Entrepreneurs often work around the clock — a hazard of the occupation! However, to be effective and ensure your business is healthy and thriving, it’s critical to take time for self-care. Being able to recharge, regroup, and refocus is essential to your health and the health of your business. Days Well Spent can be an exceptional resource for helping you carve out quality, rejuvenating downtime. So, to the busy, stressed-out, and overworked entrepreneur reading this, here are my top tips for taking care of yourself.
Being organized is the first step in effectively managing your time and setting your priorities. This starts with your business structure. If you haven’t already developed a business and marketing plan or created a limited liability company, now’s the time to do it. An LLC, in particular, can protect you against some forms of liability. You can file the paperwork yourself or use a company that will take care of it for you. We used Legal Zoom when we formed the LLC for Days Well Spent. Keep in mind; all states vary on their LLC requirements, so check that out in advance.
Entrepreneurs wear many hats and are ultimately responsible for how their business runs. This doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own. In fact, strategic hiring and outsourcing is a critical component of long-term success and viability. Bookkeeping, marketing, IT, and social media management are just a few key functions it can be smart to outsource. Consider utilizing help on the home front in the form of housekeeping, childcare, dog-walking, and grocery delivery. I started using grocery delivery when I started nursing school, and it has saved me a large amount of time. Having assistance in these areas can free up time to advance your business and provide more quality time for yourself and your family.
Schedule Minute Downtime
Most entrepreneurs look for ways to create more time in the day, but Mindful recommends intentionally scheduling downtime to avoid burnout. Strive to do this every day, even if it’s just in 15-minute increments. Too often, we think if we can’t schedule a large chunk of time, it’s not “worth it,” but smaller breaks can be good for mental and physical health. For example, a walk around the block, a momentary meditation, making a smoothie or veggie broth, and running on the treadmill for 5 minutes — all of these mini-breaks can add stamina, clear your head, and help you regain focus.
Make Intentional Health Choices
It’s really easy to skip meals, run on caffeine, or grab fast food when you’re under a time crunch. However, making intentional health choices is critical to long-term mental and physical health. Schedule a workout time at the gym several times a week and keep it like you would an important meeting. Meal plan, both for home and work. According to Psychology Today, set regular sleep and wake times and stick to them. It can be easy to “fudge” on personal care and move it to the back burner. However, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Then eventually lose the focus on taking care of yourself. Don’t skimp on personal time either — whether that’s coffee with friends, volunteer work, or getting involved in your kid’s activities.
Entrepreneurs have a lot of responsibility, but taking time for self-care helps keep that engine running strong. If you get burned out, lack energy, or burn the candle at both ends for too long, you and your business will suffer. So make yourself a priority, and consider it an essential business function.