It’s 7:30 a.m. and your alarm is blaring. Squinty-eyed, you reach for your phone, fumbling to swipe that horrible noise off, sinking back into the mattress, your eyes fading to black again… until you shoot straight up, eyes wide open, realizing you’ve already pushed snooze three times. You’re late. So you bolt out from under the covers and, like a blur, get dressed and go to work.
You’re at the office (finally), and a million emails have rudely generated in your inbox, so you start shooting off responses, only to reply to the ones that come back seconds later. You only get up when nature calls and your stomach yells for food. Another blur and it’s already dark. Time to climb back under the covers…
Sleep, wake up, work. And repeat. That’s a daily grind that will have you burning out the next time your alarm goes off. There’s more to life than work. How can you make sure you’re getting a healthy dose of “me time”?
We asked the Young Entrepreneur Council, “What is one thing you can do every day to take care of yourself, before your work?” to find out.
1. Set specific time slots when you don’t work.
Focusing on work is a great excuse for not taking care of yourself. I have set specific time slots where I won’t work and will instead spend time on my family and me. These slots are first thing in the morning (before 8 a.m.) and dinnertime (5 to 8 p.m.). Except for events I must attend, these slots are sacred times for me to spend with my family and not work. Setting this up has been life-changing.
—Joshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
2. Start your day off with meditation.
I start every morning with a short 5–10-minute meditation using an app called Beditations. The meditation helps me visualize the things I’m most grateful for and allows me to minimize negativity and distractions. I find that early morning meditation increases my self-awareness and helps me put into perspective what really matters. I also tend to be much more positive, energetic and happy.
—Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com
3. Work out.
I get up early most mornings and head to a free, outside workout called F3. Aside from obvious health benefits, it clears my mind and gets me in touch with the outdoors and in the company of good friends to start the day.
—John Dillard, Big Sky Associates, Inc
4. Get enough ZZZs.
The scientific benefits of sleep are innumerable. More sleep equates to more happiness, better health and improved decision-making. Not to mention that it detoxes the brain. In order to do your best work, it’s critical to consistently recharge your batteries.
—Ryan Stephens, Ryan Stephens Marketing
5. Write a poem.
It sounds silly, random even, but this is something I’ve done every day that has dramatically reduced my stress while simultaneously opening my mind to many details in the world and opportunities that I would not have otherwise noticed. Start your day by writing a poem—even something as simple as a haiku.
—Matthew Manos, verynice