There’s no overstating how important level-headedness is to running a business. Having your own business entails a lot of work. Though the sacrifice pays off in the long run, this can also mean having less time for yourself.
Reflection as a form of self-care is often neglected. “Me time” is often easily dropped at the first sight of a busy week, and before you know it, you’re thrown out of your exercise routine for weeks on end.
While dedication to your work is an admirable trait, it’s also important to take a step back and give yourself even 5 to 15 minutes a day to keep yourself centered.
We’ve compiled 5 ways to help you.
1. Keep a journal
Writing in a diary or a journal can help you keep track of what happens in your life, as well as provide you with a break from the grind. It can be helpful to be alone with your thoughts. Keeping journals can also provide you with reminders of what you need to do. In the long run, your journals will provide you with insight and help you keep track of how much you’ve grown as an entrepreneur and as an individual.
There is no one way to do meditation. While there are certainly guides to ‘proper’ meditation, these typically involve taking calm and deep breaths, clearing your mind, and zoning out.
Putting on ambient music might help some people, but if taking a break and staring at a wall for five minutes works for you, then go ahead and do that. After all, brain activity takes up to 20-25% energy, and you don’t necessarily need to be doing any external physical activity while you think.
A psychological research suggests that the stress we feel in a situation is dependent on our mindset. So, rather than perusing your social media feed or overworking yourself, take time to reflect and relax. You deserve it.
3. Perform a physical activity
If you have a tight schedule, it might seem impossible to find time for the gym. What’s an alternative? You can spend five minutes on yoga or pilates. You can go for a fifteen-minute walk or jog. This way, you’re not completely thrown off your exercise routine.
Yoga, in particular, can help you by forcing you to focus. In fact, even Google co-founder Sergey Brin does yoga and other athletic activities to help him reduce his risks of Parkinson’s disease, as he wrote in his blog from 2008.
4. Encourage your team to reflect, too
Self-reflection goes beyond the ‘self’. A team that self-reflects know their priorities and how to deal with setbacks thrown their way. Someone who panics at the first sight of trouble has not self-reflected enough (if at all) to assess the situation and take steps on how to handle it.
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to develop your team. Encourage them to regularly do self-reflection to help their awareness and understanding and in order to become better versions of themselves.
5. Just take time and be patient with yourself
There is no clear method for self-reflection. You can do it anytime, at any point in the day: while in traffic, having breakfast, or even during coffee breaks.
We all can find time in the day to reflect. Saying that you don’t is just an excuse not to confront whatever’s been troubling you.
Ask yourself hard questions: what is my priority? Do I spend enough time with the people who matter to me most?. Self-reflection is based on our happiness and our values. Your business will still run even if you take 5-15 minutes to go check up on yourself or your loved ones.
Practicing introspection helps you realize and understand your own happiness, motivations, and values. In turn, your self-reflection builds your confidence and knowledge, which makes you an effective decision-maker and leader. So take that well-deserved time-out, because if you suffer, then your business will suffer, too.
What other tips do you have for self-reflection? Share them in the comments below!