6 Tiny Healthy Habits No Matter How Busy You Are
No Time To Be Healthy?!?
Startup life can get crazy at times. When you’re the CEO, it can feel crazy all the time. You’d love for it to be a 9-5 but the reality is - that’s not possible right now.
You know health and well-being are important. Stress is not good. Exercise and sleep are. But how do you find the time for healthy habits when you’re working 60, 70, 80 hour weeks?!?
I’m a bit of a health nerd. I bring healthy snacks and a water bottle (or four) everywhere I go. I wake up early to workout. I analyze my Whoop score. I eat kale for fun. But I’m also busy, practical, and efficient. I’ve spent a decade figuring out how to maximize my health and wellbeing while also being in the thick of high growth startups.
Here are 6 tiny but impactful healthy habits you can incorporate into your day that don’t take up ANY EXTRA TIME.
6 Healthy Micro Habits For Busy People
1. Eat more vegetables. (Especially green ones.)
Everyone has to eat. If you’re busy, you’re usually eating on the go, opting for prepackaged foods or meal kits, or having business meetings over meals.
Add more veggies to those on-the-go meals:
Order a salad
Get a side of broccoli
Opt for veggie soup over chowder
Throw spinach into your smoothie
Select a vegetable-heavy option from your meal service
Add a veggie tray or baby carrots to your grocery delivery
All of these things take literally no extra time!
Vegetables have lots of water, volume, nutrients, and fiber. All things universally endorsed for healthy eating. From Paleo to Keto to nutritionists, no one doesn’t recommend veggies!
Plants, especially green leafy ones, help you:
have more energy
make better business decisions
Okay, okay. I extrapolated that last one. But when you have more energy and feel healthier, it’s easier to keep a clear head, manage your emotions, stay upbeat, and think through issues.
Want the data? How Not To Die is a fantastic deep dive into nutrition research.
2. Walking meetings.
Guess what? Other people want to be healthier and don’t like sitting all day either!
Start with a few internal 1:1s or friendlies and see if they want to walk around the block instead of grabbing coffee. I’ve never had anyone say no to this!
(Note: Confirm a walking meeting ahead of time so they can dress appropriately.)
The activity is good. Fresh air is good. Changing up the environment gives you extra energy and new perspective.
3. No phone in the bedroom.
You can’t work while you’re sleeping. But you can sabotage your sleep by keeping your phone at your bedside!
This year I started using:
Wake up alarm on my smart watch
Kindle only in the bedroom
Notepad on my bedside table to “remember” items in the night
My sleep got way better. So did my work. The only output that decreased was middle of the night emails on non-urgent items that increased stress for me and the recipient.
Let me put this another way. If David Cummings doesn’t have his phone in his bedroom (0:59:00 of Salesloft in the Studio), you don’t need to either!
4. Take the stairs.
Walk up to your floor. Walk the escalator. Take the stairs between floors. Take the stairs in the parking deck.
It usually takes the same amount of time (OR LESS – no stops!) to take the stairs.
Yes, you may get a little bit winded or sweaty. (Oh? Just me?) But it clears your head, gets the blood pumping, and infuses a tiny bit of healthiness into your day!
5. Standing desks.
Sitting is bad for you. It shortens your life, increases diabetes, cancer, and heart disease risk, increases dementia, blah blah blah. Yeah, not good to sit a bunch (as I’m typing from the couch – oops).
Standing desks are an awesome fix for this. You can make one, hack one, buy one. These are top rated by Wirecutter. I have one and love it.
A standing desk for meetings where attendees stand or sit on stools is another nice option. Bonus: meetings are shorter if people are standing!
6. Sleep hygiene.
Bundle this with no-phone-in-bedroom or implement each separately.
Sleep hygiene includes:
Blackout shades, sleep mask, or both
Blue light blocking glasses if you look at screens after dinner
Cooler temps, ideal for sleeping
Set up your sleep palace one time and reap beauty sleep for years!
With a Nest thermostat and Hatch sound machine, you can pre-program 2 of 4 items. Install blackout shades, get your Inactivators, and hope these $8 blue light glasses work. (Should I upgrade? Feel free to share blue light glasses recs or research!)
Want more on sleep?
Why We Sleep - best sleep research book
Huberman Lab Podcast - treasure trove of sleep science
1 Tiny Habit This Week
You’re busy. You don’t have time for a daily workout, home cooked meals, 8 hours of sleep, or meditation sessions.
I get it!
These tiny tweaks are all things I have been able to consistently execute over the years of startup leadership, acquisitions, company scaling, birthing and raising tiny humans, training for Ironmans, and other life busyness. Set it and forget it with healthy autopilot.
Pick 1, 2, or all 6 of these mini habits that take NO EXTRA TIME and test them out this week.
You’ll feel healthier, more energized, and ready to dominate your day no matter what startup surprise is ahead!