With so many books and blogs about time management, you would think that we would all be living the great entrepreneurial dream and working only a few hours a week. We’d all have amazing self-care systems and never feel stressed running our businesses!
Like many entrepreneurs, long days, late nights, massive stressors, eating on the run and never taking a break is probably not what you signed up for. Working this hard for long periods of time is not sustainable. You WILL burn out and you won’t like the end result.
Take a quick look in the mirror and guess what you will see? The most valuable asset to your business—you—will be looking back at you. Be honest, how well are you taking care of this incredible and irreplaceable asset? What do you need to change to enable taking better care of yourself? Take the first step and ask yourself: “What systems could I create to support a healthier work-life balance?”
Here are some self-care tips to stay healthy and happy as a business owner.
1. Document your processes
Most businesses start small without any form of documentation and with a few key individuals holding most of the operational knowledge. The business owner typically holds most of this knowledge in their head and is the constant go-to person for answers. Often, they can end up doing the majority of the work because they are the only ones who know “how” to do it.
By documenting systems, you are able to delegate tasks and focus on what’s most important in your business.
2. Have a scheduled “quiet time” (to think)
Demand, demand, demand! There’s always something you could be doing in your business. It helps to have quiet time to strategically think about how you are going to tackle everything.
Protect this time fiercely! You can set your phone to “do not disturb” or a use gatekeeper to respectfully turn inquiries away. By setting time aside now, you will save more time later thanks to your strategic approach.
3. Take a lunch break
Sometimes small business owners say they take a lunch break. What they actually mean is, “I’ll eat this at my desk while I read this email.”
That’s not a break and it’s not getting that task done any faster either. It’s just a waste of time. Take a full break, refuel your body with something nutritious, and come back to your tasks refreshed.
4. Don’t over-commit or overbook
Often, we want to please everyone or we don’t want to miss any opportunity for our business even if it’s a small one. So we try to cram everything into our schedule, which leaves us overbooked and overworked. Prioritize what really needs your time. The rest will come.
5. Scheduling personal time
Creating work-life balance as an entrepreneur can be achieved by staying on top of your schedule. Your work schedule needs boundaries. When are you willing to work and when are you not?
Be aggressive about protecting your calendar and your time. You can even schedule small mental breaks. Maybe you take a twenty-minute walk at lunch to clear your head. Simple mental breaks make a huge difference in a workday. You need time to rest or your day could quickly turn from good to “I don’t love this anymore” bad.
Self-care belongs in business!
Entrepreneurs tend to put their physical and mental health on the back burner to a long list of urgent priorities. The ironic thing is that without your health, all the other “priorities” quickly become irrelevant. Self-care is just as important as any other part of your business.
There are lots of self-care systems you can implement in your business so you can happily and healthily run your company. What system will you start with?
Until next time, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!