02 Dec 2014

You’re good at burning the candle at both ends, aren’t you?

Entrepreneurs are known to keep crazy schedules, giving all they have to the growth of their businesses — including 10- to 12-hour days and weekends.

A 2013 Bank of Montreal survey shows Canadian small business owners work an average of 51 hours a week, with one in every five peaking at 60 hours.

You do it because you love it.

Joe Collura, small business area manager for BMO based in the GTA, said delivering the best product or service, despite long hours, drives his clients.

“It’s such a gratifying thing at the end of the day that that’s what drives these business owners to do what they do,” said Joe Collura, small business area manager for BMO. “There is next to none of them that are looking at their watch and saying, ‘I’ve put in my eight hours and it’s time to go home.’ ”
Considering the forecast for 2015, you may be looking at investing even more time in your small business. Another BMO report, this one from the Financial Group, shows confidence is on the rise among small business owners in Canada.

Overall, 59 per cent think business will be better in 2015 and 51 per cent say they think the economy will be better.

To get ready for it, though, you should think about your health.

Be a better you

You might think your business is the most important thing you have. It isn’t. Your health is.

If you neglect your health, everything starts to fall apart.

Here are six ways to keep your health in check:

1. Sleep

I’m not going to tell you to get eight hours of sleep. That’s bunk. I don’t know that I’ve ever slept more than six or seven hours a night. Everyone is different.

You should, however, ensure you are rested, no matter what your normal sleeping pattern is. Get into a good schedule of sleeping.

2. Get moving

Set time aside in the day to exercise, even if it’s just a walk around the block. Use exercise to kick off your day, take a break halfway through, or wind down the clock.

Focusing on your body gives your brain a break from thinking about business.

3. Eat well

You’re busy with your business and the Greasy Burger is right next door. It’s so easy to skip over and have a double cheeseburger with fries and a soda for lunch.

Fill your body with fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains instead. Eating well keeps the bugs at bay and gives you more energy to attack your to-do list.

4. Take breaks

I don’t just mean coffee breaks throughout the day. Take a week or two off. You need time away to refresh and recharge. I bet you’ll come back from a vacation feeling like you can take on the world.

5. Get your flu shot

It’s one quick moment of pain and inconvenience for a year of staving off the flu bug. Why put yourself at risk for the flu and having to stay in bed when your business needs you?

6. Stay home

If you do get the sniffles (or worse), stay home. Your employees don’t need you bringing your sickie self into the office and spreading the germs around.

Get your rest and give your body a chance to get healthy again.