It turns out that giving yourself a break pays huge dividends for your business. By Jen Helms (Co-founder, Playmation Studios)
As entrepreneurs, we have to be effective with our time no matter what we’re doing. We try to optimize everything from scheduling meetings in certain locations on certain days to how we get the word out about our products.
In our quest to be more productive in our work, we often let work slip into every aspect of our lives. I keep hearing quotes of entrepreneurs saying, “There’s no such thing as work/life balance,” or something to that extent.
True, work will consume much more of our lives than many other professions but it is completely ridiculous to think that someone can function at a high level 24/7.
Instead I suggest entrepreneurs do these three things to get more productivity out of their work time:
I know, don’t panic, it sounds crazy. I’m as obsessed with checking my phone as often as most of you probably are.
But if you can give yourself an occasional weekend or day unplugged, you’ll return to work more refreshed than ever. The best way I have found for this to work for me is to physically go to an area with no cellphone reception or wi-fi.
When you take a weekend away but still check email and social media every chance you get, you can’t truly decompress. You are doing two things ineffectively; you are pseudo working and pseudo resting.
Go to the Gym
This one can feel really difficult to fit into your life so knock it out of your day first thing in the morning. If the gym isn’t your thing, go for a run or a bike ride.
You’ll take a chunk of time out of your morning, but you’ll have more energy and greater resilience to the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. When you work out, you also gain greater control over your thinking and strategy. You will also feel more competitive and confident, two more traits we need as entrepreneurs.
The hardest thing to do is to create a habit around exercise. Once you have it, you’ll see clearly the effort is worth the investment. Find an accountability partner to help you get over the initial hurdle.
Unwind Before Bed
Every night that you work until the last minute, you are doing yourself a disservice. The more stimulation you have before bed, the longer it will take to fall asleep. Laying in bed awake is a huge waste of time. Use the half hour or hour before bed to your advantage.
Read a book, nothing too intense, or have a glass of wine with a friend or significant other. You want to avoid anything stressful but also anything too exciting to ensure you actually fall asleep when your head hits the pillow.
Being an entrepreneur is hard — really hard. It not a sprint. It's a marathon. These three strategies will help you have the energy to be your most productive, best self and succeed.
How do you make time for yourself?
Photo credit: LoloStock via Shutterstock.
About the guest blogger: Jen is a co-founder of Playmation Studios, making novel games for learning and exploring language through play. She previously co-founded Solution Dojo and launched a few MVPs including FitCycle, a fitness app for android that received great feedback from customers and press. Jen holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and has extensive leadership experience is the education sector, previously managing a team of 35 and overseeing programming serving 14,000 participants annually.