How Technology Can Help Busy Entrepreneurs Put Health First
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A quick Google search reveals the five, 10, and even 33 things all successful entrepreneurs do every day. They range from common sense (keeping a schedule) to very subjective (knowing your strengths).
If you feel the weight of success, you are not alone. According to United States Census Bureau, 5.4 million new commercial applications were filed in 2021; this is 1 million more than the previous year, and an absolute record. If you want your business to be among the 10% who succeed, you need to hack the code. Managing just one of the inescapable daily tasks – health – can help you achieve this.
Related: Why Your Health Is Key To Your Business Success
Why is health important for entrepreneurs?
Most entrepreneurs, especially new ones, believe that success means sacrificing everything. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Business success is rooted in self-care. A 2018 Mayo Clinic Study revealed that only 27% of CEOs engage in any type of physical activity, and 90% struggle to find a work-life balance. Those who work more than 55 hours per week are 16% more likely to suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. CEOs are also twice as likely as the public to suffer from depression, and it could have something to do with working those 55+ hour weeks and sleeping 6.7 hours or less per night.
Before you say it’s “exactly like that,” consider the risks to your business. Sleep deprivation negatively impacts your ability to concentrate, make decisions, and even remember basic information – how many times a day do you forget the same password? Ultimately, if you don’t put health first, you are putting yourself and your business at risk.
As the co-founder and CEO of several successful health-focused companies, I’ve committed my fair share of health infractions. I know from experience that achieving a work-life balance while pursuing the 33 must-haves is a pipe dream. I also learned that the mental, emotional and physical well-being of an entrepreneur is the basis of success. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your business. That’s why it’s time for concrete advice that goes beyond suggestions for getting organized or persevering.
Related: To Achieve a Goal, You Need to Take Care of Yourself
Connect your health and productivity apps to reduce wasted time
We live in a mobile-centric world and thoughtful use of your phone is critical to success. To put it into perspective: the average person spends almost five hours a day on their mobile device. This equates to 1,825 hours, or just over 76 days, or 21% of a year. Much of this is due to app usage, but at the same time, apps are proven to work for health and productivity. A New York University study revealed both short-term and long-term positive health trends for app users, including helping users pay attention to detail, at least when it comes to their health.
Reduce wasted time by consolidating the number of apps you use for health and productivity. Engage in a single app for meditation, calming and sleep. Similarly, to track exercise, water intake, and food intake.
Can’t give up your apps? Choose those who share information with each other. Many health and productivity apps are designed to connect with other apps and apps on your mobile phone. Establishing these connections reduces the need for double entry of information. It also reduces the time spent on your mobile device, allowing you to manage your business.
Related: 6 Self-Care Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs
Engage in telehealth and do it more frequently
Entrepreneurs are notorious for having a health issue and not doing anything about it. Before the pandemic – and before the generalization of telehealth – an unpublished study from the University of California found that 72% of entrepreneurs self-report mental health symptoms of depression, ADHD, substance abuse, and potential bipolar disorder. The results are significant as national estimates indicate that 19% of the total population lives with a mental health condition, making the proportion of at-risk entrepreneurs far too high to simply ignore. And yet, that’s what most entrepreneurs seem to do with mental health and general health. We focus on getting the job done rather than keeping us running. This may be partly due to the loss of time associated with medical care.
With telehealth now widely available, most of these time wasters are gone. It is now possible to attend a medical appointment without leaving your office. Technology has therefore removed many barriers and all excuses for entrepreneurs to stay in touch with medical and mental health professionals.
Related: Why Telemedicine is the Future of Healthcare
Combine and conquer
You’ve heard the phrase “divide and conquer,” but when it comes to health technology, it’s best to combine and conquer. Now there’s technology that puts your health data at your fingertips, giving you the power to track your lab work, x-rays, and doctor’s notes, just like you track your business metrics. More importantly, there are upcoming technologies that combine your data with information and prompts to see the doctor, so you know when it’s time to slow down the freight train.
My own company, Vasa Health, develops healthcare apps designed to simplify and make sense of health and well-being, while giving patients more control over their healthcare through information and a full access to their health data and information. Our vision is to allow patients to upload their latest lab results, and also flag items for follow-up. It’s all about simplification. And that might give you some ideas for other places to combine and conquer, like buying software technology that tracks your income, expenses, and helps you pay your taxes.
That ideal — that vision — comes from being a business owner who slept three hours a night for a month straight, skipped the gym, and ate a fast food cheeseburger instead of cooking at home a few too many times in pursuit of success. Ultimately, simplifying your approach to your health with the right technologies is the most important thing you can do for your success.