clients and employers, ensuring that your own wellbeing is a factor when deciding deadlines or workloads. Also, keeping a clean and clutter-free living space can keep us relaxed, positive, and focused. By making small adjustments and taking a stand on your personal welfare, you’ll realize a marked improvement in every area of your life.
Master the process and the results will follow — this mantra is true for business as it is for physical health. For a busy entrepreneur, it can be challenging to find the time to get moving and keep in shape but doing so is essential to improved concentration, a sharper memory, faster learning, prolonged mental stamina, and enhanced creativity, according to experts. So exercise is important but how can you find the time to fit it in?
With the advent of remote working, and as a result of the pandemic, home workouts have seen renewed popularity. If you haven’t got the right equipment, you can use virtual instructors or Youtube videos, such as dance tutorials. With minimal apparatus, it’s possible to plan guerilla workout sessions that resourcefully use the space around you and fit your schedule. Alternatively, there are plenty of desk workouts that can be done without you having to leave the workstation. There are also tons of fitness apps you can use to personalize your workout—just be sure to protect your phone with an armband when exercising.
Self-care isn’t just about taking time away from work — it’s also about looking after yourself during the workday. For some of us, meditation, stress-relieving activities or relaxation techniques are the anchors that keep us centered. If you’re new to this idea, start first with your breathing — it’s hard to overstate the importance of simple breath management in keeping calm and focused.
If you can fit it into your schedule, yoga improves breathing and holds incredible wellness benefits that can completely alter your mood and temperament in a work context. Some poses even lend themselves to the office space and can be done either from your desk or in the lunchroom (if you don’t mind a few looks from your colleagues). For home entrepreneurs, you might consider investing in a mat and dedicating a space in the home for a daily routine.
If self-care is key to production and production is key to business success, then your first priority should be to look after yourself. The steps above are sure to help, but first, you need to make the decision to turn the focus inwards.