Are you an entrepreneur or on your way to becoming one? You should know about a recurring dilemma amongst this group -- restlessness. Entrepreneurs seldom find time to rest. The life of an entrepreneur is fast-paced, no doubt. Oftentimes, they are just trying to keep their heads above water. The endless obligations and deadlines contribute to accumulated stress for most entrepreneurs.
If you do not rest, it negatively impacts your performance and consequently, your business. You begin to experience lowered enthusiasm, incessant tiredness, reduced optimism, a bleaker outlook for the future and serious health issues.
It is important as an entrepreneur that you find a balance between work and life. It can't be work, work, work, all the time. You must find time to take a break from work. Below are tips that can help entrepreneurs rest effectively:
1. Automate your business processes.
You must understand that you alone cannot do all the things that need to be done to keep your business going. You are only one person. It is understandable when your business is just starting out, but even at that stage, you need people to help you carry out some of the responsibilities that your business demands.
Time is a non-negotiable and non-renewable resource. It is your responsibility to measure and allocate it. You do that by re-creating systems across the various activities and responsibilities that keep you tied to your desk all day.
I know it’s tempting to want to do everything you can to save cost. I was handling every business processes myself -- from the nitty gritty to the core aspects. I kept on with that until I got burned out. After recovery, I played wise. I delegated my two core time-wasting jobs, customer care inquires and traffic generation to Conversational and Prmediaonline respectively. This step instantly freed up more time for me to do other important stuff with my time. You need to take control and automate like I did to increase your free time so you don't burn out. Get people to help you run your business so you can have enough time to rest.
2. Avoid distractions during rest.
This is usually a difficult thing for any entrepreneur. You are not really resting if your mind is not at rest. Distractions can come in several forms and magnitudes, but the ones that effect you the most are the little ones that we seem to underestimate. That text message, call or email -- they can be major distractions. You may have to switch off your phone in order to maximize your resting periods.
3. Sleep adequately and properly.
That may sound like a lazy man’s word, but it is not. It's a healthy man’s word. There is a stipulated amount of sleep you should get daily for you to be able to stay fit and healthy to run your entrepreneurial ventures.
An average of seven hours of sleep is ideal to keep your body and mind in proper working condition. As much as sleep is important, how you sleep is also equally important. The following are highly recommended:
- Shut down all devices and gadgets before you sleep. This is because light rays from the lamp and sound from the television or radio cause the brain to remain active when it should be relaxing. If you do not want to shut down your gadgets, then keep them away from your sleeping area.
- Don't sleep in the chair. You need to sleep on a comfortable mattress and accompanying pillow that suits your body type. Always use a mattress that will align your spine and still be soft enough and comfortable enough to help you sleep. These ergonomic mattresses, however, no matter how great their performance, are not designed to last forever, so ensure that they are changed when they get old.
- Avoid alcohol intake before you sleep. While it's true that many people use alcohol as a sleep inducement substance, the truth is that it negatively affects the quality of sleep you get. Alcohol-induced sleep is usually lighter but short. And most of the time when you wake, you find it difficult to go back to sleep. That defeats the whole purpose of getting adequate rest.
- Do not eat food with a lot of sugar before you sleep. There is always a craving for a snack just before bedtime -- and that's ok. If you must snack, it should not be sugar-laden. Foods that contain proteins and healthy fats are advisable.
4. Make going on vacation a deliberate routine.
Chronic stress without a break makes you more irritable, less able to sleep soundly and more likely to be depressed and anxious. To this end, you need to take vacation time as an essential part of your work-life balance. Some people are scared of taking a vacation because they think that a long absence will affect their business adversely.
As much as I agree to some extent, I still recommend a vacation. Your business will be adversely affected if you are unproductive -- or dead, so take a vacation to help you ease the stress and reposition your mind to be more productive.
Don't stop there. Make it deliberate. Set a schedule for monthly time off. It works and will ease the burden of too much stress.