As I sit here writing what I hope to be something very helpful for other entrepreneurs, I am tired. It is 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I am super sleepy. I have employed coffee and other things to help push me through but my body is exhausted. So I thought this was a great way to get myself motivated and help others in the process.
As entrepreneurs, many of us are much more than that. We are moms/dads, spouses, friends, volunteers, managers and much more. We run ourselves ragged because we are passionate people. We are motivated to change things; to make the world better for our family or for those that cannot help themselves. We are driven, excitable beings and many of us do not know when to stop and that is where fatigue comes in.
Today is a great day to evaluate how your time is spent and how you can fight fatigue to ensure you are able to do the best work and help more people.
Before we dive into the 5 ways to fight fatigue as an entrepreneur, you need to ask yourself WHY you are so tired. Are you simply not getting enough sleep? Do you need to change where you do your work? It might be as simple as incorporating more light into your work space. Do you tend to overcommit yourself to extracurricular events for your kiddo’s school or volunteer organization? If this fatigue has been ongoing, have you considered talking with a doctor or holistic professional. Personally, I am in amazing health, but I do have a thyroid imbalance and from time to time that is an issue for me. You really have to find out the root cause before you can truly fix the problem. Once you discover the root, these five fatigue fighters will be a great resource for you!
This is a scary word for many of us. For the first five years in business, I refused to pay someone to help me. I am not so sure it was even about the money. It was about giving up control. Let me shoot straight with you on a few things about running your own business. This may sound harsh, but you are not the smartest person on the planet, nor am I. When you allow people to come beside you and work WITH you, you are better for it. Choose a few tasks that you really dread doing. Find someone totally awesome at that task and pay them to do it. I promise you will start to breathe slower and find more time for the things you love to do within your business. For me, it was accounting. I hate math and I wasn’t awesome at keeping all my receipts and documents together. I interviewed a few local accounting firms and found one that I trusted. They do everything for me and provide quarterly reports. It is glorious when I get to the end of the year and everything is done! WHOOP WHOOP!!
Learn to say no.
I was raised by wonderful parents. My mom was that “yes woman”. If anyone needed costumes sewn for the church Christmas play my mom did it. If anyone asked for a birthday cake to be made she did it. If a kiddo needed help with their horse for 4-h, my mom was there pronto. She was, and still is a yes woman and does it with a smile. This has been going on now for over 30 years and I can see the toll it has taken on her. With the busy world around us, we must do ourselves a service and say no from time to time. I am not suggesting you say no to everything and everyone and stay in your little happy bubble. There is a time, place and season for saying yes and for saying no. I have become very proficient at saying no at this season in my life. My little one is 18 months old, and this is the time for me to spend teaching him, playing and planting healthy, happy memories with him. I still volunteer from time to time, see my friends here and there and of course run my growing business, but my focus is on that quality time I will never get back. So, try it this month. Try saying no. You will discover freedom you have been longing for, I promise!
Join a local community to lift your spirits.
If you are like a huge percentage of creatives, you work alone. You may work from your house, a coffee shop, a small office or a co-working space, but you are silently working the majority of the time. I am an extreme extrovert so the value of the occasional chat with someone that understands my frustrations and celebrates my wins is epic. You may already have a community, in person or online, that you love. If you do, that’s awesome. It has taken me a while to find that “just right” place that I need in this time of my life and business.
I wanted to share two online communities that I have really fallen in love with. These communities are consistently positive and encouraging. I like to think of them as the online Planet Fitness for creatives. They are judgment free zones, which is ever increasingly hard to find these days. Being Boss is a Facebook group that is closed and you must ask to join (but that’s super easy). You will meet outstanding creatives that happen to also be inspiring people. Brilliant Business Moms is a Facebook Page that has many helpful resources for those of us that are entrepreneurs AND moms. In both communities, you can ask questions, share victories, rant a bit if need be, gain knowledge and showcase yourself as an expert in your field. I highly recommend both. I find inspiration daily and do my best to help others in the group as the opportunities come along.
Adopt better sleep habits.
This is a must, my friends. Sleep affects the area of the brain responsible for decision-making, creative thinking, memory and reaction time. Seven to eight hours of sleep per night is a critical factor to your success. There is a great article by Entrepreneur.com that showcases the 7 sleep habits of successful entrepreneurs that I highly recommend. The article talks about alcohol consumption, electronic devices, journaling, exercising, snacking and more. I understand that you may not be able to get the perfect amount of sleep each night, but strive to get better at least a few nights a week to start. It will help you alleviate your fatigue. Just think of what you could do if you actually had more energy!
Unplug & find your happy place.
Ok, this one is going to be different for everyone. If you are over 30, think back to when you were a child. There were no electronics or at least none you could take with you. Your VCR had a corded remote. There were no cell phones. You had to wait until you got home to check the answering machine to find out who wanted to talk to you. Life was much slower and we were not plugged in all the time. What was the one thing you could do that was fun and relaxing? For me, it was spending time at the barn and riding my horse, hands down. I didn’t care about boys or sports, I just wanted to be with my pony. My desired downtime activity is still to go to the barn and ride my pony, but as an adult finding the time for that comes less and less; however, when I make the time it is all worth it. When I get to spend time listening to George Strait while saddling Sully and then taking off for a few hours it is like the reset button was hit. All the stress, challenges, and other stuff just seems so much smaller. It is important during the week you find time to read your favorite book, hit the gym, have coffee with a friend or whatever it is that makes you tick. Even if it is just 30 minutes, it really helps fight fatigue!
I could have probably given you 10 ideas, but I challenge you to start with the 5 here first. I think a great follow-up blog would be a list of amazing music to rock out to as you work. What do you think? Do you have a favorite song that always lifts your spirits? If so, please send those songs to me (email, social media or comment here) and I can include them in my next blog post!
Have a great day and remember to smile!