If you’re building an Ecommerce Store or lifestyle business you probably have two things on your mind; time and money.
The more time you have to work on your business, the more money you can make; and the more money you can make, the more time you can spend in the future doing what really matters to you.
We’ve already shared 10 Time-Saving Tips for Lifestyle Entrepreneurs, but it’s also important not to discount the importance of our energy levels when working on our business.
You can usually get much better results from a few solid hours of focused work than you can from a 12 hour day running around like a headless chicken, and if you’re well-rested you’ll make much better business decisions than you will if you’re frazzled and distracted.
If you’re finding that an afternoon slump is playing havoc with your productivity or that you just can’t seem to get out of bed in the morning, here are the five things you need to prioritise in order to manage your energy better.
1. Get Enough Rest
As a new business owner, it’s tempting to see sleep as optional. Burning the midnight oil might be just what’s needed to get your business launched in the early days, but it is not a long-term solution.
Lack of sleep can catch up with you quickly, and have a very negative impact on your ability to concentrate and make good decisions. It is far better to ensure you get at least 7-8 hours sleep whenever possible.
Of course, starting a business can be both exciting and stressful, and as founders we are likely to have a lot of ideas, thoughts and concerns running round our heads, which can make it difficult to get a restful night’s sleep. And sometimes at the beginning, working a few long days is unavoidable if we are to reap the rewards of our lifestyle business later on.
Thankfully if you are able to work full-time on your lifestyle biz there is nothing wrong with taking a nap during the day to recharge your batteries. It is preferable to burning out and not being able to focus on the work that needs done and the decisions that need to be made. A study of air traffic controllers showed that even short naps of between 19 and 40 minutes caused “an improvement in objective measures of alertness and performance.”
At the start-up stages of a business it can also be tempting to forego weekends and vacations, but this is a surefire path to burning out. If you suddenly become too exhausted to work it could seriously jeopardize your business at a crucial stage.
Remember as a lifestyle entrepreneur you want a business that supports you, so your health needs to be your first priority.
2. Cut Down on Junk Food and Caffeine
Unless their new business is food related, most entrepreneurs give little thought to what they’re eating. After all, it’s just fuel to get them through another day of hustling and taking care of business. The problem is that there’s only so far pizza and crisps will get you before your energy tanks run dry.
Whilst short-term fixes like strong coffee, energy drinks and multiple bowlfuls of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream might give you a momentary boost, they are likely to lead to a slump in energy not long after, and trust me, your productivity levels are not likely to be at their peak during a sugar/caffeine comedown.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) even published a report warning about the dangers of energy drinks, which stated that “large amounts of caffeine can cause adverse effects such as insomnia, nervousness, headache, fast heartbeat, and seizures that are severe enough to require emergency care.”
Eating healthier food including vegetables and fruit and whole grains (which are complex carbs that take your body longer to break down), drinking plenty of water and limiting caffeine and alcohol intake will all help keep your energy levels at a steadier level, meaning you can work on your business and still have energy to enjoy your spare time – which is the main reason for starting a lifestyle business after all.
It might sound counter-intuitive to suggest you should stop working for an hour or so each day in order to get sweaty in the gym, but in fact, that hour is likely to increase your energy, productivity and creativity to a significant degree, as well as ensuring you look good at the beach of course.
Richard Branson cites working out as the secret to his productivity, and he’s not the only business owner to report that they receive a boost from exercise. According to a recent report in the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, there is “strong evidence of exercise-linked benefits related to task switching, selective attention, inhibition of prepotent responses, and working memory capacity”.
Exercising can also give you the feel-good factor and additional resilience you need to overcome any temporary hurdles or setbacks in your business.
4. Track Your Natural Rhythms
As a lifestyle entrepreneur, you are committed to creating a life for yourself which allows you to work whenever and wherever you want. If you’re doing this thing full-time already, then you have the entire day at your disposal to work. So why are you getting so little done?
Perhaps you are still stuck in the 9-5 mindset, trying to sit and work all day long despite the obvious clues that this doesn’t suit you.
If you’re struggling to stay focused every afternoon, it might just be that you naturally don’t have as much energy at that time of day and it might be far better to head outside for some fresh air or have a nap.
If you’re not sure what times of day are your most energetic, why not keep an energy journal for the next week and note down when you feel most productive – then alter your schedule accordingly.
In fact, by tracking your activity each day you are likely to see significant increases in your efficiency and productivity. That’s because you will immediately be more aware of what you’re doing, and less able to fool yourself that you’re working hard when you’re actually checking email and Facebook every five minutes.
5. Lighten Up
There’s nothing more exhausting than feeling like you’re on a never-ending treadmill. As a lifestyle entrepreneur, you have the opportunity to create a business which is fun and enjoyable – you ultimately set the tone for your own business after all.
There are always some things we’d rather not do but that have to be done if we are to be successful, such as taxes – but as the founder of your business you can outsource a lot of the dull admin work and focus on more creative tasks such as marketing plans and connecting with influencers.
The more fun you can make your day, the more motivated you will be and you will most likely see your energy levels increase as a result.
If you ever feel stuck in your business, stressed out or low on energy, it’s always helpful to remember why you started out on the path of a lifestyle entrepreneur in the first place – and for most of us that was a desire for a better quality of life.
If that’s the case, nothing is more important than your health, and at the early stages of building your ecommerce store the business is reliant on you having the energy and motivation to get things off the ground.
Nobody wants to end up burnt out and unable to enjoy their success when it comes, and by managing our energy on a daily basis we can ensure our business has a strong foundation.
Let us know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for how lifestyle entrepreneurs can manage their energy.