All Work and No Play: How Should Entrepreneurs Be Spending Their Downtime?

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It’s not often we talk about what we do in our spare time. But with the focus on employee wellbeing, mindfulness and general fulfilment growing, what we do when not at work can play an important role in our overall success.


So what can we learn from other successful entrepreneurs in how they spend their downtime? We conducted research into the most common downtime habits of successful entrepreneurs according to their Instagram feeds and combined it with the real life experiences of entrepreneurs across the UK. Here are our top tips, based on what we found:


  1. Take yourself to new surroundings


In order to succeed, our minds need to be open to new possibilities. It’s difficult to make that happen when we confine ourselves to the same office every day.


That’s why so many entrepreneurs choose to take themselves away from their comfort zone and to new places during their downtime. In our research, water was a prominent feature, with many successful business people spending time swimming, scuba diving or simply relaxing by the water’s edge.


“Research shows that even being near water can be restorative, particularly swimming outside.” said Ian Cumming of, an organisation which champions the benefits of water sports.


  1. Get fit


This one will come as no surprise, given that fitness is a key part of staying healthy all round. But have you considered how participation in a sport or spending time at the gym can help to build your business muscles, too?


According to RealBuzz, “regular exercise can assist with with relieving stress and anxiety, alleviate depression and preserve mental faculties and skills.”


Finding a team sport you can enjoy will help to grow your social circles, too. It’s not about ‘networking’ per se, but about opening yourself up to new points of view.


  1. Lean on great people


We can often feel as entrepreneurs that we are responsible for our own success. In fact, that’s one of the most common reasons many of us have chosen to go it alone.


But many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs agree that being able to lean on people for support is an integral part of their ability to do their job well. Whether that’s spending time with friends, family or even colleagues, put down the phone, step away from the emails and indulge in some quality time.


“Close relationships, where you don’t feel you have to put on a show or ‘deliver’, will keep you healthy and energised,” says Alice McGurran of


  1. Indulge your wanderlust


As an entrepreneur, it can feel like a huge step to book a holiday – especially if it’s one that will move you away from the internet and force you to really take a break. But it’s important to do so.


“It’s important to disconnect and take time out for yourself, look at the world from different perspectives and learn more about different cultures,” says Gareth O’Sullivan of Orbis Explorer.


That could mean anything from a couple of weeks away to a simple weekend ‘staycation’ where you explore your local area and discover new sights along the way. Wherever your wanderlust takes you, be sure to open yourself up to the new experiences – they’ll make you a better business person.


  1. Don’t shy away from the ‘out of office’


While taking holiday can seem challenging, setting an ‘out of office’ or even putting emails on hold for the evening can seem nigh on impossible for busy entrepreneurs.


But the fact is that we all need a break. So put the phone down, step away from the laptop and make the most of your downtime. You deserve it!

By Aaron Inglethorpe, Discount Displays