I want to share with you how getting a new pet made me rethink my life and business and how I am now winning at both.
Now I love animals and would have many more than I currently have if time and other half allowed. But my most recent addition really made me think about where I was going wrong in both my life and business. It really gave me the kick up the backside many of us need in order to get stuck in and start living our best possible lives, for some even the most extraordinary lives!
Recently I was offered the chance to re home a bearded dragon, a pet to which I had no knowledge of until this offer came along. As I said earlier I love animals and have owned and cared for reptiles in the past. However, bearded dragons have not been one of them although I have always looked at them with interest and seen them as curious pets.
I did think long and hard before deciding to re home this little fella who had been on the verge of being neglected and certainly had not been given the love, care and attention that he needed.
Before accepting the offer I did minimal research such as life span, time and cost involved of keeping such an unusual pet. But, once having spoke to people who owned the dragon and agreeing to take it on as my own pet I really started to do my research and for over a week it kinda took over my life.
I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could about how to give this little reptile the best life possible. I learned about habitat and what I was going to keep him in. About correct lighting and heating, diet and nutrition, bathing and exercise and even common ailments and diseases that they can get. I even went as far as learning how to breed certain insects that he could eat to help keep a constant steady supply and the cost of feeding him to a reasonable price.
So How Did This Help Change My Life and Business?
Well as I was taking a break and enjoying a coffee and just generally thinking about stuff I had going on or needed to complete. I came to thinking about just how much time this little fella had taken of my time and why.
See, I wanted to make sure, while in my care and as my pet I would be giving him the best life possible. After all, this is what all good, caring pet owners do, right?
We go out our way to provide the best possible life for our pets. Whether dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, rodents, aquatic pets. We will spend ages getting to know all about him and what they need for a good life. Often we will also spend a small fortune treating them. From grooming sessions to diamante collars and the most expensive treats to dog hotels.
But what about our own lives? Do we really spend that much time and effort on making sure we give ourselves the best life possible? Or even giving our kids that priority their whole lives. Probably not!
I then started thinking about humans in general and how many people struggle to take care of their own basic needs such as sleep, diet, exercise and learning.
Many people also lack knowledge on the above basic needs due to poor parenting, poor or little education, an unwillingness to learn for themselves and the constant bombardment of advertisements that can lead to poor choices such as an unhealthy diet and spending way too much time in front of TV’s and tablets.
So Let’s look at some of our basic needs and see how they can help shape, influence and improve us and our businesses.
Sleep is one of the most basic needs that us humans need to survive let alone thrive in our lives.
Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep but you should be making sure you get enough to ensure that you can give your best during the day. This is especially true when working for yourself and/or running your business. You will not accomplish what you need to in order to succeed if you are always tired and cannot concentrate and focus.
Sleep deprivation has at times been used to torture people and many scientists believe that sleep is often just as important if not more that food and water. Sleep deprivation or lack of a good nights sleep can often lead to irritability, poor concentration, slow or poor decision-making and making silly mistakes or errors during otherwise routine work.
Sleep is not only is important in keeping our bodies and minds healthy it also gives a much desired boost to our concentration and productivity levels. Many people will tell you that they do their best work early in the day or after a nap. This is often because our minds have had time to recharge in that time so not only is our body rested but so has our mind and this in turn allows us to light that spark and be creative. We can often think quicker and often our work just seems to flow so much easier and quicker.
I know that I mostly produce my best and most efficient work first thing in the morning. Probably within for first three hours of wakening which is great when you work from home as no commute = more work can be produced early in the morning. Often I will have a coffee and get my most important work done early in the morning then go about getting ready for the rest of the day I.e shower, get dressed and have breakfast.
Everyone is different in when they produce their best work in the day but 1 thing is for sure, you need to be ensuring your body gets enough sleep.
Diet and Nutrition
Diet and nutrition is rarely spoken about when it comes to performing in business and leading a successful life, however without it, well quite simply we would not be here. We need food and water to survive, after all.
Now I am not saying you turn a health freak, just make sure you take care of yourself and have a good balanced diet. A poor diet often leads to health problems, not always straight away but they will come eventually and this in turn will affect your work.
Always stay hydrated as it has been proven that dehydration has links with poor concentration and memory. Having a glass of water or diluting juice on your desk and having regular drinks will solve this problem and keep you concentrating much longer than if you were not to.
Exercise, the one thing that many of us do not get enough of these days and one thing I myself am planning to work on getting more of.
Exercise not only helps keep you in shape but is a great stress buster and can give a much-needed boost when taken a little later in the day. When we exercise our body produces endorphins which help to lift our mood and are now shown to help us focus and concentrate too. So something as simple as a walk after lunch or 10 minutes on an exercise bike will help get you through the afternoon in a much more productive and focused manner. Not to mention that regular exercise can also help with our sleep patterns so effectively you could be killing two birds with one stone so to speak.
The Right Habitat
The right habitat or for us work environment is also important. This doesn’t need to be anywhere fancy, no need to run out and spend a fortune creating an office space or hiring one either. What you need is to find what works for you. This could be something as simple as a space at the kitchen table or even a foldaway table in a quiet room in the house. For some, even having a laptop that is only used for work can be all that is needed to set the right tone for a work space.
Ideally make sure you have adequate lighting and the room is at a comfortable temperature and you are comfortably seated. These are things that we never tend to think about when we think about our work space but they can be the main reasons that we cannot simply stay in one place and work as we should. You are not going to be able to give all your focus to your work if you are too hot or cold, struggling to see due to poor lighting or the sun streaming in through a window or even because you have a numb bum due to sitting on an uncomfortable seat.
Now, learning is not so much a basic need in life but it is in business. If you do not learn you cannot grow. Either as a person or as a business. It is important to ensure you create time and space to learn. This does not always mean by sitting down with a tonne of books and studying away for hours on end. For many that is too much hard work and quite simply a boring way of learning.
Learning nowadays can be much more fun and interesting you just need to know what you want to learn and in which way. Many of us now learn more visually than years gone past. YouTube can be a great resource when you are first starting out in business and many entrepreneurs are online sharing their journey and giving advice to others.
Another good way to learn is from others. If possible find ways to talk to others who are on the same journey as you or have already made a success of their business. You will find that these like-minded people will be only too happy to help you or give you advice or tip you off on the best resources.
Whatever way you like to learn be sure to plan it into your working week. This is best to be part of your work if possible at first rather than in addition to your work, that may cause you to overwork or cause some unneeded stress.
Learn to Thrive In Life, Not Just Survive!
Now I have rethought all the above myself and I am now implementing some changes which have already started to make a difference in how I both feel about my work and helped me to increase my productivity.
I now urge you to spend some time having thinking about how meeting your most basic needs could help you and your work and or business. Invest in yourself as you are worth it and it will surely show in everything you do. This does not have to be time-consuming.
Something as simple as drinking more water or taking a short stroll everyday will not only leave you feeling healthier in yourself, long-term but give your work or business a little boost too.
What are you waiting for? Grab yourself a cuppa and see how you can make small changes to how you live your life that can and will have a huge effect on your business and goals.