By Nathan Strum
Running your own business sounds perfect to many seeking to be an entrepreneur. You are in charge of your own schedule. You can come into work whenever you decide. You run the game. You have people working for you. Ultimately, you are in charge and that sounds like the perfect dream. When reality kicks in, you realize that there is not as much free time as you initially assumed. You do not find yourself on a beach vacation as often as you suspected while your company runs smoothly without you. With the market place being so competitive, it is safe to say that you are putting in way more hours than desired. There is a lot of work to put in especially for startups. With this in mind, stress levels are usually through the roof. You have so much to get done in so little time. Deadlines are approaching. It is easy to get caught up in the stress that we do not even think about making time for relaxation. Here are a few tips on how to switch off of work mode and quickly launch into relaxation.
Do not work more than 9 hours per day
Are you running from one meeting to another? Is it hard to even leave your desk for lunch? As soon as you wake up you are checking every email that came in. It is probable that you are working more hours than anticipated and you feel burnt out and stressed. A recent Harvard study was noted by The New York Times estimating that sleep deprivation costs American companies around $63.2 billion a year due to lost productivity. Tony Schwartz states, “Spending more hours at work often leads to less time for sleep and insufficient sleep takes a substantial toll on performance.” Make it a goal to spend the adequate amount of hours at your office.
Set Realistic Goals
Naturally, your head is filled with ideas of projects to tackle. It is common to want to get X amount of things done in your day, but as soon as you realize you cannot complete them all, you feel overwhelmed. Entrepreneur.com weighs in, “Decide that you’ll commit to three top priorities that can reasonably be completed within a day. Being realistic about what you can complete will relieve that overwhelmed feeling.”
Take Your Full Lunch
One of the best things I can advise is to not bring your lunch to work or your work to lunch. During this time, your lunch should be nowhere near your laptop, work files or work related emails. Make it a routine to go around the same time each day, this way it is on your calendar and you scheduled a meeting with yourself.
Close Your Office Door
Often times, the noise coming from your office can be distracting. Close your door for a couple of minutes and meditate. You do not have to be an expert on meditation to relax for a couple of minutes. Working on simple breathing exercises will force you to focus on your breathing and takes your mind off of work.
Read a Book
Whether you are in your office stressed or at home constantly checking your emails, transporting your mind to a different place is a good way to de-stress. Any book works, from fictional to even a business book. The point is that you are thinking of something other than work that must be done.
As entrepreneurs, we love our job, but there is a good amount of stress that comes with it. Relaxing or de-stressing is something we should include in our day-to-day schedule.