You should use your Apple Watch's data to perform at its best.
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4 min read
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The grinding. The hackathon. The "We don't sleep, we pass out." The Slacks at 2am The "always-on" expectation. We can do this precisely because we often do not have many physical demands on our body. That is why we long for a physical challenge – and we turn our mental work into body work.
However, it can be dangerous to think about the success of business performance in terms of actual physicality. Especially when we are in our late thirties and forties, let's see how much we can do before we break. In the long run, this is a recipe for burnout.
The data from our Apple Watches and Wearables can be a gold mine for personal development and help improve our long-term business performance. Looking back at the data collected is fascinating, especially the heart rate data.
The most important metric that entrepreneurs need to watch and improve on is HRV (Heart Rate Variability). The HRV is the variance in the time between heartbeats. Our hearts are not metronomes, but should function like a finely tuned sports car engine and turn up and down quickly. In general, the more variance the better, because we want our hearts to be agile and adaptable to our environment.
It essentially measures your heart's willingness to perform and reacts to the demands we place on our body. Think of your average resting heart rate as an indicator of cardiovascular health. Think of HRV as your body's ability to adapt quickly to change. What's better for an entrepreneur than the ability to quickly adapt and change to conditions and workloads?
HRV is an important metric to track with your Apple Watch or wearable device because by improving the metric we improve our performance and execution ability. We improve the HRV metric by not physically pushing ourselves to the limit, but rather balancing our lives with the right amount of exercise, rest, and stress relief. Here are four specific ways you can improve your HRV and take advantage of a healthier lifestyle.
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It is always in the last quarter of a run that I do my best to think about my business. On the other hand, too much exercise can lead to fatigue. Periods of vigorous exercise actually lower your HRV, indicating that we need a break and rest. Give yourself this rest to improve your ability to push yourself later.
Sleep is a major factor in HRV. In particular, this factor is most closely related to the quality and consistency of your sleep. It's easy to switch from our laptops to our phones before bed during the day, but this can disrupt our sleep schedule. Take care of yourself as you would as a young child and go to bed regularly.
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Water, water, water
Millennials may be up to something with their ridiculously overpriced and massive water bottles. Proper hydration has a strong impact on HRV. The doctors tell us all to drink water, and as much as possible, let's cross this off the list.
Watch out for the alcohol
Alcohol can be a quick fix to stress, but it's a shortcut to nowhere. Alcohol has been shown to negatively affect HRV for up to four days after drinking! What else does it affect when it affects your heart's ability to respond to change? This is tied to everyone else, as alcohol affects exercise, sleep, and hydration.
No doubt, for busy entrepreneurs, pushing yourself is an excellent quality. But how can you perform at your best over the extended time it takes to build a great business? HRV is a great metric to track and improve. This way you can prepare for great long-term performance and build your capacity for top executions.
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