Lent is all about giving something up in your life in the name of Christianity, though even for the none-religious amongst us, making healthy sacrifices can be helpful to us all. If you’re in a high-pressure job role, such as the owner of a business, you’ll be well aware that sometimes things can get a little much. This year let some of your unhealthy obsessions go in the name of lent and drop some of those bad habits you’ve picked up along the way.
Many people choose to give up junk food or alcohol for the 40 days of lent which runs between 26th of February and the 9th of April. But taking the concept and applying it to your working life can lead to you reaping the rewards of your actions.
Cut it out
There’s a lot of things that business owners can put a stop to in order to make their lives easier, but we understand that having responsibility for your company on all fronts is partly why you’re in this role to start with.
Rather than giving up any freedom you have to make decisions or the power you have that allows your company to excel, you should just focus on making your life simpler and less stressful. This is what our list of things to give up for lent is all about.
- Stop obsessing over your emails
It can be very easy to get bogged down with your email inbox, especially if you run a busy venture that has multiple lines of communication being sent through on a daily basis. Work hard to cover your email obligations throughout your working hours on the day, and then leave it alone outside of work. While customers expect responses to come through faster and faster these days, remain aware that you don’t have to be working all of the time.
Simply don’t heck your work email after getting home, it’ll give you more free time to do the things that you love and you just might not find yourself having those sleepless nights, worrying about tomorrow’s problems.
The Muse say that you can do things to combat constantly checking your work email, such as, “Make an agreement with yourself to only check your inbox a certain number of times per hour or per day. This can differ for everyone—for some it may mean checking email every 15 minutes; for others, it may mean checking once, twice, or five times a day. The point is to set up a daily email routine that boosts your productivity and sense of accomplishment”.
- Stop ignoring your holiday allowance
While it’s true that many business owners have virtually no holiday allowance as they have to be around to oversee the running of their venture, ignoring this opportunity to shut off from stress for a week or two at a time is a huge error. Stop ignoring your need for relaxation and taking time out of a stressful environment in order to clear your head.If you take a holiday even just once a year, it’ll give you a welcomed break from your usual daily working life, so stop neglecting time to relax and instil some enjoyment back into your lifestyle.
Taking holidays and breaks from work also benefits your heath in many ways, both mentally and surprisingly physically. According to research, this is all thanks to the reduction in stress that holidays provide you with. Thrive Global have reported that, “This reduction in stress allows people to recharge their batteries while they are away so that they return home feeling energised. Too much stress can lead to a wide range of mental health issues, as well as physical problems like a lack of sleep and obesity. Not only this, but many studies have also shown that regular holidays lessens your risk of dying from any cause other than old age and can minimise the risk of heart disease”.
- Cut down your social media usage
This one is something that could apply to all of us in this day and age, but for business owners who choose to comb through social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter all day trying to make new connections, could really do with giving it a rest from time to time.
Social media can be a highly addictive waste of time for many of us and businesses in the modern world believe it can be a great way to capitalise on clients and the like, as they know so many people are active across multiple social channels via their mobile phones. Though, for small businesses in particular, social media isn’t always that useful.
If you’re really that focused on social media and applying it to your company in order to maximise reach, then you could think about employing a social media specialist or someone of a similar role to fill that gap for you. Try giving up social media for lent, and find better ways to use your time.
This will also reduce the amount of screen time you have, which not only has physical health benefits, but can aid your mental state also. Forbes have given their advice on this matter by saying, “Watching too much television or spending too much time on social media can lead to isolation and depression according to a study from Ohio State University. Unplug, put phone down and step away from screens for your own mental and physical health for the next 40 days”.
- Stop looking back on the past
Focusing on past mistakes within a business is something many company owners and operators are guilty of. Instead of looking towards the negative aspects of your venture and working out why those errors were made, look to the future and figure out what you can do now to make advancements and improvements to your business. This could be a change in structure, a new marketing strategy, or something else entirely unique to your companies structure.
By looking to the future you can focus your efforts on growth and sales improvements which will help to bolster the strength and longevity of your company. With so much competition in both online and physical shop platforms, you have to look ahead and find ways of beating your competitors.
The Telegraph reported on the astonishing amount of new start up businesses, “Remarkably, 660,000 new companies are registered in the UK every year. That’s equal to 70 new businesses being formed every hour. That’s the same as every man, woman and child in Glasgow starting a new business every year”.
- Don’t hate your competition
While in the point above we state the importance of staying ahead of your competition, you should also welcome help from them and expect to return the favour. By working together with another business, you can grow your audience, gain new customers and clients, spread the word about what you stand for, and even build a partnership that could last for a long amount of time.
Collaborating with other businesses is good for the wellbeing of both your venture and theirs, so focus on how it’ll benefit you both, rather than just examining the push it could hand to your potential competitor.
The Balance states the importance of entrepreneurs working together and growing their list of contacts, “Successful entrepreneurs have a common interest in meeting new people and building a list of contacts and colleagues. Being successful in business requires that you consistently make connections and form alliances. Imagine how your business would dwindle if you continued to network with and sell to the same group over and over again”.
Surround your business with positivity
Lent takes place just after Shrove Tuesday and right up to Holy Wednesday and within that time you can discover new ways to give up negativity that surrounds your business and replace it with positive, forward-thinking methods of company growth. Not only will this help your company, but more importantly it will help your mental state as an individual