Why mindfulness matters for today's entrepreneurs
By Selina Bieber, Senior Regional Director for Turkey, MENA and South Africa, GoDaddy
Manic multitasking is a part of nearly any entrepreneur's everyday job description. But in today's challenging business climate, to help ensure that they remain active in the longer term, entrepreneurs and small business owners also need to be thinking of the future and take care of their health.
This is where mindfulness can come into play. It's a technique that can help you to not only take better control over your physical and mental health, but also over the health of your business. Mindfulness isn't only about yoga or meditation – though those techniques can help you be mindful.
Instead, it's all about being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts and your surroundings. When you're mindful, you know what you're doing and why, and you're able to process your thoughts, emotions and what's happening around you, without getting overwhelmed. It's the opposite of doing things without purpose or focus.
The benefits of mindfulness are manifold:
- It can help you improve your physical health by enabling you to reduce stress, improve sleep and boost your immune system.
- It can improve your mental health by combating anxiety and depression.
- It can help you to process information better, be more creative and feel more motivated.
According to one academic study, practicing mindfulness exercises for 10 minutes a day could be as beneficial as an extra three quarters of an hour of sleep per night. Other research finds mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain grey matter density with potential benefits in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, and perspective taking.
Here are three tips on how you can make mindfulness part of your entrepreneurial journey:
Strike a work/life balance
Most small business owners and entrepreneurs are so focused on starting their venture, they often struggle to find enough hours in the day to get everything done at work – never mind making time for social connections, sleep and leisure. But mindfulness helps one build the awareness of how harmful it is to neglect your relationships and health, which are all important for you to take care of in these challenging times.
When you're more mindful, you start to realise how impacting it can be to your performance to push your body too far. And if you're more mindful when you work, you can more calmly manage scheduling, tasks and processes in a way that can be better for you and better for your business performance and productivity.
To help get this right, you may want to:
- Build a routine so you know what's ahead of you each day.
- Plan each day carefully to take control of your time.
- Embrace signals from your body – when you're tired or hungry or sore, take note.
Don't let your inbox break your flow
The amount of information we receive via instant messaging, email and social media each day can be overwhelming. And every new mail or WhatsApp notification can take you out of the moment. Try to set some time aside each day to focus on email, some time that you don't look at messaging or social media, and don't let non-urgent or unimportant messages distract you from what matters.
An organised office is an organised mind
As you work from your home now, or hopefully soon again back at your favourite coffee shop or proper office, it can be helpful to keep your physical and virtual workspaces tidy and uncluttered. It's easier to find what you need if you have a well-ordered filing system or a clear convention for file names on your computer.
Plus, it can be easier to think logically and creatively in an orderly environment. File stuff you don't need right now and get rid of things you won't need again – and that includes unused apps and icons on your PC and smartphone.