Having recently qualified as a mental health first aider, I have become even more aware of the importance of wellbeing in myself, my team, friends, and family. Looking after our physical and mental health is vital to enable us to perform at our best. Thankfully, more and more people realise that chaining yourself to your desk and working all hours just isn’t good for you.
When you’re running your own franchise, it can be tough to prioritise your own needs. But I know from experience that investing in yourself is the right thing for your business. Here are my key steps to regain balance and focus on your wellbeing so you can deliver your best at work and in your personal life.
Focus your role at work on the things you love doing
We generally do our best work and feel our best when we’re doing things we actually enjoy. Take some time to think about your typical work day, week or month. Which are the tasks that you keep putting off? The meetings or calls you avoid? The things that you dread doing? Look at how you can focus your activity on the tasks that come naturally to you, not the ones that feel like a struggle. Consider delegating or outsourcing those least favourite tasks so that they still get done but by someone other than you. Whether it’s social media that you can’t find the time to do, accounts that feel like wading through treacle, or new business development that feels awkward and uncomfortable, let someone else help.
Do tasks that you enjoy least at the start of every day
Don’t let them hang over your head and bring you down. Eat the frog and get them done first thing. That way, they won’t distract you during the day whilst you find ways to put them off and yet still worry that they haven’t been completed. Crossing these things off your to-do list means you can move on to focus on what you love doing, boosting your sense of wellbeing.
Find a way to take a break from work
When you’re running your own business, time is definitely money. It’s easy to think you can’t afford to take a break. But although time away from the desk might feel counterproductive, it will be worth it when you return to the job refreshed and ready to go. Choose whatever activity works for you – whether it’s exercise, meditation, or time with friends. Make time to relax and recharge. Block out time in your diary to make sure it happens, and try and make it a regular routine – like taking Wednesday afternoons off or a fixed lunchtime every day. Dedicating space in your calendar makes it more likely to happen. The Pomodoro technique is also helpful for building regular breaks into your day. Working for 25 minutes and then taking a short time out gives your brain and your body a chance to reset, enabling you to achieve more and be more relaxed in what you do.
Finding time to focus on yourself might feel like adding to an already heavy workload. But you really will feel lighter for it. Invest time in your wellbeing every week and focus on the things that give you joy. You’ll reap the rewards of feeling a greater sense of balance and be more productive in your role, getting through that workload with renewed energy and enthusiasm.