Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Many people dream of starting their own business and leading the lifestyle of an entrepreneur, which is understandable as this can bring many benefits to your career and life. Starting a business and seeing it go on to find success is one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have in life, plus being the person in charge allows you to enjoy greater control over your career and become part of a thriving and vibrant community. While there are many benefits to being an entrepreneur, you will also find that it can be incredibly demanding, especially early on when the business is finding its feet. This is why entrepreneurs need to make sure that they are able to enjoy downtime. This post will look at a few of the best ways that an aspiring entrepreneur can enjoy downtime.
The Importance Of Downtime
First, it is important to understand the importance of downtime. It is important for everyone to be able to relax, switch off from work and recharge their batteries, but this can be difficult when you are an entrepreneur. As the person at the top and pulling all of the strings, it can feel like there are not enough hours in the day, and you often hear of business leaders working long and antisocial hours long after everyone else has clocked off.
While having a strong work ethic is an important attribute for an aspiring entrepreneur, you must also understand the importance of downtime to avoid exhaustion and burning out. Not only this, but downtime is important in terms of taking a step back from work, and many people find that their best ideas come to them when they are off the clock. Not only this, but downtime also allows you the chance to spend time with loved ones, partake in hobbies, and generally enjoy your life. There is no point working all the time if you can’t enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Recognizing Signs Of Burnout
Leading on from this, it is also important for aspiring entrepreneurs to recognize the signs of burnout. Unfortunately, working to the point of extreme is sometimes glamorized in the entrepreneur community, and this can be incredibly dangerous. Burnout can lead to short and long-term physical and mental health issues that could prevent you from enjoying your life. Not only this, but burnout could also negatively affect the business by preventing you from being able to work to your potential each day. A few of the main signs of burnout include:
- Constant fatigue
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling detached with no joy in life
- Cynical outlook
- Physical symptoms (headaches, stomach issues, shakes)
By knowing the signs of burnout, it should help you to take action before things get too bad. This should include prioritizing downtime and seeking professional help if you are worried about your mental health.
Mastering Your Time Management
The key to being able to enjoy downtime when it comes to running a business is time management. It might not seem like you have enough hours in the day, but if you maintain a schedule, then it can become a lot easier to keep on top of everything while also making sure that you have enough time for the other important parts of your life. This is why you need to get into the habit of keeping a diary (this will also help to prevent missed appointments) and creating daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists. When filling in your diary, make sure that you are scheduling enough time off work both in terms of breaks and time-off.
Taking Regular Breaks
Leading on from this, downtime is not just about finishing work on the weekends and taking time off. The importance of taking regular breaks throughout the working day cannot be overstated and is key for preventing burnout. These breaks at work should involve leaving your desk, avoiding discussions about work, and ideally getting some fresh air. Many people find that this can help them to recharge, and often people will come up with their best ideas when they are away from the office environment.
Remote work has become the new norm in recent times, and this can help entrepreneurs (and employees) to enjoy more downtime and a better work-life balance. Many are finding a hybrid work model to be best as it can provide the best of both worlds and help to prevent feelings of isolation that can be an issue with remote work. Working from home a few days a week will save you time and energy so that you can relax, spend time with loved ones, get on top of household chores or simply enjoy a lie-in! In order for remote work to be effective for you, it is important that you have a suitable home office space that would allow you to work comfortably from home and avoid distractions.
Learning How To Delegate
One of the most overlooked skills that a good entrepreneur will have is the ability to delegate. Being able to delegate to others is key for keeping the business running smoothly, maximizing your output, and developing trust, but it is also helpful for providing extra downtime for entrepreneurs. When you can delegate some of your workloads to others, it will give you more time and energy to spend on hobbies, spending time with loved ones, and generally disconnecting from work.
Finding Ways To Switch Off After Work
One of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face is being able to switch off from work. Having a schedule that gives you enough time off is a good start, but it is not much help if you come home and cannot think about anything other than work. Everyone has their own effective methods for switching off after work, but the key is to try and do something that will clearly mark the end of the working day. A few common ways that people are able to switch off from work include:
- Walking home from work (or walking around the block if working remotely)
- Taking a shower
- Going for a drink with a friend
Speaking of meditation, this is perhaps the most effective way for an entrepreneur to enjoy downtime and could improve your life in many ways. Entrepreneurs often have fast-paced, chaotic work days where it feels like you are constantly spinning plates. Meditation will help you to disconnect, be in the moment and release any stress or anxiety that you are feeling. Even if you are not a spiritual person, you will find that taking 5 or 10 minutes to sit quietly and not look at a screen can be incredibly calming and therapeutic. If you are someone that often suffers from stress and anxiety and worries about the past or future, you should find that meditation improves your mental health greatly.
Meditation is also an activity that you can easily do from home, and it should not be too hard to find a window in your day, whether this is the first thing in the morning, at lunchtime, directly after work, or before bed. Starting meditation can be daunting at first, but there is a lot of helpful information online that will help you to get started.
Spending Time With Loved Ones
It is vital that you create enough time in your schedule to spend time with loved ones and people outside of your working circle. Spending time with loved ones is important for our own mental health as well as for maintaining relationships and enjoying our free time. You need to make sure that you create enough time to spend with your partner if you have one (date nights are very important as an entrepreneur), friends, and family. Spending time with loved ones can help you to forget about work, if only for a short while, and focus on the other important things in your life outside of work.
Everyone needs to have hobbies in their life, and being an entrepreneur is not a hobby (although some will argue that it is!). It is healthy to enjoy activities outside of work, especially when these are creative, social, and/or active. Hobbies can be helpful for having fun, developing new skills, meeting new people, and blowing off steam. There are endless hobbies to choose from, and you will want to choose something that you are passionate about. Check out the profile of Mike Savage New Canaan CT resident as an example – Mike is a successful entrepreneur that created a virtual multi-million dollar accounting firm, but he is also passionate about his hobbies which include muscle cars, collecting Lego, and running a non-profit organization for children in Honduras.
Obviously, exercise is a hugely important part of your life that you need to fit into your schedule. It is also an effective way for people to blow off some steam, and the mental health gains of regular exercise cannot be overstated. The key is to find a type of exercise that you enjoy doing so it will not feel like a chore. This will depend on your own personality and interests, but a few types of exercise that can be fun and are good for blowing off steam inched:
- Going to the gym
- Team sports
- Martial arts
Reading is another excellent way to enjoy downtime, especially when people often spend so much of their day staring at a screen. Reading is known to bring several benefits to your life, including improved concentration levels, greater patience, empathy, and improved knowledge and language skills. It is never too hard to find a book that takes your interest, and there are many genres to choose from, so it is never too hard to find something to read. Many people find reading to be one of the best ways to unwind after a stressful day and can be an excellent activity to do before bed.
Most of the time, downtime will involve making the most out of the evenings after work and the weekends. It is also important that you take vacations throughout the year as these are hugely important for your overall well-being and for disconnecting from work. As an entrepreneur, it is very easy for your business to take up most of your time and energy, but this is not healthy. Vacations will allow you to escape your daily life and completely unwind so that you can recharge and come back to work with refreshed energy.
Mental Health Days
Mental health is no longer a taboo subject, and this is fantastic to see. Mental health days have become a trend in recent years and one that should be embraced because they can do wonders for your mental health and allow you to create downtime for yourself. When you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or on the verge of burnout, a mental health day could allow you to recover and avoid making matters worse. You should then do whatever it is that makes you feel better with your mental health day and this will vary from person to person. For some people, a mental health day will involve nothing more than lying on the sofa and watching TV while for others it will involve exercise and getting on top of household chores. There are no wrong answers with a mental health day as long as you are doing something that helps you to feel good.
Hopefully, this post will be useful for aspiring entrepreneurs and help you to understand the importance of downtime, as well as give you a few ideas for ways to enjoy downtime. Entrepreneurs often lead busy, fast-paced lives, which can be exciting, but it can also be dangerous and negatively impact both your well-being and business. Downtime is key for relaxing, recovering, and enjoying your free time so that you can enjoy all the benefits that the world of entrepreneurship can bring.