For many entrepreneurs, working from home definitely has its perks.
For one, you don’t need to worry about the commute. Then of course, is all of the flexibility that comes with running your own show. But these perks come with many hours of hard work, hustling and passion. And, if you aren’t careful, this can lead you to feel overworked, unmotivated and flat-out unhealthy.
The fact is, this is especially true if you’re a solopreneur, the health and prosperity of your small business is highly dependent on your health, productivity and resiliency. So it makes good business-sense to implement a few health strategies to your workday.
Healthy Tips for Home-based Entrepreneurs
1. Schedule you-time and stick to it.
When you work from home, you need to find a delicate balance between three things: Time for work. Time for housework and errands. And time for you.
There should be well-defined, allocated time slots for each of these elements in your schedule. The problem is, without someone watching over you, a train to catch or a punch-clock, it can be tempting to give just a little bit more time to work and housework or errands — gradually reducing any available wellness time. It’s very easy for these boundary lines to be blurred if they aren’t clearly defined.
That’s why the trick is to get really clear on how and when these elements will fit into your day, and then stick to it. So the first step in being a healthy home-based entrepreneur requires a mindset shift. Take full responsibility for the time you spend (or don’t spend) on yourself and your health. Think you can do better? Grab that calendar, take advantage of your home-based flexibility and pencil yourself in. You (and your business) deserve it.
2. Stop for fuel every 3 hours.
Coffee won’t cut it. Aim to eat a combination of the three macronutrients (i.e. protein, carbs and fat) every three hours. Apple with peanut butter, Greek yogurt topped with berries and chia seeds or veggies with a hard-boiled egg.
Don’t feel hungry for a snack? I would still recommend grabbing something if it’s been more than three, maybe four hours since you’ve last eaten. Getting carried away with work can trick you into thinking you aren’t hungry. The danger with this approach is that hunger accumulates into the evening, when it will become overwhelmingly difficult to control.
Forget to snack altogether? Set a reminder on your phone, computer or time it with one of your routine tasks or breaks. For instance, if you typically check your inbox and return emails at 9 am and at 3pm, this can serve as a reminder for your snack.
3. Prep a a lunch anyway.
One of the things I love most about working from home, is that I can prepare myself an elaborate meal if I want to. Of course, this time is often used towards recipe development for my Motive Nutrition blog or other food-related projects, so it makes sense for me. But for the non-nutritionist solopreneur, having to construct a lunch from scratch can mean less time spent enjoying it, or worse, skipping the process completely — grabbing a few pieces of food and diving back into your projects.
You need to allow yourself time to eat and more importantly, you need to allow yourself time to eat well. While you’re at it, try to have lunch outside so you can snag some vitamin D.
Pressed for time? That’s fine. Maybe you’ve arranged your workday so you only have 30 minutes for lunch, or less. If this is the case, you have two options:
a. Rearrange your day to make for more lunch time or
b. Have it ready, just as it would be if you had to take your lunch to the office. Depending on how busy you are, you can take this tip all the way and prepare your snacks and drinks as well. Treating it this way removes the stress of deciding what to eat for lunch, while ensuring you have time to enjoy something healthy that will truly recharge your batteries.