It goes without saying that being an entrepreneur can be hard and more than a little taxing. While it is exhilarating to have your own business, it does come with its own challenges. It’s easy to overextend yourself and not take a break. But the truth is, the best thing for your business is a healthy you. And that includes your mental wellness.
Guard your mental health. In all of the discussions about work productivity, building your brand or writing that finally writing that book, it’s important that you protect your mental health. This means you need to be intentional about varying tasks and activities to ensure you stay mentally healthy. Schedule regular breaks and take a step back from the screen. Get some stretches in. If you’re allowed to leave your home, take a walk around the neighborhood. Grab a snack (preferably a health one!). Disconnect from social media. Integrate this plan this into your work schedule so that you can stay charged mentally.
It’s okay not to be productive all the time. You need to be patient with yourself and set realistic goals about what you are able to accomplish. Especially in the early stages of your business, you will definitely need to learn a new work rhythm. If you’re not tech savvy, or not used to the tools that you have been given to work with, it will take a bit of time to figure out how to use everything correctly. If you are home with children, partners, roommates, other dependents or even pets, you are learning to work in a completely new way. What may have been easy to complete in an office, where everyone is generally focused on the same job mission, becomes a totally different project when you have a two year old who wants your attention every 15 seconds or a cat who doesn’t understand why it can’t just walk across your keyboard screen. Some days are just going to be more productive than others.
In addition, you might feel motivated to do all the projects you haven’t had time for, at the same time. I know there are some motivational speakers out there who are telling you this is the time to get that project done and it might be. But don’t burn yourself out trying to do it. If you have the motivation to start that coaching business, write your new book or offer web design on the side, go after it. But if you don’t, don’t feel the least bit guilty. Establish your new work rhythm and develop small, achievable, routine goals to keep you moving forward. And when you complete them, give yourself a pat on the back (or some chocolate).
Working alone can feel isolating. Whether we’re extroverts, introverts or somewhere in between, humans are social creatures. Working in a new place, even if it’s your home, takes some getting used to, especially if you live alone. You may not have realized it before, but there is something to be said for the energy that you get from being near other humans. You can feel like you’re completely separated from your normal work world. Similarly, for those dealing with family members and others at home, you can feel equally disconnected from your work life. Work might seem like the one more activity you have to fit in attending to your household needs.
To combat this, plan for daily checks in with colleagues, staff and other digital nomads as needed. If you have business you need to discuss, that’s great. But even if you don’t, just a quick hour long meeting is a great way to connect. For those who are working alone, these check-ins can ensure you’re receiving some human interaction.
There’s no right to do this. The best thing is to find habits that work for you. Make sure you prioritize your well being so that you can still be able to do what you need to do to get the work done.