Le sacre du printemps

John Coldicutt, CMO of KashFlow
- Leadership - May 12, 2015

May is the month for renewal; for some it will be the new financial year; for our UK readers a new government may be what concentrates the mind. With spring around the corner and the new financial year about to kick in for some, now is the time to take a step back and give yourself an overhaul ready for the busy months ahead. As many business owners will admit, self interest tends to take a back seat while trying to drive a business forward or get a new start-up off the ground.

Why? It’s easiest to ignore yourself and your personal health and wellbeing because the only one to whom you’re accountable is you. Small business owners particularly fall foul of this as they put so much of their passion, blood sweat and tears into their businesses and as such it’s easy to let ‘themselves’ take a back seat. Some incorrectly assume that if your business is doing well, then so are you. Team this with intense pressure to meet the performance expectations of clients, employees, family and friends you’re naturally inclined to put yourself last.

Some may perceive focusing time and attention on themselves as being selfish and it’s likely that if this does happen then feelings of guilt arise. Unfortunately, while it might seem noble in the short term to sacrifice personal needs to cultivate your mind, body, and spirit, over long periods of time it can be a recipe for disaster – or complete burnout.

To sustain a business and leadership role effectively requires discipline on many levels and this includes taking care of ‘you’ too. So over the coming four days we offer a course of twenty guidelines to focus your life on the matters that matter.

So, how do you ensure you are taking care of ‘you’ and remaining fit for business?

One of the most important things to do is identify exactly how you can make things better at work, by ensuring you are continually working positively on your mind and body. A good personal routine is the best starting point – below are our top five tips to help create a routine that works for you:

  1. Make sure you have a nutritious breakfast – a good breakfast can be fast and easy and will set you up for the day. Low energy levels associated with skipping breakfast can also negatively impact on concentration and productivity levels. Numerous studies have shown that adults who eat breakfast perform better in mental tasks.
  2. Take time to stay fit for business – allocate time in your day for exercise and make sure you do it. If you need motivation the latest raft of wearable tech like the Jawbone Up, Fitbit and the Nike Fuel Band can help monitor your activity. The general idea is that they spur you on to exercise more, helping you to get fitter and / or lose weight.
  3. Zero notifications at night – turn off digital devices to make the most of the time you have to sleep. There is robust scientific data documenting the role of light in promoting wakefulness and some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.
  4.  Try setting an alarm to tell you to go to sleep – make sure you get enough hours to sleep so you are fresh for business.
  5. Listen to your body and create a routine that works for you - you might not have the flexibility to do everything at the right time for you, but try to hone into what your body is telling you is right. For example some people are easily distracted so leave more creative tasks for the evening when they will not be disturbed by calls or questions from their team and as such schedule more admin or analytical tasks for the mornings.

Tomorrow we will look at ways to simplify and streamline.

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