As an entrepreneur, it’s not uncommon to devote every hour of your life to building your business. The idea of taking up activities 'for fun' sounds like a waste of time or a luxury that most entrepreneurs cannot afford.
However, no down time can end up draining you both physically and mentally, which can severely impact your productivity and creativity. That’s why you need to pursue a hobby that challenges you, fuels creativity, enriches your life and in turn helps you become a better entrepreneur. Check out five reasons why entrepreneurs need constructive hobbies to succeed:
Enrich your life
Hobbies or side projects improve vital skills such as memory, creative thinking, problem-solving and productivity. As hobbies are something we enjoy, they are quite rewarding and help us recharge. The new perspectives and experiences that you gain from a hobby enrich your life and help you be a better entrepreneur and a leader.
The most successful entrepreneurs of our time have constructive hobbies that help them become more successful at work. Sandy Lerner, the co-founder of Cisco systems, enjoys jousting; Twitter’s Jack Dorsey indulges in hiking; and Microsoft founder Bill Gates is an avid bridge player.
Stress directly impacts your productivity and brings out negative emotions and self-loathing. Hobbies help promote 'Eustress' or beneficial stress, which fights the effects of negative stress, and makes you feel calm and motivated. By pursuing a constructive hobby that boosts the levels of Eustress, you can be more focused towards your goals and have a better chance of being successful.
Consider Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire entrepreneur of the Virgin Group, who kite-surfs every day as it helps him relax and manage stress.
Creativity and imagination are fuelled by your perception, which mainly comes from your past experiences. When you take up a hobby, you open yourselves up to a whole world of new experiences that get your creative juices flowing.
Channeling this creativity to innovate and solve problems is one of the key benefits of having a meaningful hobby.
Consider Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo and one of the most powerful businesswomen, who is an avid baker and is particularly obsessed with making cupcakes. She believes that the best cooks are chemists and as a scientist, she’s naturally curious about it too.
While she believes she is a businesswoman, she also admits that it’s her hobby—baking cupcakes—that makes her better at work. It helps her come up with innovative ways of looking at things.
Hobbies help you stay not only physically fit but also emotionally healthy by warding off depression and promoting mindfulness. Engage in hobbies that keep you active, and you will feel happier and more cheerful.
Mark Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, practices yoga and meditation to keep a clear head and listen deeply to others before making decisions. Practicing what he preaches, Benioff has also managed to set up yoga classes for his employees at Salesforce.
Explore your talent
Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t easy. Over time, you get used to your routine and habits. That’s why indulging in a constructive hobby can make a world of difference. It helps you discover hidden talents, learn new things and discover new ways of looking at problems.
Warren Buffet, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and the second richest man on the planet, often plays the ukulele. From writing his own songs to performing a duet with Bon Jovi for charity, Buffet pursues his hobbies religiously.
You should consider exploring your talents as they not only help you unwind but also unleash your talents and live new experiences.
Entrepreneurs are often overworked and don’t have enough time available to indulge in a hobby. All work and no play won’t make you productive. More often than not, it makes you lose focus and make mistakes. Give your brain a break by taking up a useful hobby. It will help you rest, recharge and gain fresh perspectives to innovate faster and solve problems more efficiently.
The author is the co-founder and director at SILA.
The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.
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