Healthy people run healthy businesses – that’s according to a recent study, which found that poor mental and/or physical well-being accounts for significant productivity loss. It’s clear that a balanced diet is good for a balance sheet, but how can entrepreneurs incorporate healthy living into their busy schedules?
The majority of research into the effects of health on work performance focus on the mental side, and for good reason. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) considers mental health to be among the “most burdensome” of health concerns in the US.
The stress and anxiety of a modern workplace can be overwhelming, but there are ways to mitigate the negative effects on your mental well-being. One key factor was found to be interpersonal workplace relationships, which are responsible for improved learning, psychological safety, mutuality, and competitive success. By leaning on “high-quality relationships,” almost all aspects of your work life are improved. With a little more patience, kindness and teamwork, the happiness and performances of you and your partners can be exponentially improved.
Another critical factor is, of course, diet. It’s no secret that a poor diet is going to affect work performance, but what may surprise you is just how wide-reaching the effects can be. A 2019 systematic review found that diet directly affects absenteeism, productivity, stress, fatigue, and workplace relationships (such as with clients). Almost all facets of your work life are somehow interlinked with what you eat. The question, then, is how can we ensure we’re getting our nutrients during a busy work week?
The AHA (American Heart Foundation) identifies three methods: healthy breaks, pack lunches and sensible snacking. With all these options, the key is to pre-prepare and organize at home for the work week ahead. Or, if you’re based at home, normalize cooking as a part of your lunch break. Time spent cooking is money saved and gives you full control and transparency over what you’re putting into your body.
What we put in our bodies is important, but so is how we use them. Exercise not only improves well-being, studies show it improves time-management skills. That doesn’t mean you have to take up high-intensity workouts – low-intensity aerobic exercise is considered more effective at improving productivity. So definitely try after-work yoga, long walks, and light gym sessions.
For an entrepreneur looking to stay calm in high-stakes situations, it can be beneficial to learn relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing. These stress-management methods can make all the difference in a boardroom, during a business pitch, or in the heat of a long work week.
Half the stress of managing your own business is the sheer quantity of administration that takes place. If paperwork has you reeling, it might be time to form your own LLC (limited liability company). An LLC eliminates personal liability for company debt, immediately taking some pressure off your shoulders. You’ll also find a host of tax advantages, more flexibility to work, and, crucially, a lot less paperwork than when you operate independently. There are specific regulations for founding a Michigan LLC, so make sure to familiarize yourself with these before getting started.
Life as an entrepreneur is rarely stress-free and never straightforward, but that doesn’t mean you should give in to an unhealthy lifestyle. By paying more attention to mind and body, it’s possible to succeed and feel good doing so.
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