During the startup stage, company founders often do it all. They’re not just the CEO, but they’re also the marketing director, hiring manager, and, sometimes, custodian. That means that entrepreneurs can find themselves stretched very thin. It’s always important to keep one eye on wellness, and that includes mental health.
Entrepreneurs often benefit from structuring their time. For many, this means sticking to a routine. Going to bed at the same time nightly can be a great idea. Waking up at the same time every day and making time for exercise are other common habits of successful people. Entrepreneurs often adopt a program like this to help them be fresh and ready every day. If this sounds silly, consider the alternative. It’s hard to start each day on the right foot without being well-rested. And exercise can be a wonderful outlet for frustrations that otherwise build up. Working out provides an opportunity to let off some steam.
That said, it’s important to set aside some time that’s just free. This might be used in silence, perhaps meditating. Or it can be spent rocking out to a favorite album. A visit to a museum or botanical garden can be a great, restorative field trip. The most important thing about this kind of unstructured time is to have some of it in the calendar. New and innovative ideas often bubble to the surface during the moments when people are not focused on a goal. It’s important to let things bubble on the back burner sometimes. Free time allows ideas to percolate while also allowing businesspeople to have a life outside of work.
Finally, one of the most important things any CEO has to do is say no. That can sound harsh, but it’s true. When someone is starting a new business, people start to come out of the woodwork. Maybe a brand-new PR firm wants to write a piece on the new interesting executive. Maybe former colleagues want to meet for drinks and fish for a job at the new company. All of this can be great, but it’s very important to be choosy about these opportunities. An entrepreneur’s time is limited, and therefore very valuable. Spend it wisely, and save some of it for yourself.