Small business owners are busier than ever, with technology tethering them to the office twenty-four hours a day. But technology can be more than a tool to connect you to work. You can use technology to help you clear your mind, pursue hobbies, and even relax.
By shutting off the office every day for at least a few minutes, you’ll come back to your work feeling refreshed, which will help you tackle the task at hand with more enthusiasm, making you more productive than ever.
I relax by watching movies with my wife, playing basketball with my son, or having an icy with my daughter! Here are a few ways to use technology to unwind, whether you’re hanging out in your hotel room, or relaxing at home after a long, hard day.
- Watch TV—MobiTV makes watching television on your mobile devices easy, with access to live TV from anywhere. Watch the game while waiting for your spouse to finish shopping at the mall/hardware store. Tune into major events like Wimbledon or the Super Bowl while sitting at your desk, working hard. MobiTV also provides on demand content, and for those concerned about data plans, the ability to download shows to watch when a wi-fi connection isn’t available.
- Play games—Vermont Computing’s Jeremy Lesniak unwinds with games like Angry Birds, Words with Friends, and the new social media favorite, Draw Something. “The key to relaxing with technology is finding something that allows the time to pass without frustration,” Lesniak says. “For me, games like Angry Birds don’t work as I continually want to solve the current level and move on – it’s part of what drives me as an entrepreneur.”
- Get plenty of sleep—BoxMonthly’s Lori Peters recommends Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson, a relaxation app, for relaxing before bedtime. “I can be having a hectic, crazy busy twelve-hour day and take ten minutes and listen to this app and it’s a whole new me.” EventFind’s Lou Lomibao uses Relax Melodies, a smartphone-enabled sound machine that offers a range of sounds. “You can choose which sounds, mix sounds and put it on a timer,” Lomibao says. “So I choose some ocean waves and birds, close my eyes and take a minute to reflect on the day.”
- Read the newspaper—Nick Herinckx of Portland-based Obility Consulting likes Flipboard, an app that lets you read news articles, social media posts, and other web content in newspaper format. Herinckx says Flipboard is a “great app for quickly browsing the latest news from multiple categories. The app makes news stories look like a newspaper.”
- View relaxing scenery—Brent Hohlweg, co-founder of window cleaning service Men in Kilts, uses My Living Desktop to take occasional work breaks. Hohlweg has found My Living Desktop introduces “Serenity Breaks where you get to watch some awesome HD nature videos at set intervals.” Any time you’re feeling stressed, go back to your desktop and you’ll feel like you’re looking through a window at your favorite scene. Whether it’s the beach, the mountains, or a close-up of beautiful flowers, you’ll have 28 scenes to briefly take you away from your world of spreadsheets and deadlines.
- Watch a movie—What can be more entertaining than watching a movie? PopcornFlix.com provides a great alternative to sites like Netflix, providing free full-length films for instant streaming to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Most of the films are independent feature films from Screen Media’s library, but you’ll find films starring Will Ferrell, Alec Baldwin, and John Goodman, among many others. While many of the titles may sound unfamiliar, you’ll likely discover a great movie you never would have watched otherwise.
Playing hard is just as important as working hard. Luckily, for the busy small business owner, fun and relaxation are only as far as your favorite electronic device. By having instant access to your favorite diversion, you’ll be able to relax anytime you have a free moment.
[Photo Via: technicaljones]