Did you know startups fail about four times as often as they succeed? Do you know why it’s so hard to get a successful business off the ground? It’s attributable to a number of factors, one of which could be the way the founders are spending their spare time.
The productivity you can generate in your free time often carries over into the success of your professional endeavors, and you can bet that successful people use their free time for much more than relaxing on the couch or binging on Netflix.
If you’re struggling to find success as an entrepreneur, you might want to take a closer look at how you spend your time away from the office. Consider replacing some of your less productive habits with ones with better benefits:
Working out is good for both the body and the mind. According to various studies, people who exercise 30 minutes a day, five times a week, enjoy better overall brain health, including uplift in mood, reduced stress, increased creativity and clearer thinking. Exercise is the best thing you can do to stay alert and alive while you run your business.
Have you ever noticed that some of the most successful people you know also lead rather interesting lifestyles outside of work? That comes largely from the personal pastimes they choose to enjoy. Hobbies are a good outlet for stress and an excellent source of creativity.
Success often means fostering a love of learning. If you want to inspire a love of learning inside yourself, learn something new. Some people like to learn languages; others like to keep up with the latest technological investments. Most learn something that will be useful to them in their careers, such as IT basics. A strong atmosphere of learning new things can help increase personal and business productivity by 37 percent.
With online tutorials, web-based informational courses and apps that offer assistance with just a few taps, you don’t have an excuse not to learn something new.
There’s a reason yoga has become one of the most popular health practices today: Mindfulness can help you relax, improve productivity, facilitate creativity and maintain your general overall well-being.
It’s important to note that practicing mindfulness does not necessarily mean doing yoga or even meditating, though both of those practices will do the job. It could simply mean sitting in stillness for 20 minutes twice a day, or leaning back in your chair, staring up at the ceiling and forgetting the world for 10 minutes.
If you’re losing sight of perspective and what matters to you most, take an opportunity to serve the less fortunate. Giving back to your community helps you to think about things besides work, which may enable you to evaluate how to improve your business. It’s the best way to put your life into perspective and reduce the stress that comes from constantly focusing on your own problems.
The best way to stay up to date with the activities of prosperous individuals is to read. Whether you’re keeping up on the latest news, studying a business-oriented self-help book or reading the biography of a successful person you admire, reading can help boost your creativity, improve your thought processes at work and enable you to de-stress after a long day.
Take a break every now and then to devote your entire attention to those you love most. For just a few hours a week, stop thinking about the things that happen at work and enjoy what’s going on at home. Healthy, happy and profitable people understand that taking a break with their loved ones keeps them sane as they climb the ladder of success.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Photo by Chawki/Twenty20
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources, including Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com and Business.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local nonprofit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.