If you’ve read my book, you’ll recall my mention of the challenges of trying to maintain a healthy personal life while building a successful business life. Ask anyone who pours a lot themselves into their work, and they have all had the same struggle at least once in their career.
It’s an easy cycle to fall into. Running a business, especially starting one, demands a lot of time. That time has to come from somewhere so the first cut is usually leisure time; followed by social life, family life, sleep… you get the picture. As a result, you can quite easily let a healthy business take priority over a healthy body.
Believe it or not, taking some time away from your business every day can be one of the best methods of increasing the productivity of the hours you spend at it. You probably know this and have great intentions of making those breaks happen, but how well do you actually follow through with it? It’s too easy to put it off to later today, or tomorrow, or next week. So how do you make it a priority in your day?
Sign up for some type of physical challenge. If you’re a runner, maybe it’s that first official race. It doesn’t have to be the Boston Marathon, just a fun 10k run. Maybe it’s a mountain-biking tour, or joining a martial arts club. Only you know what “it” is, but we all have that “it”: something we’ve got an interest in achieving but have never taken the time focus on it. Sounds a lot like that business you’ve always wanted to start, doesn’t it? And that’s the point: There are so many similarities between the world of building a successful business and the world of building a successful person that you know achieving one has to complement the other.
Talk to a runner sometime about how clear their head is after that Sunday morning training run, and you’ll get an idea of the additional benefits of keeping some activity in your life. I have one friend who swears by the successful “backgrounding” he achieves by running. He’ll be stuck on a decision or problem for hours in the office without reaching a solution, but when he comes back from his daily run- the answer is waiting for him with the Gatorade. By taking the pressure off your mind and letting it simmer for a half-hour while you’re focused on some physical task, you’ll often see the answers more clearly than if you stew in front of a monitor for that half-hour. Even aside from helping you with specific problems, you’ll just plain feel better and have more energy to put into your life.
Set a goal for something six months from now (a race? Your orange-belt in Karate?) and that will force you to make time in your weekly schedule for the preparation. You’ll be amazed at the return on investment you’ll see after just a couple of weeks. Your business time will be more focused and energized, and the sense of achievement you feel when you reach that physical goal will become an additional motivation to achieve your entrepreneurial goals.