Back in my early years in entrepreneurship, I was what’s now being called “crushing it.” I was pumping out 70-80 hour weeks on demand. With coffee and determination, I ground out the work needed to keep my new businesses afloat.
At the same time, I thought I was keeping my health straight. I worked out whenever I could, I stayed away from the greasy stuff, and I got at least 6 hours’ sleep daily. I was fine, I thought.
But one day, I once decided to pull a 60-hour workweek – and promptly crashed at the 50-hour mark. I was stuck in bed feeling absolutely terrible – but more than that, I was confused. What’s going on? Why did I crash now, of all times?
What The Doctor Told Me
So after an examination, my physician told me: “You’re lucky. You’re just overweight and your blood pressure is up.”
I stared blankly at him. “Lucky? I’m hypertensive and I’m not even 40 yet!”
That’s when he dropped the bomb on me. “Kevin, younger entreps have come to me, right after crashing like you did, to find out too late they’ve developed a terminal illness.”
My physician explained that a healthy lifestyle isn’t something you “switch on or off” on demand. It’s called a “lifestyle” for a reason – it’s something you do day in and day out.
“But I keep track of my health,” I protested, telling him about how I worked out whenever I could and slept six hours a day when most other entreps try to survive on three.
My physician chuckled and asked: “But exactly how much do work out? How much do you sleep? Do you keep a record, or are you just following a loose guideline?”
The Importance Of Tracking Your Health
That was the time when health apps were popping up, so my physician suggested I get one of those apps that measured your steps and sleep patterns. “The healthy medium is 10,000 steps and 8 hours of sleep,” he told me. “Try it for a few weeks and see how healthy your lifestyle really is.”
So I did that – and to my shock, even on my workout days, I didn’t even reach 5,000 steps. And to top it all off, I didn’t really sleep six hours a day – I slept four and a half, because I usually wake up midway to do some extra work in the middle of the night.
All of those missteps added up to mild hypertension and a major dip in my productivity. That’s when I realized I wasn’t really living a healthy lifestyle – I only thought I was, until the numbers proved me very wrong.
Long story short – I made the adjustments I needed to make. I learned to delegate more of my work (biggest adjustment of my life) so I could put in the hours needed to live the healthy lifestyle I thought I was living.
Are you feeling terrible? Is your performance slipping? Then you may need to keep closer track of your health. Like everything else, your health starts to make sense when you look at the numbers. Here’s to hoping you realize it sooner rather than later.
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