One of the most formidable foes an entrepreneur will face is fatigue. It can sneak up on you, and when it does, it can pull you down for long, long periods of time.
Earlier this week we discussed the importance of building in breaks to our daily, weekly, and monthly routines to keep our rhythm fresh and fatigue-free.
Now we’re going to tackle the practical side: the impact that our lifestyle choices can have on our energy and motivation levels!
The importance of getting regular exercise may seem like a no-brainer, but how many of us actually work out regularly? Working out has been one of the lifesavers in my battle against fatigue. It’s become a key non-negotiable. It must happen!
Working out clears mental clutter, gets out aggression, and oxygenates your brain. It also spikes endorphins which, generally speaking, makes you feel better throughout the day.
As goes the body, so goes the mind. Exercise will keep you on point mentally which will lead to overall rejuvenation.
I’m still learning how huge this component is. Up until 2 years ago, I didn’t give much thought at all to what I put in my body.
I’ve always had a pretty mean sweet tooth and would just cram as much junk as I could into my daily diet. And until I turned 30 there were no physical ramifications; my metabolism let me eat what I wanted to.
But as I get older, I know it’s important to eat better not only for metabolic reasons, but it also contributes to my overall energy levels. What you put in is what you get out. The food that you eat will contribute to your energy levels, which has a direct relationship with fatigue.
Cutting down significantly on carbs and sweets and upping my intake of protein, fruits, and veggies has become my regimen. In essence, clean eating! The importance of nutrition cannot be overstated.
Fighting the fatigue with diet can be as simple as having protein (nuts, sunflower seeds) in the afternoon instead of a sugary snack or coffee in the afternoon. Protein will keep those energy levels going instead of something sugary that will make you crash!
Talk It Out
Some of you may scoff at this, but talking about what you are feeling is one of the quickest ways to fight mental fatigue. Truthfully, not talking it through will add the weight of nobody knowing what you are going through. That is a heavy burden to bear.
By having mentors that I can talk to and say “Man, this is what I’m feeling – burnt out, frustrated, like I can’t push – you have been doing this longer, what did you do when you felt like this?” Even if the answer is something like “keep pushing,” it helps me greatly to know that somebody else knows what I am going through and has made it to the other side.
My mentors have been invaluable to me in helping me shape my thinking around fatigue. That there’s this thought that as entrepreneurs we’re supposed to be invincible; we never get sick or tired or frustrated or lonely. The reality is that isn’t true. Having people you can talk to who have experienced it and know the steps you need to take to push through is key to fighting fatigue.
The fatigue is almost always mental. Very few of us work in jobs where there is a physical fatigue. Most people in 2015 have a job surrounding a desk and computers – that leads to mental fatigue. It’s pointless to try and push through fatigue; it’s like beating a dead horse.
Your mind is already fatigued – the horse is already dead – there’s no sense in pushing forward. You might actually do further damage if you don’t take time to recharge!
There’s a dangerous notion of “the hustle” and there are certain times and places for you to push. But if you pull a muscle when you’re working out, sometimes you can push through, but sometimes you need to rest and recuperate.
The difference in terms of longevity is to know the difference between discomfort and injury. You can push through discomfort. If you try to push through injury you will only make the situation worse. That is true of our muscles and of our mental capacity.
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely battle. I want you in this for the long haul. I need you guys to take care of yourselves so that we can change the world together!