It seems counterintuitive but carving out time to NOT think about your business while you’re building your business is a fantastic tactic to consider. Allowing your brain to relax and enjoy something other than business will spur your creativity. Any hobby or interest that moves you into a state of flow has both psychological and physical benefits shown to improve your health and cognition. Name me one overwhelmed entrepreneur in your network who wouldn’t benefit from more relaxation and clarity?
Why Your Brain Needs a Break
In today’s technological world with constant news cycles and instant access to electronics, it’s all too easy to wear ourselves out with too much news and other stimuli. Your body and your brain physically can only handle so much before they go into shut down mode. There is a ton of scientific evidence, old and new, that supports the need for us to better manage and in fact, intentionally allow ourselves downtime.
Distracted, irritable or impatient? That mid-afternoon caffeine or sugary pick-me-up you’re craving is your brain telling you it needs a break, similar to rebooting your computer. Discussion about why a venti caramel macchiato isn’t the most productive response to such cravings is a topic for another day. 🙂 For now, let’s focus on some other options.
Find Joy in Simple Things
When thinking about how to give our brains a break, think about things that bring you joy. When was the last time you allowed yourself time to play board games with your kids? What about reading a juicy celebrity biography, mind-bending whodunit or a treasured classic? When was the last time you really connected with your spouse or partner, bestie or sibling?
Think about the hobbies you used to enjoy prior to marriage/kids/business. Now is the time to add at least one of those things back into your life. Join a walking or running club. Volunteer at your favorite charity. Play with your dog. Learn how to meditate. Learn how to play a new sport. Discover new hiking trails. There are gazillions of ways to find groups that share your interest for your favorite activity.
We’ve all heard it. We know that we should disconnect from our technology and I think we can all agree that it sounds like a great idea. But if the notion of a digital detox makes you sweat and feel like passing out, take a deep breath. I’m not suggesting you go all in on 30 day monastic digital free retreat. Start small. Set boundaries for yourself and unplug from your phone, computer, tablet, etc. during family dinner time or for specific hours on the weekend.
Once you get comfortable with the new habits, you can stretch yourself by adding a little more digital-free time to your day. The upside? The newly found time in your day is more time you can spend in activities that bring you pure joy.
Restore Your Creativity By NOT Thinking
Once you begin intentionally including time for fun and hobbies in your life, take notice of how you feel afterward. Did you feel less stress? Do you feel more relaxed? Did you sleep well after your activity? Did you have any inspiring thoughts the next day, after your brain took a break? You may be very surprised at your results.