The balmy summer months are often referred to as 'quiet' months in the business world. But for small business owners there is hardly ever a 'quiet' moment, with long working hours and few breaks, no matter the weather.
We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy a stress free summer. So we’ve developed a series of guides to help small business owners work smarter and make the most of the coming months.
The last in the series highlights tips for personal development and boosting individual performance.
You’re ready for Smart Summer: Make the most of it
Have a break and enjoy the summer
Make sure you’ve scheduled your tasks (so you know what's waiting for you when you get back) and don't forget to delegate any work that needs to be handed over. Take time out for you and although you may need to remain contactable, make sure your team and/or clients know that you should only be contacted in an emergency. Stop. Re-lax. Recharge. Enjoy.
Here are some things that you should think about when you have time to yourself to help you be-come a top business leader. You may do some of this already. But if you don’t, think about making a few changes to help boost your performance:
• Eat breakfast - To work at peak performance, your body needs fuel. Don’t just grab a cup of coffee on your way to the office, take a few minutes to eat a meal or drink a protein smoothie — even if it’s on the go.
• Take time to stay fit for business – When was the last time you went for a walk or just got some fresh air? Making sure you keep mentally and physically fit is just as important as keeping on top of the operational side of your business. A healthy body and mind will mean you can keep on top of your game. Successful entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson take time every day for physical fitness activities. Whether it’s taking a walk in the park, en-joying a yoga class or boxing the hell out of a punch bag - do something that will benefit you physically and/or mentally. It will help with stress levels while also keeping you fit and able tackle the next challenge.
• Make a personal list to stay motivated – As business owners it is often easy to lose track of what is really important in life. What are you working towards? Everyone has different goals and what is important to you may not be important to the man running his business in the office next door. Take time this summer to refocus and think about what is important to you, why are you doing this and ask yourself if anything needs to change. Visualise your goal – write it down or draw a picture of it and keep it in a safe place so you can refer back to it from time to time.
• Appreciate what you have – Take time to contemplate what you’re grateful for, and not just in your business. As well as being the ‘right thing to do’ it also helps improve your mood because such positive thinking actually reduces the stress hormone, cortisol.
• Stay positive – As we've said, positive thinking really does help battle stress, by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. Take control and give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Positive thoughts will help refocus your attention. It can be a challenge during stressful moments, when your mind is full of negative thoughts. During these times think about someone or a place that makes you feel happy or perhaps an event that you are looking forward to. It may be tough at first but the more you practice this the easier it will get. Posi-tivity breeds positivity.
• Sleep – Sleep is extremely important in increasing emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain recharges, so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels and although stressful times or projects make you feel as if you have no time to sleep, getting a decent nights shut-eye is just what you need so you can stay fresh and think clearly to tackle any issues head on.
Have a happy summer!