We’ve all been there. There are too many tasks to accomplish, and not enough time in the day to get them done. You may be tempted to work as hard as you can and try to finish everything on your to-do list, but that isn’t a good plan.
You can’t forget self-care, just because you’re busy. You need to figure out how to incorporate it into your daily schedule. Neglecting to take care of yourself is a quick way to burnout…and when that happens you won’t get anything done.
Making sure you add self-care to all areas of your life, including work will help you be productive as well as stay healthy. In fact, you may find that you get even more done this way. Here are some healthy productivity tips to follow for the busy business owner:
Stick to Specific Work Hours
To be a successful business owner, you don’t need to work all day long, every single day. You have to learn to separate your personal life from your work. You don’t have to work a regular Monday through Friday schedule, or even the regular 9-5 each day to be successful. You need to choose a plan that allows you to get work done, while allowing for you to spend time doing other things as well. You want to make sure that your personal life isn’t neglected.
It can be whatever works best for you and you can change them whenever you want. Since you’re the business owner, you can choose different hours every day if you want. I suggest letting other people know what those hours are though, so that they won’t try to interrupt you while you’re working. By setting specific working hours that work for you, you’ll know when not to work as well. You’ll make sure that you spend time doing other things besides work. You won’t get as stressed because you won’t be neglecting other things in your life.
Schedule in Breaks
When you’re planning your daily schedule, make sure you are realistic with your time. You need to figure out how long tasks will really take you, and not how long you hope they take you. You also need to schedule in breaks. Make sure you take a break to eat too. That will give you energy to be more productive in the afternoon. If all you do is work during your work hours, you’ll still get burned out. You don’t need to take much time, but even taking a 5 minute break between tasks will help you stay more relaxed. It’ll also allow you to be more productive while you’re trying to get tasks done!
Incorporate Exercises and Breathing Techniques
To stay healthy while you’re working, you can try doing some exercises and breathing techniques at your desk. You can do these while you’re working, so you’re not taking time away from important tasks while you gain the benefits. Plus you’ll find that you’re actually more productive when you do them! There are multiple exercises that you can do while seated at your desk. You can stretch as well, which is good for all the muscles in your body. Did you know there is even exercise equipment that you can use to “pedal” while you work? Breathing exercises are also very helpful in many ways. Not only can they help keep you relaxed, but you’ll have more energy after doing them as well. You’ll also be calmer, be in a better mood, and can even gain better posture by doing these.
Another way to stay healthy while you’re working is to make sure you’re not spending your entire day sitting down. They say that sitting all day is worse for your health than smoking. That says a lot right there. There are plenty of ways to do this. One way is to take short breaks every hour or so so you can get up and take a short walk.
If you can get a stand-up desk (or can work from a different area), try standing for part of the day too. Don’t want to spend the money? Put an empty box on a table to raise your screen and you’re set. You can still get work done, but will be standing to do so. I personally find that I’m more creative when I’m working while standing, and just as productive if not more so.
If you’re standing, you can also move around a little bit more than when you’re working and sitting at a desk. That’s good for you as well. You can also get creative with how you work. I have a laptop desk on my treadmill, and often walk (very, very slowly) on my treadmill while working. Whatever works for you that gets you to move while working is helpful.
Outsource Where you Can
No one can do everything, and you shouldn’t be expected to. If you don’t want to spend all day and night (and weekend) working, you need to delegate. That’s where outsourcing comes in.
Figure out the tasks that you can let someone else do for you. Also, think about the tasks that you hate to do (or the ones that cause the most stress.) Are any of those tasks that you can easily outsource? If so, it’s past time to do so. It’ll be more than worth the money you pay them. You’ll feel better, have less stress, and have more time to dedicate to the more important things in your life and business.
Use Automation and Tools
You don’t have to do everything manually these days. There is software and tools out there that will let you automate many tasks. Why spend the time doing them yourself if you don’t have to? This can be for things such as bill paying, setting up emails for often asked questions, and more. If there’s something you do often, see if there is a way to automate it, or use a tool to make it take less time for you to do. You’ll have more time to work on other tasks (or to relax) and you’ll also have less stress.
Plan for Tomorrow
At the end of the day, make sure you write down everything you want to accomplish the next day. Also make sure to schedule when you will be doing these tasks. This will help you in many different ways. You’ll sleep better having written down what you want to get done tomorrow, as you’ll have less on your mind. You’ll get more work done the following day, as you will already know what you’re going to be working on, instead of wasting time trying to figure it out then. You’ll also be less stressed, having a plan in place and not being unsure what you should work on.
Just because you’re a business owner doesn’t mean you need to work 80 or more hours a week. Instead, plan your days and your life around what would make you happy and healthy, as well as productive.