If there is one thing that all entrepreneurs have in common, it is that they almost never seem to remember to factor rest into the equation that is their ever-busy daily schedule. No business owner should ever under estimate the power of a good rest. When you do not get enough rest, you function below capacity, which reduces productivity.
The relentless barrage of deadlines and meetings do not help. Still, if you worked yourself into the ground this year, while holding on to the misconception that rest is just another word for laziness, maybe it is time to re-evaluate the concept of slowing down and taking a breather. And no, you do not necessarily have to be away from work to achieve optimum rest.
Here are a few tips on how you can turn up your productivity in 2017 with some much-needed rest.
1. Delegate some more responsibilities.
No matter how hard you work, you cannot do it all on your own. And you should not. Delegate the responsibilities that you do not need to handle yourself to members of your staff. Stuff like keeping inventory, backing up customer data in the cloud, handling customer complaints and delivering goods or services can all be done by others.
With all such responsibilities out of your hands, you will have ample time to focus on more important stuff that will directly grow your business. Apart from delegating to staff, also automate handling of staff. In the early days, I spent lots of time around that area, but I later learnt that wasn’t the most productive use of my time.
Use staff automation tools like Trello for project execution management, Absent Management for vacation and leave tracking, UltiPro for staff payroll management etc. From experience, the more of these you have the better.
2. Mind your body posture.
No one works well under stressful conditions. Add physical pain to the mix and that is a definite productivity red flag. Bad posture will do that to you; when you ache all over, it becomes more difficult to focus on your work.
Do not underestimate the benefit of a good sitting position while you are at your desk. Invest in a good ergonomic chair that will help align your spine while keeping you in perfect sitting position. Some of these seats even come with a memory feature now so you do not need to keep resetting them.
Related: Desk Yoga to Improve Your Posture
You probably sit at your desk, up to 10 hours every day and maybe even more on occasions when you have to burn the night oil. If you do not do something about your sitting posture now, your body will be the worse for it in the long run, ultimately affecting your productivity.
3. Make adequate sleep a priority.
Experts say that the human body needs at least seven hours of sleep daily to function at optimum capacity. Realistically speaking though, this may not always be attainable for the entrepreneur; there are only so many hours in the day.
Sleep has benefits for both body and mind. To get the most out of your sleep time, get rid of all distractions. Shut off all gadgets lamps and television, and even your phone. You are not going to need them where you are going.
Unplug your mind by pushing every work related thought out of your mind. You do not want your mind to still be working while your body is resting. That is the condition of restlessness. The whole purpose of sleep, which is both to recharge the body and refuel the mind.
Do not lie on the sofa. Don’t lie on the ergonomic chair at the office; find a reliable posture friendly mattress. One that is based mainly on how you sleep and the postures you often adopt. There are a plethora of mattress options with varying features and price ranges. Pick the one that best suits your body type and check book.
4. Turn recreation into exercise.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, people between the ages 25 to 44 spend less than a third of an hour per day on any kind of recreational sports or exercise. There is even less among the older group, ages 45 to 64, about 12 minutes per day.
Form the habit now of creating time to exercise or take up some recreational sport. Whether it is early in the morning before office time, in the cool of the evening or on the weekends, find time to keep this up on a regular basis.
Be careful though, you do not want to strain your body more than is beneficial. It’s always better to keep things in moderation. I personally exercise at my limit and keep to it, to avoid muscle pull and other health challenges that might put me out of action.