How many of our friends, family and even old acquaintances from secondary school did we see create their own businesses during 2021? A lot. Some out of necessity due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and others because they simply wanted a fresh challenge. No matter how they started, it’s guaranteed they will all have a few things in common.
Tip #1: Set boundaries between work time and time off
When the day wraps up or the weekend is here, enjoy it! You earned this time off working throughout the week creating plans, returning client calls and making sure that product is getting out on time. The brain needs downtime in order to be fully focused and effective during work time.
By using your time off effectively and setting boundaries with time off, you train yourself with healthy habits that enable you to enter into work mode quickly, then also turn it off quickly to focus on what is truly important in life. Take time daily to enjoy your favourite cup of coffee or tea in the morning or welcome in the evening with friends. Work will always be there, trust me, and you’ll be better prepared to deal with it when you set healthy boundaries for yourself.
Tip #2: Nurture your professional and personal relationships
Go and visit the small taqueria that just opened in town with a loved one or good friend. Host a Zoom call with those extended family members that you only see once a year. Send thank you letters to your employees if you have any. Let that mentor who really helped you out know how much you value them.
We can become so focused on the grind of increasing our cashflow that we gloss over that it’s the little things and the meaningful connections we build as people (not as companies) that impact our mental and emotional health. When you nurture your relationships, your business will also thrive because you help build a culture around you where people feel valued.
Tip #3: Exercise, even if you don’t like to
Using our weekends to binge watch the latest and greatest on Netflix is nice every once in a while, but it’s important to get up and move. Every day. This is especially if your business involves you sitting down in front of a screen all week.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is my favourite way to get moving. It’s suitable for all levels, takes less than 20 minutes and requires no equipment. You can alternate with days of low intensity training like yoga or walking. All of this allows the body to burn fat much more efficiently and supply adequate energy to the brain that’ll help you focus and be more productive at work. It’ll also boost your immune system and increase dopamine which elevates your mood. Remember, your weekends or work won’t matter if you’re too sick to do either or.
Tip #4: Make mental health a priority
For you and your team, if you’re not taking care of your mental health then you won’t be able to perform at your best. You may lean on the typical mental health practices like self-care days, exercise and mindfulness practices (all very important and beneficial), but there’s actually a surprising and easy way to help promote mental health daily – coffee.
Coffee is linked to anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and microbiome-promoting effects. Consumed in a healthy amount, caffeine has the ability to block receptors in the brain from binding with a chemical that leads to fatigue and a saddened mood. While there are many different ways to attend to one’s mood and overall mental health, the coffee in your cabinet is a not so known way of helping prioritize it.
Tip #5: Set small goals for big success
The beginning of the year is perfect for setting goals because you’re starting off with a clean slate. 365 new days at your disposal to create the lifestyle you want. On day one, you might feel a little overwhelmed and not even know where to begin, but remember, nobody writes a novel in one sitting. Instead of looking at the top of the mountain you want to climb, start by putting one foot in front of the other.
Break your goals down into smaller, more realistic and manageable chunks that you can accomplish bit by bit. For example, if your goal is to not put so many hours into being in the office, start by heading out just five minutes earlier, then 10 minutes, and then 15 minutes. These small goals eventually stack up, and in a blink of an eye you’ve gained two plus hours of free time that the year before you swore you didn’t have!