Are You Sabotaging Your Business By Not Looking After Yourself?


Illustration by Kroszk

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that I’m a big believer in taking a holistic approach to business. By this I mean that in order to improve how we work and move forwards we need to make sure we look at the whole picture.

When it comes to running a business, the whole picture doesn’t just mean what happens in the office between the hours of 9am and 5pm. The whole picture also takes in how we’re managing stress outside of those times, how we’re spending our free time, the extra work we’re doing during evenings and weekends, how we’re communicating with our friends and family members, our general emotional wellbeing, and our health.

In other words: our success in business depends on how happy and effective we are in all areas of our life, not just our work.

I work with a wide range of business clients. Their businesses vary hugely in size, experience, industry and style, but these same truths come up for them all over and over again. The happier and healthier you are, the more energy, enthusiasm and creativity you will be able to bring to your business.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? And yet, so many of us fall into the habit of prioritising short term tasks over our own wellbeing. This may seem like the right thing to do for your business in the short term, but it definitely isn’t in the long term.

Could you be making this common mistake?

Ask yourself if you…

  • Skip going to the gym to catch up on emails
  • Eat lunch at your desk
  • Work late into the evening and miss spending time with your family
  • Check emails on your smartphone 24 hours a day
  • Take on projects you know will be unnecessarily stressful
  • Cancel social events to take on extra work
  • Eat unhealthy food because it’s quicker
  • Schedule back to back meetings with little time to travel between them or catch your breath
  • Fail to give yourself time off
  • Worry about work when you should be sleeping
  • Forget to drink enough water when you’re at your desk
  • Force yourself to work when you’re unwell
  • Avoid dealing with stress
  • Leave work tasks to the last minute
  • Run on caffeine and sugar instead of getting enough sleep
  • Don’t accept help that’s offered to you

All these things are key signs that you’re prioritising work tasks over your own wellbeing. You may feel that this is the right thing to do, but over time this approach is likely to lead to burnout, lethargy and a big drop in effectiveness.

Luckily, looking after yourself doesn’t need to be difficult. Small changes can make a really big difference to your health and happiness. And even better? You won’t need to sacrifice hours of your day to make them happen!

Here are a few ideas:

Create better working boundaries

If you find that your working hours are getting longer and longer, it might be a good idea to make a conscious choice to create new boundaries. You could make Sundays totally work free or decide not to check emails after a certain time in the evening.

Set yourself a healthy eating and drinking challenge

How much better might you feel if you were taking more notice of the quality of what you were eating and drinking? Taking the time to make more sensible choices could make a big difference.

Make a choice to take control of your stress

If you struggle with stress, don’t let it spill out into other areas of your life. There are ways you can work to manage this. You could experiment with stress-busting techniques such as mindfulness meditation or yoga… or even just make more time to relax with family and friends. Setting time aside each month to work with a business coach could also help.

Find time to exercise

Thirty minutes a day would make a huge difference to your fitness. What you do with those thirty minutes is up to you! Going to the gym or for a run would be great, but so would taking a walk or practising some yoga.

Have you been sabotaging your business by not looking after yourself? You’re definitely not alone! Why not join me on Facebook for more motivation and inspiration?

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