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Every year, the United States “springs forward,” setting clocks ahead by one hour in observance of daylight saving time (DST). Sure, you lose an hour of sleep, but it lets you align your waking hours with the additional daylight hours during the warmer months.
If you’re an entrepreneur, that extra hour can be a window of opportunity. With more daylight, you’ll have more opportunities to expand your skill set or build your dream.
Need a place to start? Here are eight things you can do with that extra hour to make yourself a better entrepreneur.
Related: If Running Your Business Feels Hard, You’re Doing it Right. Here’s Why
It’s easy to let your self-care routine fall by the wayside during the winter. But longer, warmer days are practically an invitation to get out there and resume your exercise routine. Not only is exercise good for your physical health, but it’s also been shown to release endorphins that help alleviate stress.
Even a simple daily walk or light jog can offer surprising benefits. Additionally, some communities offer group activities like cycling or ultimate frisbee that provide a social outlet or networking opportunities.
2. Discover networking events
Relationships are essential for entrepreneurs looking to build their businesses. The partnerships you form within your community can help you increase brand awareness, generate new ideas or seize opportunities to work together for a common goal.
During the spring and summer, you may have access to outdoor networking activities in the area.
You can find such events by talking to other entrepreneurs or searching for networking events on sites like LinkedIn. They might include picnics, sporting events or community outreach projects that let you make an impact in your community.
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3. Fuel your reading habit
Savvy entrepreneurs understand the value of a good book. Reading provides endless opportunities for self-improvement or success, and the latest books and publications can keep you informed about the best practices that affect your business or industry.
But even reading outside your immediate subject matter can make you a more well-rounded individual and train your brain to think differently about the world around you.
Many local libraries offer summer reading programs and book clubs that you can take advantage of, but you can also simply post up on the beach or in a lawn chair with a book or e-reader. And if you’re out walking or exercising, you might consider listening to an audiobook or podcast.
4. Pause for self-reflection
As much as the business world talks about data and analysis, surprisingly little attention is given to the process of reflection.
Self-reflection isn’t complicated, but it’s an opportunity to take stock of your internal motivations.
What are you truly passionate about? What do you hope to accomplish in the coming years? These are the kinds of questions you might ponder as you take your evening walk or lounge by the pool.
The answers to these questions can be good reminders of why you got into business in the first place and provide motivation when the going gets tough.
Related: How to Build Your Business Strategy in the Face of Uncertainty
5. Pursue learning opportunities
Learners make the best leaders. Along with consuming informative content, the summer might also present opportunities to participate in seminars, conferences or other educational opportunities that keep you engaged in your business or industry niche.
While it’s not hard to find webinars or other virtual events, the extra daylight might also provide opportunities for in-person learning events. The real estate industry, for example, tends to ramp up in the spring, which might give you a chance to network or take classes to sharpen your business skills.
6. Jumpstart your creative thinking
Some of the most gifted leaders are known for thinking outside the box. When the weather warms up, it’s also an opportunity to get out of the office! Exercise, leisure and travel all provide opportunities for learning and growth and can serve as a mental “reset,” allowing you to return to your work with a fresh outlook.
Not sure where to start? Ask yourself what’s one thing about your business you wish you could change. Then, start thinking about ways to answer that question.
As you travel, look at the ways other businesses are doing things. This can help you think about your business differently and may spark new ideas for change.
Related: 9 Simple Ways to Transform Your Morning Routine and Boost Productivity
7. Spend time with loved ones
Spending time with your friends or family won’t just make you a better entrepreneur; it’ll make you a better human being. Quality time with loved ones helps to combat stress and can keep you motivated when your business starts to feel burdensome.
If you’re a parent, spending time with your kids allows you to pass on valuable life lessons to the next generation. Sports, camping, a day at the beach — these activities can give you some much-needed R&R and help you strengthen your personal ties.
8. Cultivate gratitude
What are you thankful for? That’s not just a question to ask over your Thanksgiving turkey. Gratitude can keep you centered on what truly matters and remind you that some of the things that bring you the most joy have little to do with your entrepreneurial success.
Seeing nature in all her unrivaled splendor is a great example. Very few people go to the Grand Canyon and think, “I wish I were back at the office.”
As you exercise, travel or spend time with family, pause and reflect on the world around you. Take time to appreciate the little things and keep this newfound gratitude front of mind to stay motivated while working on your business.
Related: How to Wake Up Early
Reset more than just your clock
Warm weather and longer days mean opportunities to improve both yourself and your business. If you put these tips into practice, you’ll reset more than just your clock. You’ll also reset yourself, forming a new mindset that lets you greet each day with a sense of possibility.
So give yourself a break. You may find that these ideas give you a new sense of purpose and make you a better entrepreneur.
Related: How to Know When That Business Idea Is Good Enough to Pursue