This is a guest post from entrepreneurial health expert, Sarah Lockhart-Martin.
We all know about the importance of having a solid business plan, understanding your cash-flow, and following a clear sales and marketing strategy, but how many of us forget the one key ingredient which holds our businesses together?
This component is integral to the everyday running of your business, from sending emails, answering the phone, reaching goals and objectives, to creating the vision you are striving to achieve.
What could this factor be you ask? What could be more important than my beautifully laid out business plan? What is so crucial to the day to day operating of my business that I don’t know about?
The answer is simple—it’s you.
You the entrepreneur. You are the person who holds your creation together; you are the glue in the complex world of business, but how many hours a day, week, month do you focus on looking after yourself?
Truth is … if you aren’t functioning at your best then do you think your business will be operating at its best? Probably not!
The good news is—you can change all that.
Here are five simple things you can do to make you more productive and, in turn, make your small business more profitable.
1) Get enough sleep
Sleep is the time when your body regenerates; most of us need between 7.5 – 9 hours of sleep a night. The quality of our sleep counts, too. The more uninterrupted sleep, the better.
Give yourself a bed time before 12 a.m.. Frequent late nights will lead to you being run down, ill, and not functioning to the best of your ability. The occasional late night is understood, and if you are suffering the next day, try a 20 minute power nap to energise yourself.
2) Plan your meals
Break down your week and think about the meals you’ll be eating. Will they be at home, work, at a restaurant? If you’re entertaining and eating out are there healthy choices on the menu? Can you take control of the restaurant choice?
If you have to eat lunch on the go, chose salads or soups. Avoid sandwiches every day, as many people are gluten or wheat intolerant (even if they don’t know it).
Do a weekly shop, plan your meals at home (cooking from scratch is easy, nutritious, and delicious).
3) Stay hydrated
Everybody should be drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. It sounds like a lot, but it’s really important to keep your body running at peak performance.
To make sure you’re “on target,” you should plan on carrying a water bottle around with you all day. Choose a bottle that does not leach toxins, and check the recycling symbol on your bottle. If it is a #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), or a #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene), or a #5 PP (polypropylene), your bottle is fine. The type of plastic bottle in which water is usually sold in is usually a #1, and is only recommended for one time use. Do not refill it.
Limit your caffeine intake to 1 cup of coffee or tea a day. Better yet, replace your coffee or tea with decaffeinated herbal or green teas.
4) Take a break
Taking regular breaks throughout your day and week to switch gears and do something non-work related will help refresh your body and your brain. Make time for family, friends, or try something new. A by-product of this being that if you engage in a group activity, you are extending your network and who knows who you might meet!
The key is to break out of the rut of working 24/7. It will actually make the time you are working more productive.
5) Make exercise a priority
Ideally allocate 30minutes to exercise each day. Not only are there health benefits to daily exercise, but you will see a marked improvement in your focus, clarity of thought, and productivity.
Find something you enjoy doing, whether it’s running, cycling, yoga,or zumba. And working out with a “training buddy” is a great way to maintain motivation.
If you follow these five tips I guarantee you will look better, feel better, and increase your profits.
For more information on how to improve your health and your business visit our website.
Sarah Lockhart-Martin is the co-founder of The Entrepreneurs’ Workout, and an entrepreneur in the fitness industry herself. Sarah helps busy business owners be happier and more productive by improving their health using her specialised training and nutrition process, as well as being an active connector, running numerous events for business women throughout the UK.