While the life of an entrepreneur is anything but routine, sometimes we get caught in a nonstop cycle of work, work, and more work. It's exciting, important, and at times, all-consuming, and that's exactly why we have to take a step back on occasion and clear our minds. Let's step out of the norm and escape the daily grind.
1. Hone a Skill
It's true; entrepreneurs are learning every day. However, this typically means improving in one area or industry. Sure, we work in a lot if different fields, but that's no substitute for honing a skill that's independent of work. Activities like these can open an individual up to a more creative perspective and even boost entrepreneurial skills. Plus, creative activities give the mind a break from work, so this serves a way to relax and unwind.
There are a number of ways to find these opportunities. Organize a painting class with your friends or staff. Find a local dance class and invite a friend or partner. You can even sign up for an online writing or language course. Local class platform Dabble CEO Jay Swoboda suggests, "Drop your to-do list and pick up your bucket list. The opportunity to re-invent yourself and find creative inspiration can be found by supporting other entrepreneurs sharing and monetizing their skills. Go take a class." Whatever it may be, make sure it happens.
2. Get Out of the Office at the End of the Day
At some point each day, everyone needs to physically leave the office. If you're just heading home to eat and sleep before another day of work, your mind will have a hard time shutting down. There are plenty of ways to mentally leave the office and take a break from hard work. Attend a sporting event, meet friends for a happy hour at a new bar or restaurant - just get out and enjoy your evening. If you're concerned about still being productive, networking events are everywhere, and they're more entertaining than the stereotypically bad events we've heard about.
3. Cook Healthy Meals and Exercise
Take care of yourself! By getting regular exercise and eating healthy meals, professionals can accomplish more at work. Plus, client meetings over meals are rapidly becoming the norm for entrepreneurs. A home-cooked meal is a welcome break from this. "Cooking is therapeutic and the perfect solution for putting life's hectic challenges on hold," says Home Chef Founder and CEO Pat Vihtelic. "That's why we want our customers to focus on the fun part - cooking the actual dish."
Mix up your exercise routine. Try spinning if you're usually a distance runner. Take a cardio class instead of lifting alone. This shift in routine will keep you inspired and motivated without disrupting a healthy habit.
4. Collaborate and Network With Other Entrepreneurs
Invite business leaders and entrepreneurs to join you at lunch or industry events. Working with other leaders and motivators provides an opportunity to explore new ideas and get feedback on current projects or issues. There are plenty of conferences and workshops to learn new trends and meet new people in any industry, like TechWeek or Chicago Ideas Week. Block out time on your calendar each week (or even month) to attend events like these. Even easier, you can just grab coffee with a mentor or business partner to catch up and make new connections.
5. Take a Vacation--For Real
It's difficult to put work aside and take a real vacation from a business that has become your heart and soul. However, a good leader should trust the talent of their team. Leave them to run the business for a week or two and truly remove yourself from the stress and chaos. A good vacation has benefits beyond the initial escape, and having faith in your team to hold down the fort will make them and the company that much stronger.