8 Easy Tactics For Staying Razor Sharp!
One day you’re a shark. A predator who’s ready to eat whatever stands in your way. You’re a beast. You’re a superstar. You get stuff done. Nobody should try and stop you, or risk serious consequences.
The next day isn’t as good though. Your mind feels sluggish and the doubt starts to creep in. Procrastination is your shadow. Your concentration is lacking, and anxiety threatens to consume you.
We all get good days and bad days, but as entrepreneurs we can’t afford too many of the bad ones.
Running your own businesses can feel like trying to fill a bottomless pit. No matter how hard you work, there is always one more job to do. Then that one job turns into another and before you know it, hours have passed. Most of us are in the same boat. We put our businesses first and ourselves second.
Inevitably, this impacts our effectiveness, and could make the difference between success or failure on a deal or project.
Now, let me honest, I’m more guilty of this than anyone. I work unsociable hours; I don’t take breaks or drink enough water. I eat convenience food and my caffeine intake is off the charts. I’m a realist. I’m not going to turn into the perfect human being overnight, and neither will you. But maybe there are ways that we can implement some of these tactics into our daily routine.
1. Get More Sleep
Being a great entrepreneur means that you’re hardworking and dedicated. Its part of the reason that you’ll succeed, but it can also mean you don’t get enough sleep.
Adults need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep every night.A lack of sleep can cause several negative side effects including greatly lowered concentration and memory capacity. There have also been links between not getting enough sleep and depression.
Try and get in the habit of going to bed an hour earlier every night and you’ll soon find that you have a surge in energy and focus.
Tip: Watch what you drink. Alcohol reduces the quality of your sleep.
2. Eat Breakfast
Entrepreneurs have busy lives. Every day there are hundreds of separate tasks that require our attention and each morning you can’t wait to start ticking them off the list. Sometimes this means that you only have time to grab a coffee on your way out of the door. Unfortunately, this deprives your body of the energy that your body needs to function efficiently.
Make time for breakfast and your productivity will improve. What you achieve will be much greater than the ten minutes you’ll save by skipping breakfast.
Tip: Make sure that you have good breakfast foods in the cupboard ready to go. If you’re really in a rush, make a quick smoothie to take with you.
3. Reduce your caffeine.
As entrepreneurs, many of us run on caffeine. We often rely on endless cups of coffee or cans of energy drinks to get through the day. While a small amount of caffeine can provide a useful boost, too much can increase anxiety.
Running a business can be intense, and the last thing we need is to amplify the stress. Overdosing on caffeine can also lead to dehydration and headaches, which will reduce productivity.
Tip: Try swapping some of your coffees for herbal or green teas. They have enough caffeine to keep you going but not enough to cause the unpleasant side effects of a caffeine overdose. They also have numerous other health benefits which make them a far better choice.
4. Drink More Water.
Your body becomes dehydrated when you don’t drink enough water. Side effects of dehydration include feeling listless and drowsy. You might feel irritable, weak and unable to concentrate.
Drinking enough water will also help to flush toxins from your body and generally lead to a greater feeling of wellbeing.
Tip: Make sure you always have a large water bottle with you throughout the day. Make sure you keep taking regular sips. Don’t wait until you're thirsty, this is a sign that you’re already starting to become dehydrated.
5. Improve Your Diet.
When you’re having a busy day, it's easy to lose track of time and end up forgetting or skipping meals. It's important to try and avoid this whenever possible. Not getting enough calories will leave you feeling tired and reduce your productivity.
Make time in your day for eating the right food. A balance of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates will provide you with the energy you need to stay focused.
Tip: Try and make sure you carry healthy snacks so that you have food even if you're too busy to prepare proper meals.
6. Go Outside.
Entrepreneurs often spend hours in the office, grinding away at the computer or on the phone. This could mean that you aren’t getting enough fresh air. Try stepping out of the office for a few minutes every hour.
Increasing your oxygen intake can improve your mood and help you to feel refreshed. Your brain needs twenty percent of your body’s oxygen. Getting more oxygen will help you think more clearly, improve your concentration and give you more energy.
Tip: While outside, try and get some sunshine. Sunlight has a direct effect on our mental health, it stimulates the brain into producing serotonin. Serotonin is a natural anti-depressant that can greatly improve our mood.
During one of your fresh air breaks, try and keep moving. Exercise improves blood circulation and can help prevent the sort of injuries that come from being sat in front of a computer for extended periods.
Physical activity has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It can also improve confidence and self-esteem. It will also heighten your mental awareness and concentration.
Tip: Try and fit some more intensive exercise into your evenings and weekends. Not only does it keep you active and fit, but it can also be a great way of networking.
8. Step Back.
As entrepreneurs, we are committed to building our businesses. Modern technology allows us to stay connected to our brand and customers 24/7. Social media and emails cry out for our attention day and night. Although hard work is a huge part of success, it's also important to try and disconnect for a while every day. This break will allow your mind time to rest and think about other things. You’ll find that the next day you will feel sharper and more focused if you step back for a few hours every evening before bed.
Tip: Create a scheduled cut off point in the evening and stick to it. Read a book or watch TV to allow your mind to wander away from work.