“I don’t have time for that.”
I don’t know about you, but I used to say that so many times I started to feel like a broken record.
And it’s not like the things I was turning down were the things I had to make time for, like networking and client work.
They were the things I wanted to make time for. The fun things like yoga classes and evenings out with foodie friends.
Because when you’re an entrepreneur, you always feel like you have to hustle against the clock (even when the clock is only ticking inside your head.)
And don’t get me wrong – hustle has its place in business.
But so does play.
Hold space for your hobbies
Too often, entrepreneurs live in work mode.
You’re either actively working, like when you’re with clients, or creating content or systems for your business.
Or you’re passively working, like when your brain just won’t turn off, or you’re obsessively checking your email from your phone.
When it comes to creating work-life integration (work-life balance is so last year 😉), your hobbies should take center stage.
Hobbies are essential for your mental health because:
They relieve stress
By giving your full attention to something non-work related, you take the physical and mental stress load off your mind.
They encourage creativity
Whether you’re doing something you love or something you’ve never tried before, you let your mind wander and live in the moment – something that can spark fresh ideas and new perspectives.
They increase your problem-solving skills
Just as they encourage creativity, hobbies that challenge you can strengthen your problem-solving abilities and give you a chance to “color outside the lines” when it comes to innovative thinking.
Besides supporting your personal growth, all of these things also benefit your business growth,
And science backs it up…
Science supports play for entrepreneurs
You know what science doesn’t support?
Grinding yourself to the bone in the name of, well, practically anything. But specifically in the name of scaling your business.
Science supports play.
In fact, taking breaks and giving yourself plenty of leisure time is the key to better work performance because it leads to “skills utilization, self-expression and self-actualization.”
Science also shows that making time for hobbies and “enjoyable leisure activities” makes you both more psychologically healthy and physically healthy.
Even more impressive?
Your hobby doesn’t have to be something strenuous like rock climbing or training for decathlons to improve your physical health.
A study from 2009 found activities like “doing fun things with others” and “communing with nature” to be associated with lower blood pressure, total cortisol, and perceptions of better physical function.
I’ve never heard a better argument for dinner on a patio with friends, have you?
“Playing” for success in business
Healthier people make healthier entrepreneurs.
And healthier entrepreneurs are more likely to commit to their businesses and lean into the passion that led them to get started in the first place.
You really can make the argument that creating space and time for your hobbies and the fun things you love to do is actually in service to yourself…
And your business.
So might as well get out there and play for a more successful business, right?
Cheering you on!