Life on the inside: Here's how entrepreneurs discovered hobbies during the lockdown
As the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic continues, here are some of the hobbies that entrepreneurs have discovered and developed during these times of social distancing
A miniature ship building project or an hour of yoga? A musical recital or a baking frenzy? A quiet time of yoga or a round of Monopoly? Which will it be?
The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent global lockdown has had a few benefits for people who have discovered a new hobby or leisure activity to spend their days. Many have revived the habit of reading while others are rustling up gourmet meals in the kitchen. Some have discovered many other new hobbies and have been enjoying them to the fullest.
Practising a hobby gives you a sense of mastery. According to psychology experts, 'a hobby can enrich your days as you are developing new skills, new thought processes and really challenging yourself to learn something new and develop your skill set.'
Entrepreneurs and founders have discovered the secret of spending their time productively and well. They found that making time for a hobby is the best way to unwind and learn something new.
Here are some of the hobbies that top entrepreneurs have discovered during the lockdown….
Sousthav Chakrabarty, CEO, and Director, Capital Quotient
During this lockdown, I have been doing some DIY-construction-based hobbies, such as shipbuilding, puzzles, etc. These DIY crafts help build concentration, hand-eye coordination and attention to detail.
Everything we do professionally needs these skills, which as adults, we often forget to sharpen. Taking up a DIY hobby is the best way to sharpen these skills.
And, with stress levels being at an unprecedented high in today’s times, having leisure activities such as these to enjoy are highly beneficial. Activities like crafts that require multiple people to work together can be a great way to spend time with your family in a constructive and goal-oriented way.
Nityanand Sharma, CEO & Co-founder, Simpl Technologies Private Limited
During this lockdown period, I have taken up a few new hobbies/habits which were not possible earlier because of my hectic schedule. Now that there is no business travel for me, I am able to spend these hours in a much more structured way and with regular interactions with my team.
I have started reading for almost 2-3 hours a day and would personally like to recommend this book ‘Benjamin Franklin: An American Life’ by Walter Isaacson to someone wants to start reading.
I am also reconnecting with my school/college friends and we are keeping each other sane in a situation like this.
Sandip Chhettri, COO, TradeIndia (B2B marketplace)
I start my day early and put in at least one hours of yoga every morning.
Yoga has been known to be beneficial since ages to keep the mind calm. Mental health is of utmost importance during these challenging times. This time of social distancing which has been enforced upon us, is also a great opportunity to build our mental strength. The practices of Pranayama and Meditation can help increase mental and spiritual strength.
Moreover, your immunity needs to be strong and yoga asanas provide natural support to the immune system. I clear my thoughts and plan my agenda for the day along with some breathing exercises. Yoga and meditation keep me fit and I have also modified my diet to add healthy and natural foods.
Fitness helps me handle challenges and pressures without feeling burnt out. It also helps me keep my mind fresh and active which is a requirement of the job. Staying fit and eating right automatically makes you feel good and positive. It enables you to focus on your vision with a clear mindset and thought process.
Due to social distancing, we are spending more time with our families, and also have time for ourselves. With a pause on our lives, we now have to readjust, refocus and reinvent our schedules. I keep myself occupied with productive activities, and get involved with the family too.
I follow a simple motto: Happy inside, happy outside.
Akhand Swaroop Pandit, CEO & Founder, Catalyst Group (Online learning Platform)
We are always complaining about not having time to pursue a hobby and time with family, and so, now is the time to invest in yourself. As we are into edtech business, I have created a studio in my home where I record my videos.
I have been working towards providing free live online classes to students pan India through the Catalyst Group YouTube channel.
Also, I am pursuing my old hobby of bodybuilding which was discontinued due to my busy schedule earlier.
I believe that this time will never come back and therefore, we should develop some good hobbies and memories during this period of lockdown.
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Vishal Gupta, CEO and Co-Founder, Momspresso
I'm a big one for routine and was therefore struggling to find a hobby for the first week or so.
Since then I've done four things to create a routine which seems to be working well for me:
Firstly, I start the day with a cup of tea sitting on my 8th floor balcony. We've never used the balcony much for as long as I can remember but looking at the blue skies, reading the newspaper and listening to some music just calms me down and sets me up for the day.
Secondly, other than wearing shorts, I'm at my workspace at 10 every morning in exactly the same way as I would be at the office. This gets me into work mode.
Thirdly, I've downloaded a couple of apps and my son and I work out together for 30 minutes every evening. I've started looking forward to spending this time with him as we push and motivate each other to exercise and blow some steam off.
Fourthly, we have converted the dining table into a TT table. This is a source of endless fun and whenever I feel like taking a break, that's what I gravitate towards.
Pathik Shah, CEO, DB Digital
One thing I've always wanted to experiment with but hadn't been able to in a normal work schedule was polyphasic sleep.
Finally, due to a long stretch of WFH, I've been able to try it out. The concept of polyphasic sleep involves sleeping for multiple intervals of 1-2 hours each instead of one stretch of 8 hours at night to maximise efficiency. My sleep schedule has always been erratic and it naturally turned out to be a good time to try it out.
I'm currently doing 3-4 stretches - one of 4 hours at night and then 2-3 naps of one hour each in between work.
Regular exercise (45 mins a day in the evening) and meditation (20 mins before sleeping) definitely helps too.
Sandipan Mitra, Co-Founder and CEO HungerBox
I’ve begun practising yoga regularly, which has not just helped me physically, but mentally as well. On a professional level, it has enabled me to focus better, resulting in better productivity.
We have been involved in the FeedMyCity initiative across five cities in India serving 20,000 free meals in each city to the underprivileged. A number of HungerBox employees have been directly or indirectly involved in this initiative. This has been great opportunity for all of us to contribute to a wider social cause during this time and has really galvanised and energised everyone across the board.
I am also catching up on the TV shows I missed. During this lockdown, I am grateful to be able to spend some quality time with my family. This is the cherry on top.
Lalit Keshre, Co-founder and CEO, Groww
I have started playing board games with my family. We were lucky to stock up on a lot of board games before the lockdown, like Catan, Ticket to Ride, Scrabble, Sequence, etc, which are our favourites.
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