Top of Mind: How I Make Time to Take Care of Myself
We all have 24 hours in the day and the ability to choose how we want to spend it. I tend to trade sleep for exercise, even if it requires getting up earlier. Personally I don’t feel good if I don’t exercise at least five times a week. It can be a high-intensity Tabata session, lifting weights, or running–I just want to feel like I’ve pushed myself. I hate saying I’m too busy, because I have as many hours in the day as everyone else, so my time comes down to personal choices and priorities. Generally, the busier I am at work, the more important it is for me to exercise to clear my head and de-stress.
—George Batton, chief financial officer of FreshDirect
I prioritize time to take care of myself. When I don’t listen to my body, I don’t perform well, then I get sick, which makes me waste more time and be unproductive. It’s OK to give myself some time to unwind and de-stress. Entrepreneurs have a stereotype of having a “go, go, go” attitude, but that’s not healthy or sustainable. I try not to compete with other people about how much time I actually work, but rather focus on what I’ve done and how happy and healthy I feel at the end of the day.
—Daisy Jing, founder of Banish
I have two rescue dogs that I care for and walk every day—whenever possible on the beach. I eat and prepare healthy foods, practice yoga and meditate. I always make time for myself at the beginning and end of each day. On Sunday, I try to leave some extra time when things are slower to do something fun, like an outing with a friend to vintage shops.
—Helen Ficalora, CEO of Helen Ficalora
Honestly, this is something I'm working on constantly but by no means have figured out. However, each month I create a list of what I accomplished and what I was unable to get done for myself, then I set a goal for the next month. It's a helpful mechanism for me to think about what I personally need to stay balanced.
—Amanda Signorelli, CEO, Techweek
It's important to remember that we all have full agency when it comes to how we choose to spend our time. I’ve learned from experience that if you don't take the time to shut down and recharge your batteries, you'll get burnt out. For me, I make time by forcing myself to decompress and meditate (daily/weekly) which have become very important practices for reflection, as well as maintaining emotional, psychological, physical resiliency and balance.
—Howie Diamond, managing director, Ranch Ventures
Being an entrepreneur who started my company at five months pregnant with my first child, taking time for myself hasn’t been at the forefront of my priorities for the past seven years. However, it’s a daily goal for me to remind myself to stop and celebrate the successes of the business—I’m a work in progress in this area.
—Kelly Ehlers, founder & president, Ideas That Evoke
This article originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.