Entrepreneurs try to do as much as they can with the 24 hours in a day. It’s natural to think that you need just to spend as much time working as possible.
While that is true – there’s a lot of hard work and sweat equity put into making a business successful, that type of “hustle” or “no time off” mindset is a one-way ticket to the entrepreneur’s worst enemy:
Burnout is something that can affect most entrepreneurs at some point in our lives, and it can be a huge ordeal. Lots of people misunderstand the implications of burnout, but it can ruin your chances of being successful.
There’s nothing worse than having a burning passion for something that you want to achieve, but at the same time feeling like you can’t even get out of bed because you’re just so exhausted – both mentally and physically.
That’s when you realise it’s time to take a break and allow your brain, body and fire to regenerate.
But, because of who we are, we’re not the type of people to just sit on the sofa and binge Netflix. No, we’re much more likely to want to go out into the world and do, or see, something incredible or something that inspires us.
I’ve put together a list of the best hobbies for entrepreneurs to help you achieve your goals and give burnout the cold shoulder.
- Weight Training
Lifting weights is proven to have so many great benefits for a range of reasons. Firstly, you’ll put on muscle and burn a lot of fat – which not only will make you feel incredible, but you’ll also be much happier about the way you look and feel more confident in yourself.
On top of the aesthetic benefits, lifting weights is also proven to release necessary endorphins that will help you stave off feelings of burnout after a long day grinding away on your business.
- Mountain Biking
If you’re a business person who’s into the more extreme side of things, then mountain biking might be a good option for you. Lots of people are too quickly bored by lifting weights in a gym. Or even by riding a bike along the main road or going for a run next to the canal.
No, you need to feel your adrenaline pumping! It is what makes life worth living after all, right? Mountain biking is a great way to improve your fitness, your reaction times and the feeling of the biting wind in your face as you fly down the side of a giant hill is sure to clear away the cobwebs and kill any sense of burnout dead in its tracks.
- Forest Bathing
It sounds weird – but just ignore that for a second. Forest-bathing is something the Japanese like to call ‘Shinrin-Yoku’. ‘Shinrin Yoku’ translates to “taking in the forest atmosphere” and is a practice of meditation. Developed in Japan in the 1980s, this is a technique that involves travelling deep into a forest and allowing yourself to be fully immersed in the sounds, sights and smells of the forest.
The theory is that being surrounded by nature; in this case, a forest is beneficial on lots of different levels. This is a great way to relax your mind, improve your health and beat those burnout blues.
Golf has long been the chosen sport of the business person. They say that some of the most important business deals are made on the golf course. So if you’re looking to relax (probably), challenge your mind and body as well as maybe make a few connections to help your business along, without having to sit at the computer, then golf might be the perfect choice for you.
One thing to bear in mind, though, is that golf can be quite frustrating as you are learning, so it might not be the best option if you are easily irritated by things like that. It might just be better (and more enjoyable) to get more involved with something you are already interested in or have done before.
- Scuba Diving
A personal favourite, scuba diving is something that I think most entrepreneurs should experience. It’s an incredible feeling to experience a world that many people will never get the chance to try first-hand.
Things to note are that scuba diving can be expensive if you are going to buy your own equipment, not to mention the travel involved with going to different dive locations, so bear that in mind if you’re possibly considering this as a hobby. I would recommend trying to find local clubs that will be able to train you and help you gain your diving qualifications and will also allow you to use their equipment, as part of a yearly membership fee.
Another personal favourite, this one is an absolute must, especially if you live anywhere close to a decent surf spot. There is a vast list of benefits to surfing. Still, the biggest one for me is just the experience of being in the ocean with the waves crashing around you (hopefully not onto you – although this will happen at some point) and feeling the power of the natural forces of the ocean. It’s a humbling experience for entrepreneurs, as I must admit, sometimes we get a bit big-headed.
If you’re not a good swimmer, I would not recommend surfing as there is some basic safety that you have to be aware of and not being confident in the water is a guaranteed way to find yourself in trouble quickly. Surfing can be relatively cost-effective if you’re willing to just get into the water and try things out for yourself, but just be conscious of your ability and don’t venture out into waves that are too big for you – you won’t learn anything. You’ll only get the beating of a lifetime.
If you’re a digital nomad, this is an excellent hobby for you to get into, as there are lots of spots around the world – especially in places with lower costs of living (such as Indonesia) with great surfing.
Surfing is one of those sports where you’ll be hooked after your first try, so get involved and don’t be afraid to take a few lessons from a professional to learn the basics!
Photography is an incredibly popular hobby. It’s a feasible way to be creative, without the painstaking time investment of becoming a traditional artist. With photography, you can pick up your camera and start shooting straight away. The more you shoot, the better you’ll get, and the more creative you’ll become.
For me, photography has been a tool to get me away from the computer and out into the real world. It’s gotten me out to places I probably wouldn’t have visited otherwise, at times I wouldn’t have been there.
How would you like to be standing on the top of a mountain under a blanket of stars during an asteroid shower? The chance of taking some incredible photos is something that will motivate you to get there, at a time when nobody else would bother.
This is what makes photography, in my mind, an excellent tool for entrepreneurs.
Football is a great hobby for anyone, but it’s particularly suitable for those who aren’t satisfied by going for a long run, or a bike ride because they get easily bored. Entrepreneurs tend to have very active minds, so it takes something that requires a little more thinking to take their minds off work and onto something else.
Football is great for this, because not only do you get a perfect cardio workout, but you also get a chance to learn some teamwork and strategy.
Not to mention, football is one of the most popular sports in the world. Even watching football with your friends is a great way to relax and get your mind away from the office. Some social time is sometimes all it takes to regenerate your energy and be the most effective over a long time span.
- Video Games
Video games might not seem like an obvious choice, but this could be an excellent option for you as an entrepreneur. Games are a perfect way to destress at the end of a long day and can be a great way to get a boost of relaxation.
On top of that, games are proven to have benefits on the brain. These benefits include improved reaction times and an increased ability to problem-solve. Perfect for a forward-thinking entrepreneur.
If you’re into it, multiplayer games can be a great way to stay in touch with friends, improve communication skills and learn teamwork. The thing you have to watch out for with games is that they can be very addictive and have a tendency to take over people’s lives if they aren’t careful.
It’s best to play games in moderation, but they can be an excellent option for those who have little time to spare and just want a quick opportunity to help give them some mental space.
Many high-profile entrepreneurs swear by running, and it’s easy to see why. Although it may not be for everyone, running can be an incredible way to not only get fit but also escape the day to day hustle of running a business.
It’s common knowledge that runners experience a specific ‘high’ after going the distance. Still, not only that, running can become somewhat of a meditation for some people, who become almost dependent on getting their daily run to function correctly.
After sitting at your desk all day watching over your next business empire, there’s nothing better than getting in a deep stretch. One of the most fantastic things about Yoga is that it combines the ability to look after your body, with the ability to take some time for yourself and build a meditation practice.
Yoga allows you to truly relax and escape the usual thinking patterns that come when we are continually pushing ourselves to the limits. Whether you take a class with a professional yoga instructor, or you simply follow your favourite YouTube video, the important thing is that you just give it a try and stay open-minded.
I think that Yoga is one of those things that can seem a bit wishy-washy at first, but if you allow yourself to give it a try, you’ll see that it has some incredible benefits.
Again, this may seem weird but bear with me here. As entrepreneurs in a modern age, we are invariably tied to our electronic devices. We’re always staring at a brightly backlit screen, tapping away with our fingers on a keyboard.
Woodworking is on the opposite side of the spectrum compared to working on a computer. Woodworking requires the use of your hands, using tools to manually sculpt, build or craft something that exists in the real world. That can be a fantastic way to take your mind off whatever is causing you stress and provides an escape.
Of course, you’ll need somewhere actually to do this hobby, such as a workshop, but that can be as simple as a shed or garage. Alternatively, you can just join a local crafts club if there’s one nearby.
This article isn’t a list of every single hobby that you should do if you’re an entrepreneur, but it’s an excellent way to get some ideas if you’re struggling from burnout and need something to help you escape normality a little.
There are endless amounts of hobbies out there, and for some people, they already know what it is that they love to do, but maybe they don’t get as much time as they would like to do it.
The bottom line is this: you shouldn’t be afraid to take time off “work”, because sometimes taking time off can be a benefit. It’s essential to ensure that your mind is not being overloaded, depending on where your limits are. Each entrepreneur is different, and we all have different tolerances, the important thing is to learn what yours is and act accordingly.