When it comes to professions, being an entrepreneur is probably one of the most imbalanced. The reason is that there are extreme highs as an entrepreneur and, occasionally, crushing lows. Depending on how competitive the market that you are trying to break into is, trying to find any sort of rhythm can really take its toll mentally and physically and entrepreneurs tend to burn out very soon in some cases. That being said there are number of things that you can do as entrepreneur to smooth out the “roller coaster ride” and stay sane.
- Use routines instead of “to do” lists. Busy entrepreneurs use tools like Evernote to manage everything on their “to do” list but rarely get everything done that’s on them. It would be better to replace these lists with routines, habits and rituals that help you to bundle good habits together, make regular time for yourself and give you some time between work and non-work activities. For example, if you’re a “morning person” and you find that your creativity is flowing best then, don’t waste time checking email in the morning and instead do tasks that need you to be creative.
- Meditation actually it’s very helpful. As entrepreneurs we spent a lot of time thinking, agonizing, obsessing and analyzing practically every detail of what we’re doing with our businesses. In other words, we spend a lot of time in our heads and, occasionally, we need to get away from ourselves. One of the best ways to do this is meditation. It’s easier than most people think and includes breathing techniques that don’t exactly eliminate your thoughts entirely but allow you to relax your mind, focus and, in most cases, go back to work refreshed and ready.
- Regular exercise is vital. Yes, it’s easy to use the excuse that you “don’t have time” when you’re an entrepreneur running around trying to get a million things done. Actually however, neglecting to take care of your body can destroy your productivity in the long run and actually cause you to lose more time than exercising itself would take. In tip number 1 we mentioned to use “routines” and one of the most vital routines that you can have as an entrepreneur is an exercise routine, matter what type of exercise you’re into. It’s an excellent stress reducer, increases serotonin and endorphin levels that can help keep you calm, and can actually give you an amazing energy boost.
- Make sure you’re eating high quality food. Another problem that entrepreneurs have is that, since we’re running around like chickens without heads, we tend to purchase food that’s easy to eat on the go. The problem is that all of that processed, fatty, high sugar and high carbohydrate food can actually rob your body of the nutrients that you need to be able to focus, concentrate and really get things done. Fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of water and a lot less “fast food” will definitely go far towards keeping your energy high and your waistline low.
- Stay connected with family and friends. Yes, entrepreneurship comes with lots of late nights, early mornings and “working weekends”. There’s always one last email to check and one last task to get done, something that can seem, at times, to be diametrically opposed to having what most call a “normal social life”. The fact is however that humans are social animals and social interaction is something we desperately need. The support and care of those you love the most can help you to overcome the burdens of entrepreneurship and are vital to your mental health.
- Disconnect from technology on a regular basis. Listen, we’re not machines. Occasionally we need to turn things off completely. That means the laptop, the smart phone and, today, the tablet. Simply put, when you have a designated time every week that you put down your devices and unplug from the “electronic world” to relax, work out, meditate, enjoy the outdoors and even take a nap, you’ll find that your mental state is much more calm and less agitated.
Entrepreneurship is, in many ways, absolutely amazing and something that most entrepreneurs wouldn’t give up for anything else. The thrill of running your business, being the person in charge and getting accolades when things go right is a heady one to say the least. That being said, if you follow the tips above you’ll enjoy the ride much more and be able to keep going much longer without a high risk of burnout. So enjoy yourselves but, make sure that you take time to relax and take care of yourself, and join those poor SOB’s out in the “real world”, even if it’s just to laugh at them a little.