The beauty of being an entrepreneur is that you are in control of your own destiny. But that can make it really, really difficult to take time away from the computer or office to let your hair down, relax, and have some fun. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you travel with an iPhone in one hand and a laptop in the other, and even when you should be relaxing, you’re responding to emails and checking statistics.
That level of dedication to your work is commendable, but it’s also dangerous. If you never slack off, you’re in danger of burning out, losing perspective, or alienating the people in your life, none of which is helpful for long-term success. The lazy, crazy days of summer are a perfect time to get in one last fling before school starts and business picks up again.
Can’t get away for a week-long retreat? Never fear. Here are some ways to enjoy a mini-fling:
- Turn off the cell phone. The smallest move you can make with the biggest impact is simply unplugging yourself. Take mealtime off, at a minimum, particularly when you are dining with friends or family. Carving out a few periods during your day when you can relax completely will have untold benefits on your relationship, as well as your stress level.
- Do something different. With tough economic times, everyone has been touting the benefits of “staycations,” when you enjoyed all the attractions your immediate vicinity has to offer without getting on a plane or staying in a hotel. Continue in that vein by visiting a local park or museum, or trying a new restaurant you’ve never visited. Even venturing down a different street or checking out a new grocery store can have benefits in terms of opening your eyes and enhancing your creativity.
- Make a new friend. If most of your personal interactions take place around answering your door to the UPS man, you need to expand your social circle. Make it a goal to create a new relationship, work-wise or otherwise. Attend a meet-up in your area, join an online networking group, or just chat up an interesting looking person at the dog park. People matter, and they can be your biggest source of pleasure and refreshment.
- Cross something off your bucket list. Always wanted to jet ski? Dreamed for years of speaking French? Have a soft spot for authentic Indonesian cuisine? Pick one of your life goals (preferably one that has nothing to do with your work) and get started. Realizing that there is more to life than your computer will energize you and make your work all the more effective.
You may not be able to take off to Baja in a VW bus with a surfboard strapped to the top, but you can still enjoy these last days of summer. Life’s short; enjoy it.