When I began my first business, no one had much advice for me on how to stay healthy. Aside from tax and general business topics, the issue of taking care of one’s mental health while staying driven never came up.
All I heard was: “Hustle, hustle, hustle.”
It was plastered on mugs, shirts, notebooks. I saw it on social media and just about every single blog post I came across. This was the primary piece of advice other female entrepreneurs offered.
But what no one explained to me was how unhealthy that hustle could be. And, it wasn’t until I opened my second business that I realized how crucial it was to prioritize health over hustle.
So, what does it mean to hustle?
If you were to ask someone who’s owned a business for years, they’d tell you that the term “hustle” is synonymous with “dedication.” Someone who is a little less seasoned might say that to hustle means to stay up all hours of the night, working endlessly to make a dream come true.
While I see it from both sides, I tend to sit a little more in the middle of the two definitions, leaving plenty of space to stay focused on my own health.
Here are four ways you can do the same.
4. Own your personal time.
Regardless of whether you own a physical storefront or are a freelancer, it’s important to implement office hours and boundaries. Doing so will ensure you’re putting limits on your schedule and your clients aren’t leaping over boundaries.
It’s so important to take advantage of time outside of office hours doing something that isn’t work: reading a book, exercising at the gym, going for a walk or even hanging out with friends.
3. Implement a real schedule.
If you find yourself hustling a little too hard and too late into the hours of the night, I suggest you go back to the previous step and find some personal time to implement.
This can be especially difficult for those of you with a home office because we find it hard to disconnect knowing our computers are in the next room waiting for us to finish the day’s tasks.
This year, I’ve set strict time frames for myself including bed times, my morning routine and even a lunch time that I have to take a break for.
2. Make sure you’re feeding your creativity.
It can get difficult to remember why you started your business in the first place so it’s important to circle back when you’re feeling burnt out and try sparking that creative side that urged you to begin in the first place.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling a little burnt out from client work, I’ll head into the city, stopping by a local art galleries or clothing shops to get inspired.
1. Keep your health in-check.
While it may seem productive to continue working through lunch breaks and well past evening meals into the night, it’s surprisingly counter-intuitive. Skipping meals and foregoing sleep to finish work can work against you, hindering your thought process and driving you straight into burnout.
Whatever you do, it’s important that you take care of yourself. As business owners, we’re the ones who drive our business forward and we should be investing as much in ourselves as we do in our businesses.