The path of an entrepreneur is a unique one. Unlike many other professions, entrepreneurs have the flexibility to set their own hours, labour requirements, deadlines etc. as they work for themselves. However, just because they have the flexibility to work at their own pace doesn’t mean they work less. On the contrary, most entrepreneurs choose to put in longer more strenuous hours, as they have to keep themselves accountable for the success or failure of each job opportunity and their overall business. With that, it is extremely important that entrepreneurs in this position prioritize their own health and wellness as well as their employees.

Burn out is real. Avoid it before it happens

he term burnout has become more and more popular over the past 10 years as over worked employees, entrepreneurs and even celebrities have experienced this state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion to the point of breaking. It’s a real issue that entrepreneurs need to be wary of as often times their passion and struggle for success push them beyond their physical abilities. Working smarter, not harder is key. Take the time to slow down and evaluate what tasks need to take priority. Create schedules that will give you realistic deadlines and communicate this with your entire team to make sure they are doable. While you never want to pass up an opportunity for more business, being realistic with what you can not accomplish and when will help to ensure quality control of your work and keep your team (and yourself) in the right mental and physical state to produce consistent results.

Health and wellness = productivity

While some people claim to work better under pressure, forcing yourself to work in high-stress situations is bad for your overall health. Studies show that working under duress can cause side effects that stick around far past your deadline. Emotional stress can weaken your immune system and cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, heart disease and anxiety. The physical and emotional toll that stress can cause on your body will ultimately hinder your productivity. Keeping your body properly fuelled and incorporating regular physical activity will reduce the likely hood of developing illness and keep your mind in the optimal state to function clearly for enhanced creativity and problem solving.

Take your time

As an entrepreneur starting out you often do not have the plans in place for things like paid vacation days or health benefits. Often entrepreneurs and new businesses work with a lack of regulation from structures like human resources and employee benefit contracts. Therefore it is completely up to you to carve out this much needed time for yourself. Vacation days are not just a benefit of working for a company. They’re necessary to give you time to separate yourself from work, clear your mind and rejuvenate. Making sure that you allow yourself and your team to feel like they can take this time off when needed to fulfill a normal self-care regiment is vital to ensuring their happiness, productivity and overall wellness.

Many of these concerns are not given enough priority when dealing with the daily grind of entrepreneurship. However, it is important especially for solo-entrepreneurs, small businesses and start-ups to recognize that maintaining overall health and wellness, physically and mentally, are vital for the longevity of the individuals and the company.