Being a CEO for many businesses and working 15–20 hours a day every day for years helped me learn what is truly important: sustaining long-term health and happiness. As a young entrepreneur, it was easy for me to think I could push myself forever. But even if you’re strong mentally, your physical body can start to break down, and your mental health can follow eventually. People who keep demanding schedules work hard every day so they will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement. But this is why you should focus on your health at all times — so you don’t have to spend your retirement focusing on fixing your health.
Here are some basic strategies that will not only help you enjoy your days more but also help you live a long life, which, in the end, is the most important thing. You may only start to think about your health once it’s already declining, but you should focus on it at all times to prevent it from declining in the first place. This advice is for everyone, but especially for entrepreneurs who are working themselves to death.
• When you wake up, make sure not to dive into work right away. Take 2–3 hours for yourself to set your mood for the rest of the day. This will not only help you have better interactions with your clients and partners, but you will also feel better.
• Make sure to exercise. The gym isn’t for everyone, but you might like to run or play sports. These are great ways to help with stress and also stay healthy. Even just going outside and taking in fresh air helps to relieve stress.
• Make sure you make time to hydrate yourself and eat at least three meals per day. Basically, make sure you’re not sacrificing your basic nutrition for more work time. Doing so will not only make you less effective but is also bad for your health.
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• Sleep is probably the most important element of your health to stay on top of. Most of us entrepreneurs only sleep a couple of hours per day, and sometimes little more than that in a week. It’s taxing on your body: Not only does a lack of sleep cause stress and anxiety, but it is likely to lower your patience and ultimately make you less productive. Everyone is different, and it’s perfectly okay to test your limits. Just find what works best for you, and make sure your schedule is not negatively affecting you.
These are some basic tips I’ve discovered through my own experience and watching other successful CEOs throughout the years. There are more advanced tips, but the main point that applies for everyone is the longer you live, the better your chances of achieving everything you want to. There’s no point in working yourself into the ground and losing your quality of life at an early age. If you have a couple more decades, that’s more time you can spend enjoying the fruits of your labor. Time is valuable, so maximizing it should be everyone’s end goal.