As anyone knows who works in this industry, it can be particularly demanding. Forty hour work weeks rarely cut it for cannabis executives on the forefront of the green revolution and burnout occurs quite often. Burnout, however, is no badge of honor, in fact, it can slow you down and hurt your business. We spoke with Ori Bytton, chief executive officer and founder of Natura Life + Science, and Kyle Sherman, chief executive officer and founder of Flowhub, to see how they achieve peace of mind.
Tuning Out Distractions
Bytton seeks solitude when distractions start to impact his ability to get things done. “When I need to focus on an important task, I close my doors – physically and mentally,” he said. “I don’t let anyone in my office, and don’t let any uninvited thoughts in.” This also includes closing the door on devices connected to everyone else. “I put my phone aside and focus on what I need to do in that moment. Making sure I keep distractions away is key.”
Sherman also seeks time alone when there are important tasks to be done. He will remove himself from his office completely and find quiet refuge. “Although it’s amazing to be able to work with my team every day, sometimes office banter can cloud your thinking and make you less productive,” Sherman said. “When I have a really important or time-sensitive matter I need to attend to, finding a quiet workspace free of interruptions helps me be more focused, productive, and efficient.”
Using Meditation to Regroup
“When I’m overloaded, I play chess,” Bytton explained. “I learned when I was young, and it helps me focus my attention when too many things are distracting me. It’s my own personal meditation.” Bytton does not have to walk away from work for hours, just a little bit of time to himself is enough to recharge his focus. “When I’m too unfocused, I stop and play chess for five to ten minutes—it immediately helps me feel more focused and present. After I’ve gathered my thoughts, I make a list of what I need to do in order of priority, and begin working again.”
Sherman is also a fan of meditation to reorganize his thoughts, but has a few other go-to methods to regroup. “First, I make meditation a part of my everyday routine,” Sherman explained. “It helps me be more mindful and aware (which is helpful for both work and my personal life), and can help reduce unnecessary stress. I also find list-making very helpful.” And of course, Sherman utilizes another method of calming down, one that many of us can relate to. “Last, but certainly not least, I use cannabis to help unwind and relax. I wouldn’t be working in the cannabis industry if I didn’t believe in the benefits of the plant—and it certainly helps me relax when I’m overworked and stressed out!”
To Break Or Not To Break
Sherman and Bytton are both in demanding positions and each has his own way of managing time and stress. Sherman tries to make sure that work fits into daily life in a way that is sustainable for him, but he does not often get the chance to totally escape his responsibilities at Flowhub.
“Personally, I don’t think work-life balance exists for me,” Sherman said. “As an entrepreneur and founder, work is my life. It’s a constant. I’m always in work mode. But it’s about integration versus separation. I make work a part of my everyday life. Of course, I take breaks, but this is my passion. If something is your passion, you’re prepared to work harder than anyone else. I love what I’m doing and believe in what I’m doing, and that makes it easier to immerse myself in it.”
Bytton is also passionate about Natura Life + Science and also does not have much time step away from the job. However, he recently had a rare opportunity to take an extended break, and for good reason. I actually just took a 40-day break—I got married! I feel so fully refreshed, and I couldn’t wait to get back to work,” Bytton said. “I look to take quality time off, at least once a month. I go away, to the mountains or to the beach for a weekend, to be refreshed and inspired.” Like Sherman, Bytton also finds it hard to stay away from the job for long. “Even after this long break, I automatically jumped back in. My “switch” moves from “off” to “on” very quickly—it’s very strong. I’m always ready to work.”