Owner-managers usually undertake every possible step to ensure the fitness of their business but often forget to prioritise the most elemental factor – their own personal well being. A healthy mind and body is central to one’s success yet we often overlook it in the trials and tribulations of daily life.
The underlying reason for ‘being your own boss’ is usually to ensure you enjoy your work and do not neglect things you cherish the most – principally by not being bound by any external control or regulation. However, most owners of owner-managed businesses find themselves in a precarious situation with blurred distinction between professional and personal life. In addition to financial stress, professional desolation and elongated working hours are common.
It is therefore pertinent to note that in this area, precaution is better than cure since this is a slippery slope and once the downward trend begins, it becomes very difficult to take control of things and tend to the losses. New research also projects a strong link between boosting personal well-being and professional success, thus reinforcing the need to update our priorities.
Prioritising schedule versus scheduling priorities
In our fast paced lives, we often lay undue emphasis on prioritising our schedule whilst being lax about scheduling our priorities instead. This is one of the major factors that contributes towards our deteriorating health and ultimately adversely impacts our creativity and growth.
A survey conducted and funded by the British Academy has established a link between the owner managers’ personal well being and the consequent outcomes of innovation. Therein, positive emotions and mood in the office, participation in cultural activities and artistic areas accompanied with a healthy lifestyle represent higher personal well being which is directly associated with higher innovation. Therefore, by prioritising your personal well being, you are bolstering the health of your business and also building in a higher chance of creativity and innovation in your products and services.
According to Professor Robert Lee from the Research Institute for Business and Management, the various factors that gauge positive personal well being include alertness, attentiveness, determination, inspiration and confidence at work. These can be enhanced by indulging in artistic and cultural activities like enjoying museums, galleries, theatres, films, etc along with a healthy life style. Therefore, it is a two step process wherein first, you must ‘reinforce positive emotions’ in the professional environment; and second, engage in physical and non-physical leisure and lifestyle pursuits.
A change for the better
If looking after yourself is essential to looking after your business then there is no time like the present to make sure you are doing it properly. There are some basic steps to establish that you’re on the right trajectory to better well being.
It is imperative that you sleep commensurate your body’s requirements. For many people, this can vary conditional on the day and time. A well rested body is vital to apply and make the optimum use of our intelligence and creativity. It is advisable to give some time to yourself between work and sleep in order to give breathing space to your mind which is occupied with work pressure.
Another thing which is unique to every person is determining whether they are a morning person or a night owl. This can be a deciding factor in choosing appropriate working hours to deal with intense work issues. A better professional surrounding that suits your individual creativity should also be taken into consideration because inspiration rarely brews in clutter.
In addition to these basics, it is important to keep a track of your health by incorporating the right diet in your routine and avoiding quick unhealthy meals during work. This must be complimented by regular exercise to keep your endorphins high. It is also wise to know your boundaries to ensure you are not saddled with responsibilities you are not yet capable of undertaking efficiently. A final trick to boost your health is to follow a method used by the best athletes to maximise efficiency – making the most of the intervals in between your work breaks.