This post originally ran on American Express OPENForum and it seemed like a good Labor Day post.
Small business ownership is hard work. Physically demanding, stressful, mind numbing work—and that’s on the good days. But, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. One of benefits of owning a small business is that you are totally free—free to work any 80 hours a week you choose.
But no matter how efficient, there’s always more to do than time to do it.
For me, one of the secrets to getting more done each day is to pay attention to my physical energy and do everything I can to enhance, store and build it.
Spending time engaged in daily exercise is an example of an energy building practice that actually gives me time instead of costing time. In fact, some of what eventually turned into my greatest innovations and ideas presented themselves during an early morning run in the neighborhood.
Here are some of my other tricks:
- Running: I started running for exercise in high school and it’s one of the most relaxing forms of energy creation for me.
- Conscious eating: Whatever that might mean to you, it is another energy building practice.
- Meditation and yoga: These are two powerful forms of stress reduction and energy building.
- White noise generator: Simply Noise allows me to tune out distractions and gain instant focus.
- Reading lyrical passages of literature: Passages such as those found in Anam Cara by John O’Donohue is energy and focus building.
- Creating boundaries by shutting down technology: Doing this occasionally is a good energy building practice.
These are just some of the practices I keep in the energy toolbox.
Perhaps a lesson on healthy living seems odd on a business site, but it’s very hard to disconnect the physical you from the creative you in your business.
I suspect everyone knows they can take better care of the physical plant, particularly as we get older, but I wonder if you’ve considered the role this kind of energy building focus plays in helping you get more done, deliver purpose, maintain focus and bring only the healthiest emotions to the game.
Business owners are conditioned to think about assets and liabilities and ignoring your health and energy is one of the greatest ways to move a key asset (you) into the liability column.
I know that every single day I get some exercise, I get more done. Mind you, I don’t do it enough, but I can tell you that investing 30 of the 1,440 minutes I have in a day in energy building activities always doubles up and pays off in terms of increased productivity.
Go out and get a personal trainer, invest in a chef, create technology boundaries, start learning as much as you can about keeping your body and mind well—it one of the best business investments you can make in your business and your purpose.
Image credit: Peter Mooney
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