Spare time: Drain vs Recharge

One thing we entrepreneurs rarely talk about is how to recharge in our spare time. Everyone kind of just assumes that you know what to do. I didn’t. I struggled and muddled my way through it, and this is what I learnt. 

When taking a break from work, we all typically want to do something fun, like go swim, play video games, socialize, party, read or do yoga. These may all seem like recreational activities, but they’re not. There is a big difference. 

What you do in your spare time, typically between 6pm – 10pm, will either recharge you or drain you. Just ask yourself this question honestly – after 1-2 hours of doing X, do I feel more recharged, happier and energetic than before? Or do I feel more tired and drained? While everything may be fun, activities that drain you take energy away from family, friends, personal happiness and work. 

For me, they break down as follows:

Recharge:
Hiking
Yoga
Socializing with friends (up to 2-3 hours)
Meditation
Reading
Cooking
Sleeping before 10:30pm

Drain:
Video Games (more than 30 mins)
TV 
Movies 
Reading (more than 2 hours)
Partying (more than 2 hours)
Sleeping after 12am

 

On any given day, if I do more of the recharge activities vs drain activities, I have more energy to work the next day. And the effect is cumulative day-on-day, so after a week of doing more recharge activites, I may have 2 – 3x the passion and energy I would otherwise. 

What we do in our spare time matters. It’s not a black hole, where you can do anything you want. There are consequences that carry over. If you want to improve how you run your company, be mindful of how you spend your spare time. 

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