Starting your own business can be a wonderful experience, but the role of CEO of a startup can also be an exhausting and stressful one. Any fledgling business requires its founder to play many different roles at the same time. No two days are the same and as the head of the startup it is your job to wear many hats, from attending meetings, to managing finances to overseeing employees, it can all get a little overwhelming at times. Under a stressful environment it is only natural that your health will take a back seat. However, it's important to remember that your health should always be a priority as it has a direct effect on your performance in everyday tasks, even your ability to perform at work. Here are 6 tips to stay on track when you are the CEO of your own startup:
1. Create a Balance:
It's important to remember that unless you take care of yourself first, you are not going to be able to do anything for your business. If you find yourself working a ridiculous number of hours every day, you will eventually suffer from burnout which will only affect your productivity in the long term.
You may occasionally find yourself taking your work home with you or working on a weekend now and then, and while these work patterns are perfectly normal when trying to get a startup off the ground, it is key to remember to make time for yourself as well. It's great that you are able to work a 12 hour day but don’t forget to go for a jog every so often, meet friends, socialize, do something creative and just relax. Balance is the key to sustaining a healthy lifestyle.
2. Wake Up Early:
Everyone loves their sleep, but did you know that waking up early has its own benefits? When you wake up before the traffic outside becomes noisy or even before the sun rises, you are giving yourself time to think and reflect on the day ahead. If, on the other hand, you woke up and went straight to work, you wouldn't have the peace of mind that is gained by waking up early.
In fact, waking up early will give you time to meditate, something you may not get time to do at any other point in your busy day. Meditation is also a great way to deal with stress and helps you feel centered and calm.
Being the CEO of a startup is one the most stressful jobs around and exercise is one of the best ways to directly combat stress. A startup can be full of ups and downs especially at the beginning when you are trying to establish a strong foundation for your business. Exercise helps you feel positive as it helps release endorphins which are feel good hormones in themselves and also help battle depression and lethargy. The more active you are, the more capable your body becomes at handling stressful situations.
4. Do a mini workout:
If you find yourself with absolutely no time to exercise at the gym or to go for a run, try a mini workout. This means keeping a set of dumbells near your desk and taking a five minute break to do some arm exercises, or keeping a yoga mat in your office for a quick set of abs crunches. Try taking any work calls while standing and if you have a team meeting, why not go for a walk for a healthy alternative.
5. Make Health a priority:
Spending countless hours behind your desk or in meetings can take a toll on your health. You may find yourself relying on endless cups of coffee to get you through the day. This is one of the worst things for your health as caffeine has a detrimental effect on your sleep cycle and junk food is full of refined sugars. Instead, try drinking plenty of water, since more than half your body is made up of water.
It's also important to cut out junk food which is so tempting to snack on and instead eat plenty of green vegetables as they help with productivity and lead to increased energy levels. Don’t ignore any of your regular doctors' appointments and keep track of any problems which may be a cause for concern. For example, feeling stressed is only natural but a week-long migraine might indicate something more serious and you should see a professional immediately.
6. Organization is key:
It is natural for the CEO of a startup to not have less than ten different things to do on any given day. From client calls, to training employees to meetings and more client meetings, without proper organization you are bound to fail. It's important to use the right tools and resources to help you get organized.
Tools such as your internal company calendar to schedule meetings, skype to stay in touch with employees or clients and it’s important to have a method of tracking what needs to be done and by when. For example, if your startup has a blog on the company website, you need to create a blogging schedule in advance to know when to post or you may just forget after a hectic day of meetings and client presentations. Being organized helps reduce the stress of not know what is due and on what day, and helps you prepare for your day, week and month.
Keeping these six points in mind will help you find balance in your life while working towards your professional goal of one day running a successful business.