Dr. Meghna Dassani is a dentist, healthy sleep ninja and president of Dassani Dentistry. Connect with her at www.MeghnaDassani.com.
Entrepreneurs are known for working hard. They are constantly looking for ways to improve their businesses and increase productivity. But sometimes, entrepreneurs work so hard that they overlook the importance of sleep.
Getting consistent high-quality sleep is essential for people’s physical and mental health, however. It also supports their ability to perform their best at work.
Why Sleep Matters For Entrepreneurs
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should get seven or more hours of sleep per night. Consistently getting a good night’s rest yields tons of benefits. Good sleep helps you recharge your batteries. It can improve your mood by reducing stress and anxiety. And it can enhance your cognitive abilities, including your memory performance and creativity.
Conversely, a lack of sleep can have serious negative consequences. Sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue, decreased vigilance and impaired decision-making, and may contribute to physical health problems, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus.
As an entrepreneur, you need to stay at the top of your game to effectively run your business. You need to make sound decisions, think creatively and manage your time efficiently. And in my experience, these things are much easier to accomplish when you’re well rested.
Delegating More To Free Up Your Mornings And Evenings
Many entrepreneurs take on too much work and too many roles because they operate according to the principle, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” But this principle is a fallacy. And not only that, but operating with this mindset can also be detrimental to your business.
No one can be an expert at everything. Some tasks are going to fall outside of your expertise. And other people on your team could perform them better. So delegate these tasks to the most qualified people. That way, you can reduce your workload and free up more of your time to get more rest. And those tasks will likely get done more effectively.
You can also delegate tasks you don’t enjoy doing. Or you can pass administrative or routine tasks onto an assistant. Additionally, you can outsource certain functions to a specialized freelancer or agency. The goal is to work smarter, not harder, so you have more time to sleep.
The most important facet of effective delegation is clear communication. You need to explain your expectations and provide any necessary training or guidance, along with deadlines for the work.
To streamline this process, you can create standard operating procedures (SOPs), which you can give to your team and then reuse as needed. After delegating tasks, you should check in with your team to ensure they have the necessary resources and are making steady progress.
As an entrepreneur, you have a lot on your plate. But when you pass the torch for some of your responsibilities to qualified team members, you give yourself more free time in the mornings and evenings. That way, you can use that time to get more high-quality rest.
Setting Strict Start And End Times For Your Workdays
Having set start and end times for your workdays enables you to prioritize your sleep so you can stay healthy and avoid burnout.
Start by creating a clear work schedule and sticking to it. Avoid working outside these set hours, except for in exceptional circumstances. Create boundaries by turning off your phone and computer at the end of the workday. And avoid checking work-related emails or messages during off-hours.
If the temptation to check messages is too great, you can set up an out-of-office (OOO) autoresponder email. As an Indeed article explains, with an out-of-office message, anyone trying to reach you after hours won’t feel ignored. And they’ll get a clear idea of when they can expect a response. You can also leave instructions about what to do if a message is urgent and can’t wait until normal business hours.
Additionally, you should make a point to incorporate self-care and restorative activities into your daily routine, either before or after work. These activities could include exercise, meditation and spending time with friends and family.
Self-care and rest are essential for maintaining productivity and creativity in the long run. Setting strict start and end times for your workdays and prioritizing time to sleep can improve your work-life balance, along with your physical and mental health.
According to a study published in the Journal of Business Venturing, “A good night of sleep positively influences entrepreneurs’ abilities to perform cognitive tasks at the very basis of entrepreneurial pursuits, whereas shortchanging sleep can yield suboptimal performance.”
So set the stage to get the high-quality sleep you need and optimize your business’s potential for success.
The information provided here is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for advice concerning your specific situation.
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