The Hustle Is Important, But So Is Your Body

It’s often the norm to hear about how hard entrepreneurs are willing to hustle to grow their business explosively. Elon Musk infamously pulls 120-hour work weeks and sometimes goes days without leaving the Tesla factory, but is this really sustainable in the long run? The short answer is : Hell no.

As a relatively young entrepreneur (I’m 28 this year), I only realised the importance of taking care of my body after years of less than ideal lifestyle choices. The beginning years of my entrepreneurship journey consisted or regular consumption of Maggi instant noodles, inconsistent sleep and lack of exercise.

After the business started to take off, I realised that my body is not what it used to be – which accurately reflected on my annual health check up. I used to think that the hustle is more important than anything else, and I took my body for granted. Now, I try to live a healthier lifestyle, and it has helped improve productivity and overall well being.

It only took a few tweaks to my lifestyle to see a meaningful impact on my health, and consequently, my productivity. Being in great health isn’t something you can directly correlate with success, but I have found myself getting more work done with less fatigue ever since I took my health seriously.

Even though I am busier than ever (with my new projects and relationship), maintaining my health is still my priority, and I wish I had started earlier.

1) Stay Away From Instant Noodles

I know, it’s tempting to rely on instant noodles as a means of sustenance when you’re strapped for cash and time. I’ve lived on multiple months solely on instant noodles. So I get it – it’s everywhere, easily prepared and cheap. While it’s okay to have Maggi noodles sometimes, it should not be your primary source of sustenance. There are other WAY more nutritious foods that you can prepare yourself.

If you’re too busy to cook, make sure you get loads of cheap fruits and vegetables that can be consumed without much processing. Chicken eggs are also a fantastic source of protein that is cheap and versatile when it comes to preparation. You can microwave it, boil it or just scramble it.

Alternatively, you can explore meal prepping, where you prepare meals in advance for the next couple of days. This allows you the time to make meal choices beforehand, and removes this distraction entirely during the work week. When done right, this option is healthy, cheap and saves time. Sounds like a win, right?

2) Take Time Off To Sleep

Are you trying to get up early or work late into the night just to churn out a little more of work? Chances are, when you work in a fatigued state, you’ll end up producing poorer quality work, be it writing an article, an email, or whatever it is you’re doing.

These days, I wake up at about 10am, which may surprise some of you. The thing is, by waking up a little later than usual, I get to enjoy my deep sleep to the fullest, and when I wake up, I’m not groggy or yearning for more sleep. I am full of energy and ready to tackle the day.

Take the time to ensure you have just the right amount of sleep (that’s about 8 hours a night for me) and ensure that you go full-throttle at your work when you’re awake. Ask Gary V said, “It’s not about how much you sleep, it’s what you do while you’re awake.”

3) Make Regular Exercise Your Priority

Regular exercise is another thing that most hustlers and new entrepreneurs overlook. I can’t stress how important this is to keep your energy levels up.

Before I committed to exercising regularly, I found myself feeling tired all the time, even when I have enough sleep the night before. I compensated my tiredness with coffee and power naps to no avail before getting some exercise in.

If you’re find the idea of jogging really boring like I do, consider playing some sports are a form of exercise instead. I really enjoy playing soccer and badminton these days, as I love the competitive nature of those sports.

I’ve noticed that on the days I exercise, I was able to fall asleep at night much easier. I’m guilty of being on my phone late at when I can’t fall asleep, but with exercise, I am able to fall into a deep sleep much quicker, and have more energy during the day.

4) Do breathing exercises

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This may sound hard to believe, but I found that my breathing goes hand in hand with my productivity. I’m no science expert here, but from my experience, doing breathing exercise has helped me feel less restless after a long session of work.

Many startup founders preach yoga to improve breathing, but until today, I still find that too daunting as I really cannot get the hang of it. With that said, I found this super simple exercise that has helped me tremendously. It’s so short and simple that I can share it with you here.

This exercise only take 1 minute, and you can do it as follows in a quiet environment with your eyes closed.

  • Inhale to the count of two
  • Exhale to the count of two
  • Inhale to the count of two
  • Exhale to the count of three
  • Inhale to the count of two
  • Exhale to the count of four
  • Inhale to the count of two
  • Exhale to the count of five

Repeat this several times as you wish, but I usually do this for only about 1 minute. Once you return to normal breathing, you’ll notice that your enhanced breathing helps regulate the oxygen flow in your blood, making you more sharp in your work. I can’t recommend this enough.
That’s all I have to share about how I keep myself healthy during my day to day hustle. I hope this inspires some of you to be more proactive in staying healthy as it can truly yield more productivity in the long run.

Writer Bio :
Jeremy Ong is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is a serial entrepreneur and the blogger & CEO of HUSTLR. He has been running internet businesses for the past 5 years. His websites have achieved a total revenue of RM10 million over the past 3 years.

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