When you are running your own business, it can be all too easy to prioritise the demands of your business, your customers or your employees ahead of your own; rushing around after everyone else’s needs, struggling to carve out the time to look after yourself and your own wellbeing. You know that you are wearing yourself thin, you are stressed, you are lacking balance, you are not able to find the time for the things that matter to you, the time to put yourself first. And by being ‘on’ all the time, you are potentially not only impacting your own wellbeing but equally affecting the quality of your decisions as a leader and ultimately the progress of your company moving forward.
But finding balance is paramount not just for your own wellbeing, but for the success of your company. By putting yourself first more, taking the time and space to relax, find balance and feel less stressed, you can support your capabilities as a leader and have greater clarity of mind to make better decisions.
It is not an either/or choice, you can put yourself first more to support your own wellbeing and still achieve your business goals. So here are 5 ways you can start to put yourself first more as a business leader to support your wellbeing and your company.
Block out ‘you’ time
Put it in your diary. Just like you would everyone else. Whether that is a morning gym session, or a lunch yoga session, 10 minute meditation at that 3pm slump or a monthly massage, put the time in, block it out and say no to anything that clashes with it. This is time for you to keep on top of your game, time for you to step back, relax, process everything that is going on around you so that you can return to work with a clearer perspective of the right, and most efficient action to take.
Respect your own time and say no
As the leader of your business, everyone wants your time, but we all only have a finite amount of time in our days. Not all work is important and certainly not as important as your own wellbeing. By respecting your own time and saying no to activities which are not only not supporting the growth of your business but which are also depleting your energy, you create more time and space for the activities that do matter, and that includes looking after your wellbeing. So reassess if the ‘regular’ meetings in your diary are adding value, cut out the activities that drain your energy, say no to what is not supporting you or your business and respect your own time.
Outsource, Delegate, Automate
Find ways to reduce the workload, the stress and the rushing so that you can create more time for yourself and create more balance in your week. Outsource work to freelancers (who will probably do the work in a fraction of the time), delegate tasks to your employees or automate processes as much as possible. Initially this may be hard as you hand over the reigns, or as you invest time to set automated systems up, but in the long run this creates more time and balance for you and more opportunity for your business.
Do one job at a time
It is often believed that if we multitask (especially women, we already know men can’t…!) we will be more productive, get more done and ultimately achieve more. But in fact Lin, Cockerham, Chang & Natividad observe in their research looking at the correlation between task speed and accuracy and multi-tasking, that when individuals attempt to multi-task they show significantly lower accuracy and longer completion time. This study shows that in reality we can achieve far more with our time if we focus solely on one task at a time, therefore creating more time to look after yourself.
Focus on the tasks that are really going to shift the dial
Don’t aim to be busy, aim to be productive. We would all love to have more time for ourselves, whilst simultaneously achieving our business objectives with one simple task rather than committing to dozens of tasks that take up our time, energy and impacting our own wellbeing.
Stop focusing on doing everything, filling your diary and being busy. Instead prioritise the tasks that are ready going to ‘shift the dial’ in your business, that one email you could send, that one pitch, that one idea. Focus on being as productive as possible, not as busy as possible.
Where to find me
About your author
Fiona Moss supports millennial women to escape their unfulfilling job, discover their purpose and excel in their new fulfilling business. Are you looking to step up in your business but finding those doubts creeping in and you want to know how to stop Imposter Syndrome sabotaging your success? Download Fiona’s free workbook on “How to overcome Imposter Syndrome” now with 5 strategies to help you overcome imposter syndrome so that you can get back to what you are good at and really excel in your new career.
You can find out more about Fiona and her business here.
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