6 Essential Wellbeing Hacks For Busy Entrepreneurs
Emergency procedure on an aeroplane is very simple: in the event of a serious incident, put on your own mask before trying to help anyone else. This really speaks to the fundamental difficulty we all face when trying to take care of ourselves. Fast predators spook us, but slow predators… we don’t have the instinct to guard against them.
This is one of the main reasons why entrepreneurs so easily fall victim to burnout. The demands of their professional lives slowly erode their energy and spirit without them ever noticing, eventually leaving them struggling to continue. So if you’re living that lifestyle, how can you change your ways and safeguard your future?
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do, and we’re going to look at 6 simple changes you can make — small changes that will make big differences. Let’s get to it:
Get more exercise
First up on the list of things-you-know-you-should-do-but-find-excuses-for-avoiding is exercise. Barring the occasional injury, it’s an equivocal good: the more you move around and get your muscles working, the better you’ll feel, the more soundly you’ll sleep (more on that next), and the stronger you’ll become. How much do you need? Try to find 30 minutes every day to exercise, and follow any routine you prefer to work up a sweat (here are some ideas).
Get better sleepThe phrasing is important here: not get more sleep, but get better sleep. This is because duration isn’t the only thing that matters. Imagine two scenarios: in one, you fall in and out of sleep for ten hours, ultimately getting eight hours of uneasy sleep. In another, you sleep peacefully for six hours. Won’t the latter leave you feeling more rested? To improve the quality of your sleep, exercise in the evening, cut back on exposure to light, and get out of bed if you wake up early — with how sleep cycles are thought to operate, multiples of 1.5 hours are best, so you’ll be more alert getting up after 6 hours than if you hold out for 7.
Start outsourcing tasks
The entrepreneurial workload (particularly if you’re working solo) is daunting at the best of times, and no matter how primed you are for facing it, you’ll find it a major challenge. That’s why outsourcing is such a benefit, whether you’re outsourcing to software or people. Leverage setup tools like Shopify (a store builder) and efficiency tools like Boomerang (an email scheduler), and delegate repetitive tasks such as fielding phone inquiries to virtual assistant (VA) services such as Virtual HQ.
Talk about your problems
Mental health isn’t something to take lightly, but when you have a busy schedule, you can easily bottle things up — leading them to fester. It doesn’t help that there’s still a stigma around admitting weakness in the business world. It isn’t unknown for entrepreneurs to keep saying they’re fine right up until they break down. So before that happens, talk about your problems: you can see a therapist, or just talk to an understanding friend. You can also cultivate good habits for when you’re alone, such as using positive affirmations.
Find time for friends
Speaking of friends, are you leaving room in your schedule to see yours? Putting all the energy you have into developing your professional life and furthering your goals doesn’t leave much time for socializing, and you might have written it off for the moment. This is dangerous. You need breaks to relax and feel part of the world again. No matter how busy your schedule is, find some time to see your friends, and don’t even think about work when you do.
Set short-term goals
As an entrepreneur, you’ll naturally have some long-term goals in mind: making a certain amount of money, earning a specific number of clients, or perhaps getting your own office. And these goals are very important, but sometimes they can be too far away to be sufficiently motivational. By setting short-term goals as well (and making them SMART), you can give yourself things to achieve in your day-to-day work — picking up good client recommendations, for instance, or hitting percentage marks in your progress towards your biggest goals — and have regular reason to celebrate.
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t require you to risk burnout — not if you approach it with the right commitment to preserving your mental and physical health. These 6 hacks don’t require too much effort, but can significantly reduce your workload, so try them out.