Why You Should Prioritize Exercise Above Your Business

Entrepreneurs tend to put their businesses above all else. It's always at the top of their priority list, sitting high above relationships and even health. This isn't usually driven by money. Most entrepreneurs are driven by the idea of building something great, something that can change lives or even make the world a better place. It's this rationale that justifies putting the business above everything else.

However, Josh Steimle, CEO of international digital marketing agency MWI, says exercise is now his top priority.

"On any given day there are easily 100 important things I should be doing for my business, 50 of which are also urgent, but there is no way I can get more than 10 things done," he wrote in Entrepreneur. "And yet each and every week I spend at least 10 hours on focused, physical exercise."

He works out during the workday and always prioritizes these sessions above work commitments. Sometimes, that means rescheduling a client meeting.

As soon as I start pushing workouts off, I’ll start missing workouts, and once I start missing workouts, I’m close to stopping workouts altogether.

"I do this because I and my business can survive the consequences of rescheduling a client meeting, even if it means losing that client. But as soon as I start pushing workouts off, I’ll start missing workouts, and once I start missing workouts, I’m close to stopping workouts altogether."

Ultimately, Steimle does this to ensure this personal health is a priority. And it is thanks to his physical health that he is able to be productive at work at all.

"If my life is made up of 10 priorities, then it’s not as simple as saying that if I move the business from being priority two to priority one, that the business is going to benefit. The trick is to figure out which ordering of priorities provides the maximum overall benefit."

Steimle added that he is working toward adding health incentives for his employees to ensure they are also making their own health a priority, and, ultimately, to encourage them to produce high quality work in shorter hours.