You are running a business, providing for your family, giving your customers and employees the best of what you have got. But are you feeling like you are not performing at your best in any area of your life?
As business owners, most of us can relate to that scenario. When you have a lot on your plate it can be tough to know where to start. So how can you perform at your best? What can you implement to make a difference to your life and business?
I recently spoke to health expert Vinnie and got some tips from his Unstoppable Tradesmen program. An experienced fitness coach, he saw that there wasn’t much in the market targeted towards tradespeople and it was a gap that he wanted to fill, especially when he saw there was a need for not only physical but also mental health support. He gave me three main areas to look at to improve work performance and all-round wellbeing.
What would be considered a lack of work performance is often put into two categories; energy levels and mental clarity. If they are both high then work performance is high, and equally, if they are low then performance will be low too.
When it comes to nutrition it is the amount of calories and type of food quality that will result in the energy you gain. When we are in a calorie deficit we would be burning fat, but we would also be in an energy deficit. So our food quality needs to have the highest amount of nutrients we can get, which you can find in whole foods and the least amount of processed food possible. The challenge can be that in trades we have the culture of eating junk food on site, especially if we are busy. Being prepared is how to combat this. The local cafe isn’t going to give you the options that will be the best for your energy. Preparing meals beforehand can really help, whatever you have for dinner can be the lunch the next day, and will be of a higher quality.
The biggest enemy for mental clarity is stress. Stress is effectively our body trying to protect us from harm or death. But we now get stressed over our perception of situations. It is rarely the actual situation, but our perception of it is the stressor and we can often be a creator of our own stress. We can have a disconnect between perceived reality and actual reality. If we can step back and acknowledge that our perception of a situation may not be the reality that can really help with our mental clarity.
When it comes to stress Vinnie recommended two ways we can fight it. The first is a thought process. When we are stressed we can:
- Write down every stressful thing you can think of.
- Write down what the triggers are of this stress. For example, if you are stressed you are not getting enough work, the trigger could be an attachment to money.
- Write down if it is controllable or uncontrollable, accept the fact that life is unpredictable and uncertain.
- If it is controllable, write down action points to resolve the situation.
- Be grateful that stress is occurring. Think about how it will make you a stronger, better wiser person.
The second thing people can do is practice meditation. It can be a divisive word but meditation essentially is the act of being present. We all have different things that can help us to do this, so find something that works for you with the options out there. That could be a walk in nature, or taking five minutes to focus on your breathing.
When we are stressed we often have a fight or flight response happen in our body. Focusing on your breathing can be the quickest way for us to get out of fight or flight mode, and help your body to relax.
Another way to do this is to tap into all five senses. Stop what you are doing and focus on your environment instead of your thoughts.
- Five things you can see
- Four things you can feel
- Three things you can hear
- Two things you can smell
- One thing you can taste
How can you fit it all in when you have a busy life juggling a business and also other commitments?
One way to do this is by following what is known as a sandwich day routine. In my chat with Vinnie he explained it in this way: At the start of the day do something that serves you, in the middle you are serving others with your work, but at the end of the day serve yourself. If you start or finish your day by serving others you will feel unfulfilled and drained, which will then affect your performance during the day.
But how can we do that?
Here are five tips that Vinnie mentioned to improve our daily routine:
In the morning be as prepared as possible. Prepare the lunch the night before, and try not to start your day on the phone. If the first thing you do is check your phone, you have allowed a hundred people to run through your room and you start off at a deficit.
You want to start your morning with a win.
20-30 min workout to start the day, this is sustainable even when you are a busy business owner. It will help you get in the right frame of mind.
When it comes to the backend of the day, for the last hour of your day try not to be working. This will give your mind a chance to unwind and you will sleep better. Limit electronics before bed, try to do something that will help you wind down.
If you have trouble shutting your mind down, write down everything that is on your mind and what you need to do tomorrow, and also what you are grateful for. Preplan on paper your next day, so you are not worrying about the future.
It is not always easy, but by taking the time to see how you are doing in these key three areas, you can improve your work performance and also take advantage of the opportunities to grow and scale your business. To find more advice on improving and growing your business, check out the Develop your Construction Business Podcast HERE.