You’ll read that most successful entrepreneurs view exercise as a core essential. Regular and rigorous exercise is a habit I urge my clients to adopt. It is the antidote for crazy hours, strict deadlines and massive pressure. It feels good, instills discipline, pumps up energy, focus and positivity, blows off stress and helps you sleep better.
A physically fit founder projects traits that attract investors and customers: competence, resilience and confidence. The exercise habit gets so ingrained that when you catch a cold or the flu you may push yourself too hard, doing your usual routine and end up really sick and for a longer period of time.
Over a weekend visit to my sweet home Chicago, I caught a nasty cold. I returned to a mound of work, including an important presentation to put together in 2 days. Feeling weak and frustrated, unable to do my regular routine, I needed something “exercise-like” to help me get my work done without over-doing caffeine, worsening my headache or wiping me out even more.
My go-to solution: Ki-Hara Stretching, made famous by Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer, Dara Torres. Done slowly, sitting or lying down, and similar to, but more toning than yoga stretches, these gentle stretches gave me the refresh of a spin or boot camp workout without making my chills and fever worse. In fact, following about 10-15 minutes of the stretches, my symptoms lifted quite a bit, and I was able to get through my to-do list efficiently for many hours with energy to spare.(Disclaimer: Before attempting any form of exercise, especially when you have a cold or the flu, it’s smart to check with your doctor)
The next time you’ve got lots to do and get bogged down by a cold or the flu, get whatever rest you can, drink plenty of fluids and Ki-Hara your way back to work.
For more time-saving, entrepreneur-friendly exercise approaches contact me at [email protected]
Don’t think for a minute that motivation is available 24/7 to high achievers. Many successful entrepreneurs need to jump-start their day with morning rituals, strong coffee, prayer, lots more prayer etc. Others go to outrageous extents. For example, I met a couple who hired a former Navy Seal to burst into their house, yell and call them names until they finished their big projects… (I took his number, just in case!)
What make these jump-start activities effective is what they do for our brains. These activities release extra calming (serotonin) or energizing (dopamine, endorphins, BDNF,etc) brain chemicals. The release of these chemicals brings us to action. We love the Seals, but they can be rather loud and expensive. Instead, consider a simple, practical and self-driven method that creates just enough spark to get you started − called “A then B.”
1) Select a physical activity (Activity A) that will spark enough motivational juice needed for your must-do activity (Activity B). Activity A should be a desirable activity that puts you in a good mood and pushes you physically a bit beyond your comfort zone. Activity A should take no longer than 30 minutes.
2) Identify the task (Activity B) you need to complete or get started on. Today, for example, I have a boatload of writing that I love to do, but it means a few sets of two hour stints in a chair. It being a sunny and warmer Sunday, it’s the sitting for hours part that I’m not psyched about.
To get my brain’s chemistry working for me, I have elected a winter bike ride (Activity A). It is a physical and mental challenge greater than the mental challenge (Activity B) that awaits. So, today I suited up for a cold and windy 30 minute ride. I pumped up my tires (already uncomfortable) and chose the nastiest bunch of hills I could find (really uncomfortable). As I pushed up those hills, I could feel my brain’s juices ramping up, as I surpassed my comfort zone to the top. I said to myself with a big grin, “If I can do this, then I have the fortitude to sit for the rest of the afternoon and pull off some mighty good writing. It will be awesome!” My KITA (I’ll let you figure out what that stands for) bike ride, gave my brain enough of a boost to hunker down and meet my writing quota for the day.
You don’t need to go to those extremes. Just be sure to add some self-mentoring talk to Activity A as you take a fast walk around the block, or do 25 good pushups and 20 jumping jacks, or bicep curls with cans of tomatoes− something that gets your heart pumping and your mind in gear to execute Activity B.
Let me know how the “A then B” strategy works for you!
Need some help in getting things done well and on time? We can do this! Read more about my Core Four Coaching for COREageous Entrepreneurs. Write to me at [email protected]