It’s not unusual in the corporate world to hear of executives suffering from burnout. Unfortunately, many sacrifice their family-life in order to keep up with the demands of their job and the expectations of upper management, if there is one above them or a Board of Directors.
It’s easy for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs to reason that’s what happens to “them,” and believe it’s not relevant to their role as entrepreneurs.
Stop and think for a moment! You are the CEO of your own business.
As a business owner, you have several departments.
Let’s explore some that are common to many businesses: Production, Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, Public Relations and more. Some departments are unique to what you do.
How many employees or assistants do you have in these departments? Initially, it may be ONE!
Eventually, and in order to grow, you will either need to hire someone or use the services of an assistant. You may also decide to outsource some of the work done in some of your ‘departments’.
We talk a lot about the importance of not spending too much time in our business; rather spend more time working on our business.
We also hear about working four hours per day. That is very possible. However, ask anyone who is at that level how long it took for them to get to that point.
The reality is that if you’re just getting started, or on a path to uplevel your business, you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time setting up your business, and your systems, the right way.
The Common Sacrifice
Just like the CEO or executive in the corporate world, what is one of the things we usually deprive ourselves of in order to achieve our goals?
Generally, it’s sleep.
We all need sleep. Sleep allows our body to rejuvenate itself. Getting good sleep allows us to be alert and be able to make decisions quickly with good judgment. As the CEO of your business, you need rest so your body can function effectively.
Lack of sleep can become a vicious cycle. You fall into bed totally exhausted but you can’t fall asleep because your brain still has not calmed down. Or you fall asleep but not for long because you’re concerned about something that has a deadline. The reasons are as varied as the persons who experience sleep challenges.
Dangers to Insufficient Sleep
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), “Researchers have associated a persistent lack of sleep with conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and even certain types of cancer.”
It goes further to state: “Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.
The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.
The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as a car crash), or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.”
What can you do?
Here are three tips that could help to improve the quantity and quality of your rest:
1- Take a Hot Shower
Taking a hot shower right before bed will help to relax your muscles, and at the same time will stimulate the release of sleep hormones like melatonin. It also increases the production of growth hormones, associated with better sleep and recovery.
2- Relax for Half-Hour
Half an hour before bed, take your phone and other devices into another room and plug it in. At the same time, turn off the TV and make a conscious effort to relax and to do something that you will enjoy. This will help you to unwind and to let go of the stresses of the day. What’s more, the lack of bright screens will help you to avoid stimulating the production of cortisol.
3- Go for a Run
Go for a run or do some exercise. No, not at bedtime! This would be a stimulant rather than a relaxation technique.
When you go for a run, engage in a brisk walk, or do some exercises, you’ll burn more energy.
Hopefully, your body will be more tired when you get into bed.
At the same time, if you take your run or walk outdoors, then you may find that the combination of fresh air, daylight, and enjoying the connection with nature may help you to sleep better as well as assist with regulating your internal body clock.
We must remember that as entrepreneurs and small business owners, we are people first, and we are the face of our business. In many instances, we are our business.
While many of us have the privilege of working from home, working online, on wherever we choose to work from on any given day, we have a lot of responsibilities. Many of you do not have the luxury of having persons to delegate tasks to…just yet. It is therefore essential to take care of our personal health and be conscious of getting the sleep we need in order to function effectively and be the best CEO we can be for our own business.