Research shows that taking time out of your busy schedule to meditate can improve your creativity. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day, meditation will help you clear your head and effectively hit the reset button.
Music and fashion mogul Russell Simmons swears by it. In a recent interview with New York MagazineSimmons said that meditation gives you “longer life, better memory and better brain functionality.”
“The left and the right side of the brain start disconnecting at age eight. When you meditate, they start to integrate them back together. You can never have an ‘aha’ moment, any kind of entrepreneurial or creative idea, unless you’re present and meditation is the greatest tool known to bring people back into the present,” he said.
Besides the obvious health benefits, entrepreneur and venture investor Adam Callinan says exercise, like meditation, is an effective way of reducing stress and is an outlet that allows you to clear your thoughts to make way for developing new ideas.
“You can’t focus on your mental health, which is paramount to your success, until you’ve gained control of your physical health,” he wrote in an article for Entrepreneur.com
“You don’t need to train like you’re going to hike Mt Everest, but you do need to get your blood flowing and heart pumping for at least 15 minutes every day.”
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience noted that sleep deprived people tend to make riskier financial decisions and these risks are not always the wisest. Other studies have shown how the lack of sleep affects your reasoning skills and other cognitive functions, like your memory.
Most concerning, though, is that getting too little sleep can actually age your brain prematurely.
In an article written for Entrepreneur.com, Amerisleep CEO and self-professed sleep evangelist Firas Kittaneh put it succinctly: “Those who are sleep deprived have in fact been shown to be more irritable, forgetful and anxious, and to suffer other mental effects. Those not sleeping enough also lack concentration, co-ordination and energy throughout the workday. A combination of any of these effects is hardly optimal for achieving success, especially when running a business.”
“Keeping your body in tip-top shape will also ultimately mean less time out of the office due to poor health, and more time for the (non-work activities) you love,” he adds.
So, the non-negotiable bottom line is: get enough sleep!
While the “trial and error” approach does have its benefits, why would you want to go in blind when you can gain access to insights from established entrepreneurs who have at some point walked in your shoes, experienced your challenges and found a way to overcome them?
“One of the best ways to shortcut your decision-making trial and error time is by finding and taking advice from a mentor. This isn’t a new concept, but it’s most certainly time-consuming to set up. It will require an investment of potentially weeks or even months, but will allow you to easily seek out advice and guidance from someone that’s been in your shoes, hopefully multiple times before, allowing you to make better decisions faster,” Callinan says.
- Create a life outside of your business
While being an entrepreneur often means you’re married to your business venture, business consultant Alexa Ahrem says it’s important to make time for family, friends and extra-mural activities.
“Aside from making sure you keep your relationships in order, do other things completely unrelated to your business,” she advises.
“Examples include volunteering at a food kitchen or working with an animal rescue, teaching yourself a new language, taking a painting class or going to see your favorite musicians. Spending some time away from your business and having other hobbies and identities diversifies and enriches your life.”