The entrepreneurial drive that inspires us to work tirelessly in service of our vision is one of the integral components of building a great company from scratch. No game-changing organization has ever been created without diligent sacrifice from individuals who join together in service of a dream greater than themselves.
However, this same push that inspires us to keep doing more until we reach our goals can have a detrimental impact on our health, job performance and personal life, if it is left unchecked.
Stress, lack of sleep and clouded thoughts are endemic to any entrepreneurial venture, and it is in learning to manage these conditions that you can achieve a balance in your life and actually increase your chances of being successful.
Indeed, you will find it possible to maintain that indispensable work ethic you need to build a flourishing company if you take care of yourself, using stress-reduction techniques, mindfulness and proper sleep habits.
In running Amerisleep, an eco-friendly luxury mattress company, I’ve come to appreciate how intimately linked wellness and workplace performance actually are. Here are three reasons that may prompt you to spend more time meditating, practicing mindfulness and sleeping.
1. Meditate to rewire your brain.
Analytically driven entrepreneurs often eschew meditation, equating the practice with other nebulous concepts such as holistic medicine and astrology.
However, science does offer findings that claim various benefits of regular meditative sessions. The research shows that regular meditation increases the volume of brain tissue and significantly reduces anxiety levels.
Just as our bodies need physical exercise in order to operate with the most efficiency, so too do our minds need the mental exercise that is developed during the consistent practice of meditation.
2. Practice mindfulness to enhance focus and creativity.
Figures no less luminary than Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and Steve Jobs have all lauded the importance of mindfulness for the entrepreneur. Torn as we are between our always-connected mobile devices and finite time, we often feel that we have to turn off the creative and wandering impulses of our brains in order to make things happen.
Instead, try being deeply mindful about all of your actions for a single day, and that positive practice just might become habitual. Mindfulness has been shown to sharpen focus, improve decision-making skills and boost creativity levels. For entrepreneurs, this can be a surprisingly potent ingredient in your unique recipe for success.
3. Sleep 'smarter' to get more out of your work day
There is no longer a debate about the devastating effects that even a moderate sleep deficit can have on cognitive ability. It really makes you wonder why so many entrepreneurs still talk about the long hours they spent overnight in the office with an air of pride.
If low levels of sleep deprivation have the same effect on the brain as drug and alcohol consumption, then it stands to reason that one of the most simple ways to protect your health and keep yourself in an optimal state for running your company is to maintain a rigorous pattern of sufficient sleeping habits.
Just take care to avoid oversleeping, as that can have a negative impact on your personal health and professional performance, too.
To be successful, an entrepreneur should actively take steps to de-stress, worry less and stay positive, to be more productive and prevent burn-out. And, with a good night’s sleep, you can wake up every day prepared to tackle all the challenges ahead so that you can build a business that you, your employees and customers can be proud of.