Do you think your personal health bares any relation to the health of your business?
I happen to think it does. When I am healthy, and fit, I am much more clear thinking and am able to deal effectively with problems in my business. When I am overweight (a particular problem at the end of the winter), and have not made the opportunity to get out and do some exercise, I find my business becomes more of a burden.
But how much time do we set aside to ensure that we are as healthy as we need to be to be effective business people?
Ironically, it is at those times when we really need to look after ourselves, because we are stressed by the pressure of work, that we find it most difficult to make the time to take exercise and eat properly.
So what is the answer?
I think that for many of us it is not the lack of time, but the lack of enthusuasm, for exercise which is the problem. There are not many times when it is absolutely impossible to fit in a 15-20 minute brisk walk. Similarly reaching for the chocolate (a particular source of comfort eating in my house!) is no quicker than reaching for an apple or pear.
If we are stressed, though, we argue to ourselves that we have earned what we really want rather than what we should have. We convince ourselves that we really are too busy to go for that walk – especially if it is pouring with rain.
I think the key is to accept that we are our own worse enemy, but be aware that we do need to try to be fit and healthy for the sake of our businesses as well as ourselves. Large businesses have accepted that they should do more for their staff by providing gym membership and private health insurance, because they believe it is in their business interest to do so. I think we small businesses need to start thinking in the same way.
Finally, I fairly recently got into the habit of having a monthly massage. I spend a lot of time in front of the computer and at the wheel of my car and so back ache has become a bit of a problem. I decided that the investment in time and money getting this sorted is more than paid back in my increased effectiveness. The back ache has gone and my general sense of well being increased – thanks Emma Treharne for that!
So the next time you have the argument with yourself that you should be working instead of walking, remind yourself that you are taking the break for the good of your business.