I am always curious when people talk about leading a 'balanced' life. As a business owner of a small, yet fast-growing business, and a single mother, I find it hard to understand how one accomplishes this thing called 'balance'.
I do agree that creating more space in your mind will allow for more creativity; I believe that creativity is the key to having a successful business. To thrive in today's business world you need to be creative―'right-brain' thinking is the only way forward. With so much information available, and so many products on the market, the only way you are going to get your customers' attention is through using creative 'right-brain' skills.
So, how can you create more space in order to access this right-brain thinking when you are working 12 hour days, and, in many cases, also caring for children? How can we avoid having mental breakdowns, yelling at our staff, partners, or children because our brains are overworked?
For many of us, life is full on. Today we want to do more, be more and achieve more. We achieve so much in a day, but at the same time, we miss so much. We are too busy to notice the greatness that is happening around us. Here are some strategies I recommend to get more out of life while not missing out on life. These strategies will not only bring more awareness into your life, they will also create more space in your mind. They will help you access the right-brain thinking that you need to devise creative strategies to boost your sales:
1. Get in touch with your purpose. If you are inspired, you have energy; if you are motivated, you use energy. Know WHY you are doing what you are doing.
2. Practice yoga or meditation―I do yoga five days a week, and a meditation first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Meditation is the best way to create mental space. 20 minutes of meditation is equivalent to three hours sleep. You are not only resting, you are also emptying your brain allowing creativity to enter.
3. Sleep. Research emphasises how important this is. I hear it so often that it surely must be true. I am, myself, working on getting quality sleep. Do whatever it takes to achieve this result. One suggestion is to walk barefoot on the earth or ´earthing` (something I heard recently). Try switching technology off two hours before you go to sleep. Try not to eat after 7pm or drink too much alcohol. A teaspoon of magnesium, or a cup of chamomile tea can also help. Take a bath. Whatever it is, do not give up until you work out what it is your body needs to get adequate sleep. Personally, once I realised how important good sleep was for creativity, I put much more effort into achieving this.
4. Try to stay away from technology as much as possible. Nothing irritates me more than technology, yet I am on it all the time. Do you ever get a fuzzy brain when you have been on the computer or phone too long? I don't know what technology does to one´s brain exactly, but I am sure of one thing― it does crowd the space inside the brain.
5. Take two days off every week. You need your brain to recharge and this is the only way. You are no good to anyone, let alone your business, if you are overstimulated.
6. Take care of yourself―if you want to empty your mind and keep it clean, feed it nourishing food―lots of good oils (your brain is composed of fats so it needs good fats) and take your brain to the forest for some fresh air. Drinking alcohol might temporarily ease your mind, but, if you drink too much, it will eventually crowd your mind.
7. Take a holiday. Even though I work (less) on my holidays, I take them. Holidays are a time to find creativity. You learn so much when you travel. You will give your brain lots of empty space time―this is when you can recharge the most, and get the best ideas. If you struggle to switch off completely, as I do, take a holiday where you have no choice but to switch off―a place where you ski down a mountain, trek in a forest or scuba diving.
If you want to boost your sales, you need to get creative. Give your mind some breathing space. I do believe we can do everything we need to do in life―running a business, looking after children and so on―but, you need to look after yourself at the same time.
'Balance' is about putting back in what you give out. If you give out a lot, you also need to put a lot back in. Learn to say no to others and say yes to yourself. Ask for help. By doing this you are doing yourself a favour. Even though it seems strange to do nothing, emptying your brain is what will contribute most to the growth of your business.
By Tui Cordemans, founder of Koh Living