If you’re a busy entrepreneur running a business, then you know how easy it is to forget to stay healthy. Sometimes, you feel like your job is your entire world, which means that you might spend more time connecting with influencers on Instagram than attending your biweekly yoga class at the gym. But the fact is that you need to be healthy. Eventually, if you don’t take of yourself, it’s not only going to affect your life negatively but your business, too. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur like Brian Magierski, and connect with clients the way lawyers like Aaron Kelly do (instead of showing up exhausted to every meeting), then you need to be healthy.
You may not think you have the time. After all, your schedule’s always jam-packed. But health is important, not only to yourself but also to your business. So here’s how to stay healthy as an entrepreneur.
1 Sleep enough
We know this is the probably going to be the most challenging health habit on the list, which is why we’ve included it first. Because if there’s any message we want to get through to you, it’s that sleep is the most important thing you need to do if you’re busy, stressed, and don’t have time to make healthy decisions like cooking dinner at home every night. And we also know that, because you’re an entrepreneur and creative, you might spend your nights dreaming up new business ideas instead of–well, actually dreaming.
According to the Harvard Business Review, it’s not just health that’s at stake, but your business: “In a separate study of 81 organizations and 189,000 people around the world, we found that four types of leadership behavior are most commonly associated with high-quality executive teams: operating with a strong orientation to results, solving problems effectively, seeking out different perspectives, and supporting others. What’s striking in all four cases is the proven link between sleep and effective leadership.”
So even if you’re always busy, schedule in actual time to sleep. We know it’s fun to go out and celebrate a new company milestone, but it’s even more important for you to be able to manage that milestone now that it’s been reached. 79 percent of Americans are getting less than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep required, and you can’t afford to be one of them.
2 Exercise and eat well
Eating well is one of those things that’s easier said than done. After all, it’s simple: all you need to do is buy the right foods and cook them at home. But if you spend a lot of evenings in the office, it’s all too tempting to get some takeout from the Chinese place across the street. And when it comes to exercising, it’s an even greater challenge, because when are you going to find time to go to the gym? A half hour on the treadmill doesn’t sound like a lot, but add in the drive there and showering off after, and you’ve suddenly lost an hour of work you could be doing. At least.
That’s where technology comes in. There are some great apps there that can simplify your life. If you’re always busy, check out ClassPass. Once you sign up, you pay a preset fee for a certain amount of credits, and you can use these in gyms anywhere in your city. So let’s say you’re based in Washington, DC, but you’re across the river in Arlington for a business meeting. You can find a gym just a few streets down from the meeting, and get your workout done just before. With your endorphins pumping, we know you’ll wow everyone with your presentation.
When it comes to eating well, one of the best apps you can use is MyFitnessPal. According to pocket-lint.com, “MyFitnessPal is a free calorie counting app that features a food database of over 5 million foods…The app…creates a custom plan for you, providing you with a calorie goal to work towards, which appears on the top of the diary page where you add your food, exercise, and water intake. As you add, you’ll see the food calories being deducted and the exercise calories added, so it’s easy to keep track.”
It’s the busy person’s solution to writing everything down as they eat it. And the best part is you can review what you’ve eaten, to see what the bad habits you need to get rid of are.
3 Know when to take a break
Finally, you need to know when to step back and relax. Many business entrepreneurs understand the importance of this, which is why they give themselves as well as their employees vacation days. It’ll also keep you from getting stressed, which is essential for not only your health but the health of your company. The top cause of stress in the US is, in fact, work. So take some time to take it easy.
By keeping these healthy habits in mind, you’ll be not only healthier and happier, but your business will do better, too.
What healthy habits are easy for you to follow? Which ones are the most challenging?