Even though it seems counterintuitive to think about spending time enjoying your hobbies while building a business, you’ll discover that allowing your brain to relax and enjoy something other than business will spur your creativity.
Have you ever had an incident where you can’t remember the title of a book or who starred in a particular movie but then you had an a-ha moment as soon as you stopped thinking about it? Have you heard stories of people who are inspired while in the shower and then are scrambling to write down their brilliant idea while they’re soaking wet? Jerry Seinfeld added a scene to his famous television show about writing the funniest joke ever while dreaming, wrote it down in the middle of the night, but couldn’t read his handwriting in the morning.
Why Your Brain Needs a Break
In today’s technological world with constant news cycles and instant access to electronics, it’s all too easy to wear ourselves out with too much news and other stimuli. Do you often lose steam mid-afternoon, especially if you’re working hard to meet a deadline? Your body and your brain physically can only handle so much before they go into shut down mode. Experts believe that “employees spend more than half their workdays receiving and managing information than using it to do their jobs”.
Maybe you’ve noticed that you’re not working as efficiently later in the day or it’s harder to concentrate on business tasks. Even if you’re coaching clients, do you find yourself getting distracted? Your brain is telling you it needs a break, similar to rebooting your computer.
Find Joy in the Simple Things
Let’s get back to basics and find the joys in everyday life. One way to welcome joy into your life is to unplug completely from your phone, computer, tablet, etc. so you’re more present in each moment and so you can actually recognize joy when it appears. Do you eat dinner every night with your family? Do you know what your kids are doing in school or in their activities? When was the last time you allowed yourself time to play board games or read bedtime stories? When was the last time you really connected with your spouse or partner? Even if you live alone, think about the last time you allowed yourself fun time away from the computer?
Think about the hobbies you used to enjoy prior to marriage/kids/business. Now is the time to add at least one of those things back into your life. Join a gym. Join a walking or running club. Volunteer at your favorite charity. Read a book. Learn how to meditate. Learn how to play a new sport. Discover new hiking trails. Find a MeetUp group for your favorite activity. Write in a journal.
Once you find something fun to add to your life, take notice of how you feel afterward. Did you let off some stress? Do you feel more relaxed? Did you sleep well after your activity? Did you have any inspiring thoughts the next day, after your brain took a break? You may be very surprised at your results.