You set off with a dream… be your own boss, set your own schedule, build a strong brand in the marketplace and live a happy life.
But we all know that the day to day reality is VERY different to that dream. With the low survival rates of small businesses (over 50% failing in the first 3 years), the pressures are high. The idea of taking time for yourself at the best of times, when you can barely take a day off if you are sick seems like a real challenge.
The culture of busyness, and getting by on little sleep is now shifting, and with good reason. Getting more sleep, better quality sleep, and introducing a little self care into your routine is going to make you far more productive. Which means you can get better work done, in less time. The idea that focusing more on yourself and taking time away from work is going to help your business might make you feel nervous at first, but once you are consistent in shifting your daily practice you will feel the benefits, trust us on that one.
“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it.” ― Anna Taylor
Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post became the poster child for burnout when she famously collapsed from exhaustion, broke her cheekbone and woke up in a pool of blood. It shifted the course of her life with a newfound purpose championing the importance of sleep, and wellbeing, and saw her launch a new business Thrive Global. Arianna has written two books on the subject and done a lot to bring the spotlight to burnout – and change the conversation around it.
In a Thrive Global article, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talked about his responsibility to Amazon shareholders to have a habit of getting eight hours of sleep: “Making a small number of key decisions well is more important than making a large number of decisions. If you shortchange your sleep, you might get a couple of extra ‘productive’ hours, but that productivity might be an illusion. When you’re talking about decisions and interactions, quality is usually more important than quantity.”
Tips to avoid burnout and improve your wellbeing, and productivity
EXERCISE – you know it, we know it, everybody knows it. But are you actually doing it? You need to move your body every day. It’s good for your body, it energises and focuses your mind. It makes you feel good. There are so many options for exercise so there is no excuse to finding something you love and sticking with it! Need accountability? Get an exercise buddy. You are way more likely to follow through if you have a set time to meet up with someone.
HYDRATION – up to 60% of the human body is water. If your hydration is out as little as 1% it already impacts your mood and how you feel. Being dehydrated can impact pretty much everything…. your joints, organs, digestion, electrolytes, blood pressure and body temperature. How much should you drink? It’s actually very individual when you consider different body shapes and sizes, plus how much you exercise and your climate. So if you aren’t sure and you want to get specific you can check with a doctor, but around here we aim for 2.5L per day.
POSITIVITY – your brain is so influenced by what you surround yourself with. Simply choosing positive inputs for the first 10 minutes of the day can influence your mindset for the whole day. Don’t just grab for your phone, or email, as soon as you wake up, instead choose intentional nurturing experiences to set your day up in the right way. Read, meditate, journal, do that online course you bought and haven’t got around to. Be mindful of spending time with people that are constantly negative. It brings you down. Your mind is just like your body in – junk in, junk out.
SLEEP – sleep, sleep, sleep. You need it, you need a lot of it, and you need it to be good quality. Make sure you have a wind down routine (ie get away from that phone and that computer!), and go to bed at a reasonable time (let’s face it reasonable is different for all of us), get at least 7 if not 8 hours sleep. Do this consistently and it will change how you feel for sure. Get the willpower to stop the Netflix bingeing that stops you getting the full rest you deserve. Being sleep deprived can impact your cognitive function similarly to being drunk!
CONNECTION – humans are made for connection, we literally can’t live without it. So, you need to make sure you get quality time with friends and family. Time really does fly by, so if you don’t make an effort to schedule it in, it won’t happen. Even with a busy week, just a 30min coffee catchup with a bestie can make your soul sing.
SAY NO – this is a biggie. The power of no. You need to become a master. Crazy successful people are successful more because of what they have said no to, more than what they have said yes to. If you can channel all your Jedi abilities into one thing, this is a good one!
You might read these tips and think ‘I know, I know’, but the thing is they aren’t going to be much use to you if you don’t put them into actual consistent practice. So take the time right now to review your daily routines and make some little changes that will compound to improve your wellbeing, and help you achieve success.
Day one, or one day? You decide.
Jodie + Em xx