When you are running a home-based business, it is natural to want to focus on the business side of things like getting customers, doing work, keeping your books and files in order, and so on. There are other important things to keep in mind though, even during your working hours no matter how precious few those may be. Things like eating and sleeping may seem like they are only tangentially related to the work that you do. Of course, if you have ever tried to power through a work session while you are starving or get just one more thing done before going to bed when you are completely exhausted, you know that this is not the case.
Home based professionals are not alone in their tendency to sometimes put their human needs “on hold” as they busily go about their business. This practice affects the quality of your work, not to mention the quality of your life. Speaking for myself, I know that if I am hungry I can get nasty. It does not do me any good to try and have business related conversations when I’m famished, and although I can hold in the nastiness as I talk to clients and others, I can’t help but feel that I may not hold it all in so well and some of it might creep out so that I appear to have a sort of edginess that just is not me. I joke about it, but really it is not all that funny. Even if it is just a quick, nutritious bite before I pick up the phone, I do much better work when I eat when I am hungry instead of putting it off until later. It is important that the food is nutritious too, because I have tried to scarf a quick pastry or a handful of crackers to subdue my hunger and I soon end up feeling hungrier than if I had not eaten. I am sure that other people feel the same way. The good news is that getting a balanced light meal or snack does not have to entail taking an hour off for lunch. If you keep quick, easy to eat items at your desk or in a nearby cooler or fridge so that you can pull together some protein, some carbs, and a fruit or vegetable when hunger strikes you will be amazed at how much better you feel, not to mention how it may all of a sudden seem like your job just got a little easier.
Sleep is also a factor that can affect the quality as well as the quantity of your work. Getting your seven or eight hours of sleep a night is not something that can be dismissed as a luxury that only other people can afford to have. Fatigue slows you down, and prevents you from doing your very best. It can also leave you vulnerable to illness, which is not something that many busy professionals have much room for in their packed schedules. As if that were not enough, it can, like hunger, sour the demeanor of even the most pleasant person.
Next time you find yourself thinking that you just don’t have the time to eat or sleep, remind yourself of what is at stake. Your well being, your health, your safety, and your work can all be compromised when your human needs are not met. Now if you will excuse me, it is time for me to eat.