Entrepreneurship feels like a job and a half. In all reality -- time-wise -- it usually is a job and a half. Running a business, or any role that requires serious mental and emotional investment is a commitment. Most entrepreneurs I talk to feel like they don't have time for breaks and traveling.
On one hand, never taking a break or vacation can be frustrating and discouraging. Almost any leader will tell you that if they never take a break they eventually, inevitably, experience burnout.
On the flip side, if you love what you're doing -- then no days off isn't a bad thing. Success requires hard, consistent, and thoughtful effort.
However, there are enormous benefits, both physical and emotional, from breaks and travel that everyone can and should seek out for themselves.
Research has shown that travel reduces anxiety, increases creative insights, and, even, boosts life satisfaction. Not to mention, exploring the world is something many, including myself, want to do during their lives.
Yet so many entrepreneurs feel they don't have time for traveling. However, there are still ways to get the benefits.
Try these replacements, so you can continue working hard for your business while receiving necessary support for your well-being and creativity:
Spend time outside.
Stepping back from all of the stresses and worries, logically, reduces anxiety and boosts happiness.
No time for travel? An easy and effective "travel" is to spend more time outside. Studies show that exercising outdoors instead of indoors, for example, boosts mental health. Even nature/outdoor walks can improve mental well being.
Frequently meet new people.
Exploring new parts of the world and interacting in new surroundings is said to boost creativity. When you can't travel, the same reward can be found by exposing yourself to new ideas, perspectives and environments.
One of the best mediums for this is through meeting new people.
Your mind expands with new conversations, as you empathize with a stranger's background, ideas, or perspective. You'll form original thoughts and ideas that can directly apply to your business and life.
I recently met an Uber driver from Ghana who is studying computer science at San Francisco State and sending some of his earnings back home. His energy and passion, under conditions more challenging than mine, inspire me to work even harder and be more considerate about giving back.
Take day trips or long weekends.
Don't allow yourself to be discouraged nor compare your "trips" with the Patagonia or Vietnam's of others. I can't go to Thailand right now, but Reno is a good substitute. A quick trip out of your city can have significant restorative benefits. Whether it's driving a few hours away for a hike, taking a long bike ride, or popping on a train -- getting out of town is relatively simple.
Taking small adventures yields travel-type benefits. You get away from stress, explore a new environment and you'll give your head time to process.
Take time to reflect.
Coming back from a trip -- many claim to be completely different. Your "quick trips" can do the same for you -- give it a chance.
Travel doesn't have to be the catalyst for change. Personal realizations and thoughts have come my way through meditation and reflection. Traditionally, travel has been a convenient and easy medium since experiencing a new environment gives you more mental space to let your mind wander.
Fortunately, you can get into that head space in other ways. It may require setting up the necessary environment for yourself, which may prove better in the long-term anyway. You shouldn't need thousands of dollars and two weeks in order to have a realization that can improve your life. You can do it from the comfort of your living room with the proper approach.
This means giving yourself time -- actual time -- in the first place. Even an hour a week -- okay -- start with 15 minutes. Sit down, think, and write. This will help you reflect about what you're experiencing.
I've found that giving yourself this consistent processing time will prevent you from needing a big realization down the line. Rather, you'll constantly be catching yourself if you go down a wrong path.
These are things all entrepreneurs should be doing.
Reflecting, pushing your creative limits, and focusing on well-being are important for any entrepreneur. Consistently taking time for activities that get your mind moving in a positive direction is always worth it.
Those few hours might feel like a luxury you can't take, but they lead to sustainable effort and creativity that can drive your business to higher productivity in the long-run.