Don’t Let Your Drive for Success Make You Sick

You’re a modern woman. You’re on the go, building a business, possibly with children in tow. As women entrepreneurs, we wear many hats. Our success lies in our ability to hold many roles, especially in the beginning of starting up a business, carrying both the passion and drive for what we do with the burden of generating income to keep the business alive. It is both tough and rewarding, in the early days.


You need to congratulate yourself on stepping out and taking that leap of faith. You also need to be able to be flexible, multitask and delegate, often simultaneously. While starting a business is an exhilarating pursuit, it’s important to look after yourself. Your wellbeing is paramount, and it also correlates to the success of your business.


What is Presenteeism and How Does it Relate to Business Start Ups?


Research in the field of presenteeism is a growing academic and business interest. Its causes warrant concern for organisations globally, because it has been linked to higher economical costs, thwarting business productivity, both in terms of quality of work and quantity, and also leading to further ill health in employees that engage in presenteeist behaviour. Much of the research has centred on large corporate organisations, but entrepreneurs growing their small businesses may also be at risk. Put simply, presenteeism is showing up to work when sick, or working so much overtime that you are no longer productive. Relate? Thought so.

Presenteeism is the opposite of absenteeism. Rather than using sick days to recover from ill health, whether physically or mentally, those that engage in presenteeism will often go to work when ill. Employees that go to work when ill, or work longer hours than expected, often work less than their full capacity, therefore resulting in a decline in productivity. Reduced absence in the form of presenteeism may appear to be profitable, however, this is not the case. In fact, presenteeism can cause a decline in productivity in the individual employee by at least one third.


What Can You Do?


Starting a business is a demanding time. You’re wearing plenty of hats and you’re running on the high of building a new business. There’s both anxiety and excitement. It goes without saying that long hours go with the territory of building a start-up. Many people feel guilty for taking time out because they have often left full-time work. They want to put their all into it. However, when we work too much, we’re simply not being productive. Efficiency relies on adequate rest. You also want to be seen as a good leader if you have a team to look after, and showing up to work when sick, overdoing it, and not taking lunch, can set a bad example to team members.

My recommendations are to rest, have self-care, and harness key productivity tips. What are these? They’re the hacks that help you become uber-efficient. My favourite being the 50:10. This is where you set a stop watch for 50 minutes, work uninterruptedly and then rest for ten minutes, either taking a break, doing something fun, or ideally, going for a walk.

Ensure that you’re also well-hydrated, eating a wholesome diet for energy levels, and having a good night’s sleep every night. The old school thinking of ‘’sleeping when you’re done’’ is no longer valid. We know better these days. We know that we need rest to become more efficient.

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