You do not have to put your health at risk for your business and it is not recommended. Your fitness won’t wait for you to hit that milestone or sell your business, it will have left the building and take a lot of effort to get back. It is very possible to thrive in sports and business and many entrepreneurs do it well. But how do you organize both? How do you divide your days and find the time?
Here are 7 considerations for thriving in sports and business at the same time.
Guard the borders
In the gym, on the track or on the field you are an athlete. You are an entrepreneur in a meeting, on a stage or behind your laptop. Wear one hat at a time and guard the boundaries between the two. Don’t think about this afternoon’s run as you work on your business; don’t check your email while you’re at the gym.
For two parts of you to be your best, each must have its own space to rule. That means no multitasking and no blurring of lines. One by one, because blending is a false economy.
Recognize the benefits
It’s easy to think of both business and sports as a chore. If you’re in pain from training and you’re booked with a client or can’t get a work challenge out of your mind when you should be focusing on your game, it can feel like either is too much of a hassle. But remember the benefits.
Sporty entrepreneurs are fitter, sharper and healthier. They have lowered blood pressure, a lower resting heart rate, and a better ability to stay calm under pressure. Your leaner, more defined appearance instills confidence that carries over to success at work. There can only be benefits to maintaining excellence in multiple areas of your life.
Have a favorite
If you had to choose between never running a business again or never playing your sport again, which one would you choose? This decision is important. Think about it and have your answer. At some point you may have to choose. If there are two events on the same day, if one has to be cancelled, which one will win?
There is no right or wrong answer, only the one that shows where your ultimate priority lies. Be honest instead of pretending. This marks the foundation of your schedule, the map of how you organize your time, and the pole star for important events that force you to choose.
Be prepared for both
By reducing friction between work and sport, you can fit both into your day with ease and grace. First, delete as much as you can that doesn’t contribute either. Be ruthless with whatever else you say yes or leave in your headroom and schedule.
Second, be smart about how you switch quickly. Whether you keep your sports gear in your car, live closer to the gym or just wear basic sportswear, minutes shaved from prep and switching focus per day can add up to days in a year. Days you could have spent training. Or work. Your decision.
Find your tribe
Work friends and sports friends are great, but people who share your passion for sports and business are diamond companions. They get it. They understand what’s important to you because it’s important to them too. They challenge you to a friendly match and then talk through your business puzzles over dinner. Finding two sides in one person is rare, so stick to the ones you know how to win.
Dealing with entrepreneurs who don’t care about sports can mean their apathy spreads to you. Training with people who are not interested in their work is fine for a while, then you miss the conversation. Find the people who believe that excelling at both is possible and work towards it every day.
Focus on what you can control
In most sports, you can control how you train and compete, but not who else shows up. With most work endeavors, you can control how much time and effort you put into it, but not the decision someone else makes in the end.
Being in a healthy headroom with both means one hundred percent focus on your input. Show up, be consistent, wholeheartedly deploy the best version of yourself in every action you take. The daily small steps that make huge progress over time, leading to the big wins, the happy events and the decisions that are in your favor.
Enjoy the journey
Just focusing on the result of the competition and the numbers on the balance sheet will not serve you well. The results are only a small part of the puzzle. Instead of fixating on results and believing that achieving them will bring happiness, find happiness in the process itself.
The training is where the results are achieved, the effort is the reward. The challenges and obstacles at work or in sports are what you need to focus on to love. Sports competitions and business deals are won or lost in seconds, but preparation can take months. Learn to love the months rather than put off happiness until game day.
Guard the boundaries between the two, understand why you’re doing it, know which one you’d choose if you had to, and organize your life to reduce the friction between work and sport. For a happier and healthier existence, find tribesmen who share your passions, focus only on what you can control, and most of all, enjoy the journey.