Many entrepreneurs no longer want to trade success for their health, money for time with their families or a business at the expense of their passion.
With that, it’s more important than ever to devote yourself to improvement and success across all the facets of your life and not just toward your business alone.
For example, developing a healthy exercise routine isn’t just good for your body, it’s a great opportunity to exercise your ability to keep personal commitments, improve personal discipline and hold yourself accountable for results. Don’t those all sound like they have great business implications as well?
1. Better boundaries
If you don’t have good boundaries, you’re not going to make it far in entrepreneurship or in life. The most successful people in life are those who know the power of no.
The first important step of developing better boundaries is to first decide what your core values are as a person and in business. Once you set the standards for how you want to operate personally and how you want your business to operate, you have to follow up that decision with action and keep them enforced.
For example, if you commit to your partner that Friday night is date night, you have to enforce the boundaries of your business creeping into your Friday nights. If you set the boundary that every morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. you’re at the gym, you can’t let your staff infringe on that boundary with early morning meetings.
In the same regard, you have to ask your friends and family to respect the boundaries you set for your working life and day, especially if your work starts from a home office. Set the rules for yourself and then stick to them, using the power of no as you need it.
2. Take breaks
Work styles vary, but one thing is certain, getting up away from the desk is important. Moving around helps reset your energy level and stimulate new thoughts. It also gets the blood flowing, which is good for the mind and body.
Don’t just stop at getting up from the desk, though. Breaks from work altogether are important. Make sure at least one day of your busy entrepreneurial week is reserved for a personal day. It’s crucial to disconnect from work for periods of time to rejuvenate your mind and body.
Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint, so if you don’t make time for yourself you’ll burn out. Take breaks and use the time to wisely reconnect to your creativity and passion.
3. Say what you mean
Being an entrepreneur is hard work and there are times in the startup phase where you’ll want to agree to certain things to get going. That’s why step one of knowing your boundaries is so important as an entrepreneur. Know what you want and where you’re headed so that you can align your actions with your words.
Many arguments and misunderstandings can trace their roots to bad communication. You may shy from being direct to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, whether it’s a staff member or a family member, but entrepreneurs need to have clear, direct communication.
One great tip is to have the person you’re communicating with recap your conversation in their own words. See if what they heard from you is what you meant to say. If their recap of your conversation is unclear, then so was your communication.
Don’t get out of a challenging conversation until you’re both in agreement and can accurately summarise the outcome of the conversation. Then neither one of you will base your actions and next steps on assumptions about what was said, but rather upon an agreed-upon direction.
4. Watch your mouth
Words are powerful, and you need to make sure what comes out of your mouth agrees with what you believe and where you want to go. It’s harder to take back something you didn’t mean or waffle on a statement you previously made then to speak your truth the first time and stand by it.
Learning to say what you mean will improve your business and personal relationships, help ensure your boundaries stay in place and improve the quality of your communications.
If how you do one thing is how you do everything then you should take the time to practice the art of clarity. Clarity in conversation can be very important but so can clarity in your home, mind and body. Keep yourself organised in every aspect of your life by spending the few extra moments a day it takes to clean up after yourself, eliminate clutter and get organised.
Too much clutter in the inbox, on your desk and in your home can lead to unproductive time looking for lost items. When you keep your life organised, you’re able to access important things when you want them because you know where they are. That helps improve your productivity, and if there’s one thing every entrepreneur needs, it’s more time!
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.