Running a Business? You Need To Be Proactive With Your Well-being Upfront

 

Starting a business is one of those tasks that can have an impact on your well-being if you let it. So many people find running a business an incredibly tough task, but lots of people also think that it is something not only the strongest should do.

In fact, the concept of being strong in business should be thrown out because, while many people won’t admit it, but running a business does have an impact on their well-being in one way or another, whether it’s working longer hours, not seeing their family, or the regrets that in the end they look back and find they didn’t work smarter.

We should all benefit from our livelihoods, but if you want to run a business, you should prioritize your well-being first and recognize that being in charge of a company is something that can have an impact on your ability to thrive in so many ways, so it’s far better to be proactive with your well-being upfront. Let’s show you what you can do to look after it:

Recognize What Is and What Isn’t Essential

At any moment in time, there are things that we can deem essential or nonessential, but when it comes to tasks making the right decisions based on how urgent and important it is is just as critical. This is where the Eisenhower Decision Matrix can give you a far better understanding of what you should be doing at any one time. This is also known as the Urgent-Important matrix and divides tasks into four distinct quadrants:

  1. Urgent and important tasks, which should be done immediately.
  2. Important but not urgent tasks that should be scheduled for later.
  3. Tasks that are urgent but not important and should be delegated to others.
  4. Tasks that are neither urgent nor important and should be eliminated.

This tool was popularized in the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People,” named after Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was highly known for his high output and organization. When you recognize what is and what is not essential, you can then start to act appropriately.

Understand How to Delegate and Outsource

The benefits of delegating or outsourcing are numerous in business. They give you the opportunity to focus on other activities in the business that, in terms of self-care, you can also free up time to look after yourself.

The great benefit is that there is a huge wealth of tools you can use. Whether it’s HVAC companies using HVAC invoicing software to create invoices quickly and effortlessly or other tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) software to have a shorthand of working with customers, productivity can be greatly improved upon if the acts of delegating and outsourcing are there.

This goes back to the Eisenhower decision matrix: tasks that are urgent but not important should be delegated to others, and therefore if you stand to benefit in business and in terms of your mental and emotional health, learning to assign tasks to others is not just good for your sense of self, but if you had worked to the point where you are unable to take charge of your business and you had to hand the reins to someone else, would they know what to do?

Delegating is such an important thing in business because it allows you to place trust in your employees. Many business people feel they don’t want to hand over responsibility to others because the business is their baby. For the sake of your well-being, you need to place your trust in others.

Be Realistic

Realism is pivotal not just for running a business but for the sake of getting through this thing they call life. In the active business, there is one common acronym that can keep your goals within a specific parameter. The SMART goal framework is widely used for setting and achieving goals, and each letter represents the following:

Specific, as goals should be clear and well-defined.
Measurable, with a way to measure progress and know when the goal is achieved.
Achievable, as goals should be attainable and realistic.
Relevant to your overall objectives.
Time-bound, and with a specific time frame for completion.

This is a wonderful tool to create actionable and achievable goals to contribute to their success, and you can apply this to almost anything in business, but arguably you could benefit from this framework by applying it to your approach to well-being. When we establish achievable objectives, we will avoid feeling overwhelmed. It is so important to be realistic, but this is, for many people in business, anathema to the overarching goals of profit and customer acquisition.

Being realistic can easily be shot down by other overachievers, but you know if you are overreaching. This hustle culture that we are in is all about pushing 24/7, which is not realistic in the slightest. Therefore, it’s hardly a surprise that entrepreneurs are experiencing burnout at huge rates. Even people who don’t run businesses are succumbing to what is known as hyper-fatigue. Feeling overwhelmed in this world is going to have a major effect on our ability to thrive, and being realistic and establishing achievable objectives is good business sense and good mental health sense.

Being Aware of Your Mental Health

Many people still make the mistake of thinking that their mental health is something that should only be tackled when in crisis mode. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to our mental health. Running a business can take us away from understanding if we are exhibiting signs of poor mental health.

We should be mindful, which is a very contemporary buzzword, but we should learn to cultivate this sense of mindfulness because it provides better access to the inner workings of ourselves. Mindfulness is commonly associated with meditation, but business people may not have the time to sit cross-legged and meditate for 30 minutes to one hour per day! We need to find shortcuts and tools that provide the minimum effective dose, which is where something like breathwork can be wonderful.

Heart coherence breathing is one such example that has a multitude of benefits on your overall health, specifically improving your heart rate variability. Another tool to utilize is yoga nidra. Nothing to do with yoga, it’s a 20-minute audio session that you can get on YouTube that has been shown by studies to be as effective as meditation and can make you feel more rested even if you have not slept properly, which is a very common thing entrepreneurs can experience!

Additionally, for the sake of your mental health, you need to make changes to your workspace. Reducing distractions, decluttering, and figuring out what is irrelevant to your goals on any given day will give you a greater sense of focus. When you make changes to this environment, you will invariably reduce your stress and improve your ability to work hard, rather than smart.

There are, of course, other key aspects that we should address in terms of our overall health, for example, setting clear work hours, taking regular breaks, making time for exercise, eating nutritiously, and sleeping well. These are all things that we know deep down are pivotal for our abilities to thrive as humans, but as entrepreneurs, we think we need to burn the candle at both ends. If you really want to be successful in anything, there is one adage that comes to mind: when the breathing mass comes down in an airplane, follow the advice and put yours on first because this means you can help others better.

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Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton is the Chief Blogger and Editor of Equality365.com. He founded Equality365.com in 2013 to provide information about LGBTQ friendly events of interest, and to support LGBTQ entertainers and supportive artists who visit our community. Earle is a successful businessman in the Pacific Northwest with a long history of support for and involvement in, the Northwest LGBTQ community. His personal interests include: music, theater, pets, culinary arts and technology.

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