Through experience of being both a doctor and an entrepreneur, Dr. Imran Rashid has gained a unique insight on how to perform on a high level while keeping a healthy lifestyle.
As an entrepreneur you need to perform you’re very best in order to establish your business and make it a success. However, the process can be stressful and often affects your health.
Dr. Imran Rashid, Head of Primary Healthcare Services at Aleris-Hamlet Hospitals, is one of Denmark’s entrepreneur physicians. He has - amongst other things - developed a concept for video consultations and in the Autumn of 2013 he founded Contraceptio ApS in collaboration with a technical partner, which helps women use of the Contraceptive pill in a better and safer way.
Here are his top 5 pieces of advice for how you as an entrepreneur, can become a healthy high performer:
High Performance requires focus and training
Ambitious business people are high performers, but often don’t realise the full implications of this fact. To overcome this, we tend to compare them with professional football players. These are also high performers but spend most of their time on the training field, intensely preparing for their Game Day. Business people however, have 'Game Days' every single day, but still the way they spend the time inbetween their working hours remains rather random.
“There is a clear connection between what you do outside working hours and your performance level at work”.
Identify what the best version of yourself is based on?
Top business performance is typically based on individually suited strategies being developed over time to 'defuse' stress and tension that top level business activities can cause. These strategies may differ a lot from one individual to another, but ultimately have the same goal: they enable the high performer to process the tension in a constructive manner, effectively preventing stress.
“Identify these specific out-of-office hours behaviour patterns and then use this to proactively plan your future work effort, to prevent the buildup of negative stress”
Make your resources last throughout the day
Many high performers often tend to forget their basic needs. If their workload in the company increases. Often they forget to eat breakfast by hurrying off to start working – because they are so focused on delivering results. Or they might completely forget to drink enough water during a whole day because of the important meetings they feel need their attention. Basically there is nothing wrong in being focused – except for the fact that your body and brain needs fuel to work properly. That’s why professional football players and other top athletes have a great focus on their diets, because they know it affects their performance level.
“Focus on keeping your fluid and blood sugar level constant throughout a whole day by eating little, but often. Avoid getting too hungry in the morning, since this could lead to larger lunch meals – which again might cause tiredness and laziness in the 'second half' of your workday.”
Improve your self-efficacy
Research has shown that self-efficacy (the ability or belief in oneself to be able to overcome challenges) can be improved through some of these methods:
Experience: Learn from the past and figure out how you survived last time, when things got too hectic.
Mentorship: Find a mentor who can help you find your way, if you are about to get lost in the work jungle.
Visualisation: Mental preparation of the difficult tasks ahead can actually reduce perceived stress later on.
Constructive feedback: By establishing clear routines where you get constructive feedback on your work, you will be able to process, classify and perform your job more effectively. If people don’t get feedback about their work, it stays unfinished mentally and therefore builds up unnecessary tension.
Physical exercise: At work people tend to use their left-brain to analyse, reach conclusions, use logical arguments, etc. These processes can also build up, causing stress symptoms such as sleep disorders, concentration problems, or mood problems. When you perform physical activities, you trick the left-side of your brain into performing routine processes, thereby 'defragmenting' and lowering the tension levels that could be building up.
Protect your mind
Through our smartphones, we now live in a limitless world demanding a higher sense of deliberate protection of ourselves and our minds, against the biggest threat to our mental wellbeing: Information Overload. Since this is happening in such large amounts, and on such a massive scale, preventing it requires an intense focus.
“Make clear rules about who should be allowed access to your mind when and through which channels. Social Media are an endless Information Stream, that should be carefully controlled to avoid drowning in it.”