Entrepreneurs are subject to a stressful lifestyle. One day you might have a completely "normal" work schedule and then suddenly be slammed with several all-nighters in a row. The craziness of entrepreneurship can be both thrilling and exhausting -- and your health can greatly influence your success.
Now imagine juggling parenting responsibilities with the unpredictability of starting and running your own business. As a working parent, taking care of your health is a massive priority because your good health ensures you can look after your children to the best of your ability. There is no such thing as a sick day when you become a parent - trust me, sick days simply don't exist in fatherhood. My daughters and my work don't come to a screeching halt when I suddenly catch the sniffles.
As much as it pains me to admit it, I'm not able to rebound from a night of poor eating habits and three hours of sleep, unlike like my college days. The brain actually shrinks about 5% per decade after the age of 40, so taking care of my health is of the utmost importance if I want to continue my career as a "dadtrepreneur".
"As we age, we know the importance of taking care of our bodies, but the brain needs attention, too. The foods you eat can play a critical role in fueling brain power and may even help ward off memory loss and decline," says Matthew J. Kuchan, PhD, senior principal research scientist at Abbott. "For example, the B vitamins - especially B6, B12 and folate, and vitamins C and E can help slow age-related cognitive decline, and high intakes of DHA and lutein are associated with an improved ability to access and use knowledge."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, what you eat says a lot about your ability to function as a human being. As an entrepreneur, I find it difficult to have a productive work day when I eat fast foods or anything remotely unhealthy for me. Ever have those days when your brain doesn't seem to be working properly? Too much sugar and processed foods can negatively impact your brain function and the consequences are more keenly felt the older you become.
Your health is made up of a number of different factors that work together to power you through the day. Eating right is just one aspect; you also need to factor in adequate sleep, routine exercise and various other habits to make you the best you can be. Here are some healthy tips I try to practice on a daily basis to keep my days productive, both at home and in the office.
Plan Ahead Always
This seems like a no-brainer, but taking those extra few minutes each night to plan for your following day can help you stay organized and on-track with all of your responsibilities. Go over your work schedule and review any calls, meetings or assignments you might have coming up. Double check your kids' schedules and plan for any after-school curriculars that require your presence. Have your work bag and lunch, if you take one, packed and ready to go so your morning is as smooth as possible. The little details that you can take care of the night before make a huge difference when you need to be awake early in the morning.
Remember to Eat
Food is fuel for your body - don't forget! Eating regular meals is an important part of your day's routine and keeps you ready and alert for anything. A lot of entrepreneurs can run themselves into the ground when they forget to eat or when they snack on the closest thing nearby. Pack healthy treats like granola mixes or protein bars to snack on frequently to keep your energy levels up all day. When you skip a meal or feel the hunger pains coming on, it can be difficult to concentrate and focus on your work.
Take Mental Breaks
I'm not sure about you, but staring at a computer screen all day can be taxing and exhausting on my eyes. Your work as an entrepreneur may require you to work long hours throughout the day so remember to take short mental breaks to give yourself a chance to clear your head. As a dad, I find it refreshing to put down my work and spend an hour or two each day helping my kids with their work when they're home from school, or getting some fresh air by volunteering to pick them up from their after school activities.
There is only so much you can do as a parent and an entrepreneur in a single day, so why not make the most of the 24 hours you've been given? Taking care of your health and mental well-being will ensure you're able to power through your whole day without sacrificing your work or your parental responsibilities. Eat well, sleep well and engage in healthy habits to keep your day running smoothly and successfully.
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