A healthy brain brings many benefits. The biggest question is how can mindfulness help entrepreneurs in Business & Life?
If you’re a budding entrepreneur who fancies themselves as the next big-time businessman of their local town, or perhaps a future tycoon of the eCommerce world, you’ve no doubt heard about the power of mindfulness and its many benefits.
Many senior-level businesspeople advocate the importance of reducing stress and anxiety for both today and tomorrow, for the simple reason that it opens the door to greater mental clarity.
People who adopt mindfulness are seeking to, in a nutshell, optimize their thought processes, which in turn can lead to more effective actions, enabling them to perform closer to their full potential, and ultimately live a happier life.
The main benefits of mindfulness also include:
- Increased focus and concentration
- Increased awareness (of the self, everyday life, and during decision-making)
- Improved creativity
- Decreased stress levels
- Improved/deeper sleep
While the following tips on mindfulness (in no particular order) can be incorporated by entrepreneurs, including investors and owners of startups and small businesses, they can also be used by just about anyone, no matter the scale of their goals and ambitions.
1. Calm, Focused Mornings
While grit and a relentless work ethic can get you far, reaching goals isn’t all about simply ploughing through every obstacle that presents itself; “the only way is through” does hold value, sure, but that doesn’t mean that certain tasks can’t also be dealt with in other ways.
Try to dedicate part of your morning routine (preferably before your work day begins) to being calm and mindful. Even a little ‘pre-work time’ can help to make you feel more organized and less stressed; you can also use it to refocus your attitude and goals, and to consider how best to tackle any tasks that lie ahead.
2. Break Free from the Office
While it may feel possible to force a business breakthrough through sheer will from behind a computer screen, successful business tends to be about relationships based on real-life interactions.
So, if you’re planning to build rock solid relationships and take long strides toward your goals, try to get out and attend networking events and real-life meetings, etc; leaving the comfort of your desk isn’t an inconvenience – it’s how people and their businesses grow.
Consider how social we human beings really are, and how the strongest of relationships are often formed face-to-face. While email and video calls are fine for keeping in touch, the golden ticket for developing rapport is always going to be a real-life connection.
So book a café, restaurant – whatever – just try to get out there a little more.
3. Clean Workspace, Clean Mind
While certain folks can thrive in purely chaotic environments, most minds can benefit from a more organised, clutter-free setting. So, if your office is littered with cups, plates and documents – or worse – consider another viable storage solution: the trash can.
‘Out of sight, out of mind, cleanliness is next to Godliness’, and so forth. All clichés, sure – but clichés for a very good reason. With a clear workspace consisting of only relevant materials and documents, focus and creativity levels tend to increase, while frustration and stress levels tend to head south.
It often pays to make your digital world just as organised, too. So don’t forget to tidy up your desktop icons and apps, along with any disorderly folders, for your computer, laptop and smartphone. Delete any files you’ll never use again, and create backups where necessary.
4. Don’t Drown in Emails
The advent of email is a wonderful thing, allowing us to communicate on the go, whenever and wherever we are in the world. But when you’re trying to be as productive as possible, emails, if not dealt with in an appropriate, mindful way, can also become a barrier to success.
Instead of feeling the need to engage with every single email that enters your inbox, try to opt for a more organized approach in order to prevent yourself from becoming distracted and overwhelmed.
Prioritize only those emails that require an immediate response, and don’t feel bad about ignoring those which are unrelated to your day-to-day business goals (why not filter them into a separate folder where they can be addressed at a more convenient time?).
5. Recognise an Emotional Takeover
It may be one of the oldest clichés, but it really is best to not make any important – certainly life/business-changing – decisions while going through the emotional wringer. Typically speaking, that is.
Feeling angry, anxious, stressed to the limit? Perhaps you can’t even identify what the overriding emotion is? During volatile days such as these, try to cool off/get some rest, and save any important decisions for when you’ve regained balance and composure.
Remember, it’s not that using your heart in the decision-making process is a bad thing – it’s that you’re more likely to make a deeply regrettable decision when your heart completely overrules your head.
6. Don’t Force Creativity
Have you ever found that some of your best ideas come to you while doing innocuous – perhaps even tedious – activities, such as washing the dishes or walking to the local shop? These ideas can pop into your head when you least expect it – and it can be a wonderful feeling!
By shifting to a lower gear for just a few short hours each week, either by doing a non-taxing task or by chilling out, this portion of allocated time can be effectively used to break free from your goal-orientated mindset and embrace uninterrupted creativity and imagination.
7. Keep Learning, Keep Helping
You may have set out to take the world by storm, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re equipped with everything there is to know. Even if you have a distinguished academic background, or consider yourself to be a genius, don’t let things like pride and hubris get in the way of seeking out advice.
Of course, it goes the other way, too: don’t let things like shyness and anxiety put you off learning new things either. If knowledge, awareness, communication and relationships are truly critical elements for every successful business, then what does that tell you?
Interact with people and never stop learning, and remember, when people are brave enough to reach out to you, try to always return the favour. This is how human connection and strong bonds are formed.
8. The ‘Successful Sleeping’ Myth
There are plenty of autobiographies and circling anecdotes that feature stories of how business empires were built on just a few hours of sleep each day. But can this really be the norm for everyone?
While there are certainly people in this world who do naturally require minimal sleep, it can be dangerous to romanticise the idea that success can only be achieved by following a low-hour sleep pattern.
Since human genes play a role in determining sleep length, the best way to effectively maintain cognitive functioning is by following your own unique needs. By all means, set a suitable down-early-up-early routine – just don’t twist and bend yourself to others’ sleeping habits.
While having the odd nap is fine, napping on a daily basis may indicate that you have a problem. Remember that, sooner or later, limited sleep, along with excessive stimulants such as coffee, can lead to burnout, muddled thinking, and even health risks.
9. Don’t Forget Why You Get Out of Bed
If you don’t have a full grasp of what it is you’re actually trying to achieve, along with the reasons behind it, you could be setting yourself up for motivational resistance, and failure, down the road.
It can be vital to both understand and believe in what it is you’ve set out to accomplish – if you don’t, you may well be in the wrong position and or industry, or simply be approaching your obstacles and end-game goals in the wrong ways.
While it may seem somewhat idealistic, by building a business that’s beneficial to the needs of people in a positive, valuable way, you won’t be purely driven by the desire to add extra zeros to your bank account alone.
If you have a clear picture of what you’re doing, write it down in a mission statement and keep it somewhere close by – that way, when you hit those unpredictable obstacles and low moments, you can pull out that statement and remember why you started your journey.
People quickly forget the reasons why they climb out of bed every day; so, once a week, try to find the time to fully understand yours.
10. Learn, Improve, But Be Yourself
For some young entrepreneurs, it can feel especially tempting to become obsessed with emulating the look and characteristics of those they admire. While it’s fine to learn from others and feel inspired, try to not get too caught up in trying to become that person.
It may sound a little corny, but it’s generally better to just do you, embracing your own strengths and qualities – instead of mimicking those of others. Work on yourself by all means. Just don’t fall into the trap of believing that you have to become someone else to succeed.
While the thought of modelling yourself on a headline-grabbing entrepreneur may seem initially exciting, there’s a real danger that you could wind up totally losing yourself in a fiction – which could be bad for both your business and working relationships.
Remember, your perceived flaws and quirks may seem unwanted and bothersome now – but they are part of your identity, and could play a major role in developing some great business ideas and perspectives.
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