Obviously as entrepreneurs we have no trouble finding things to do with our time but what about when we want to switch off and just do something? Now I’m not talking about building model trains or collecting commemorative plates (although if that’s your thing then you’re already set) but you do need things that will take you out of the business headspace for a few minutes or hours and help you give back to yourself. Some of these things are actually relatively simple and don’t require much more investment than your time.
1. Reading for Reading’s Sake
I know you’re thinking that you already read enough as it is but are you reading the right things? Read widely and read openly, not restricting yourself to the “Business” section of your bookstore. Reading accesses so many areas of your brain but fictional reading especially helps engage the more creative parts. You may think that this means you need to pick up Game of Thrones and get stuck into it but the reality is fantasy novels aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Choose something that will remove you from the “ideas” mode of thinking and I can guarantee you will find your brain refreshed, revitalised and ready to tackle things in a more creative and satisfying way. If you’re not a big reader, I suggest audible.
2. Speaking in Tongues
No not the religious practice, I’m talking about learning another language. Some people will say to learn a language that will be useful but I say learn something you want to learn. If you’re wanting to tour the French wine regions, knowing Mandarin won’t help you, just as if you’re wanting to travel to China for business contacts, knowing your way around a French dictionary won’t help you. Bilingual people have better problem solving skills as they process information differently and they also tend to be more observant of their environment. Check out the app duolingo for this one!
3. Riddle Me This
Word puzzles, Sudoku and even video games increase neuroplasticity, a process that helps you brain reinforce existing wiring but can also help rewire your brain for more effective thought processes, reasoning, problem solving and much more. Neuroplasticity is not a new concept but it is being applied in new ways all the time to help people recovering from brain injuries or illnesses. Choose something that challenges you and if you can’t think of anything you can try sites like lumosity or neuronation where they have “brain games” targeted at activating and increasing neuroplasticity.
4. Find Your Zen
Meditation is something practiced across almost all cultural and/or religious groups. Meditation can be chanting or repeating mantras but for some people running or other forms of solitary exercise are their “meditation”. The concept behind this is similar to what I mentioned in the reading section. It’s about removing yourself and your mind from the “on task” mode of the entrepreneur and allowing your brain to re-calibrate. Whether you spend one minute or one hour doing this is not the point, it’s about whether or not you are finding a grounded and refreshed place to spring off from afterwards. If you are going to sit and meditate in a traditional sense then check out the GooglePlay (android) or iTunes where there are heaps of free or low cost apps to help you find your Zen!
5. Huffy Puffy
Physical activity is one of the cheapest and most effective forms of stress relief out there and it has both mental and physical benefits that reach into your professional and personal life. Hormones released during and after exercise are not only designed to help the body recover but the mind too. Running isn’t my cup of tea (unless I’m being chased by something I can’t deal with myself) but I love to swim, rock climb and recently I have taken up AirYoga. It’s about what works for you and what fits into your lifestyle and schedule. There is always time for anything if you really want to make time for it, so why not multitask and listen to an audiobook when you’re on the treadmill and really give your brain and body a treat!
This article was prepared by Ant Ulijn, Social Media Extraordinaire and Values Alignment Expert from emanation. If you found this information useful, please comment below and make sure you like us on Facebook for more great content like this.