I hope you don’t mind that I’m appropriating the second half of the title of this post from the popular English saying, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Although I tend to be a morning person, I don’t care when you work – as long as work is getting done. (Even if you don’t think of yourself as a morning person, I highly recommend checking out Dave Navarro’s blog “Rock Your Day” to see why it might be a good idea to give it a try.)
Instead, in this post, I want to draw your attention to the first part of the quote – “healthy.” Internet marketing isn’t, inherently, a healthy job. Take a second to take stock of how you’re reading this post. Are your shoulders hunched over to read the computer screen? Are you reading this well past the time you meant to go to bed? Is there a pile of unhealthy snacks keeping you company as you work online?
The problem with all of this is that your health directly impacts your ability to work. When you’re at your physical peak – when you’re fit, well-rested and well-nourished – you’ll find it much easier to stay on track and get your work done.
Conversely, ignoring your health can cause major problems for your internet marketing career. Think about it – if you eat poorly and don’t exercise, your immune system will be weaker, making you more susceptible to colds and flues. And when you’re sick in bed, you certainly aren’t putting a lot of quality work into your sites!
Here’s how to put your health first while working online:
1. Get moving. If you’re in the middle of a marathon work session, get up and away from your computer screen at least once an hour. You don’t need to go far – a quick walk around the block, a few jumping jacks, or even a quick stretch break are enough to get your blood pumping and restore your mental clarity.
If you work entirely online, make sure you’re leaving enough time in your schedule for regular exercise. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t tell you exactly how many hours you should exercise or what specific exercises you should do – just know that regular exercise is vital to your physical health and mental well-being.
2. Consider ergonomics. Carpal tunnel syndrome and other muscle strains associated with sitting at a computer all day are serious concerns for internet marketers. If you aren’t able to sit at your computer and work, you sure as heck won’t be making any money! Check out the ergonomic guidelines from Cornell University here, and keep in mind that even small investments in improving your work space can pay off big in terms of your health and well-being.
I’m pretty excited, because my holiday present to myself was a new office chair to replace the one I bought years ago when I first started working online. The cushions on my old chair were worn down, and the lumbar support was pretty much non-existent. So yes, it’s a bit of a splurge, but in the long run, it’ll pay for itself when I’m able to work more comfortably for long stretches without getting a sore back!
3. Minimize eye strain. Another important ergonomic consideration when it comes to computer work is minimizing eye strain. Staring at a computer screen all day can be difficult on the eyes, and over-exposure can lead to physical fatigue, lower productivity and more errors in your work. Take regular breaks from looking at your screen and make sure the prescriptions on any corrective lenses you wear are up-to-date to avoid eye injuries.
Last, but not least, keep in mind that good overall health and fitness leads to lower stress levels, a stronger immune response and higher levels of focus – all of which benefit internet marketers. I don’t want to nag you (and heck knows I frequently fail to follow my own advice, especially when I’m launching big projects or working on tight deadlines), but take my word that health is a vital concern for affiliate marketers.
When you experience the kind of focused work session that can only happen when you’re well-rested and healthy, you’ll understand what I mean 🙂
Do you let your affiliate marketing goals get in the way of your health? Or is it something you make a priority in your work life? Discuss below!