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7 Surefire Ways To Find A Work-Life Balance This Summer Working hard is important as an entrepreneur, but so is taking time to feel present at the moment and having a little fun.

By Kelly Hyman Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When it comes to balance, there's always talk about work and life, but what we really need to make more room for is fun. Although it can feel like the antithesis of productivity, burnout comes much quicker without it. In fact, research has shown happy workers perform better.

With the longer, warmer days ahead of us, it's a good time to prioritize fun without feeling guilty. Here are seven things to add to your to-do this summer to get the work-fun balance you deserve.

1. Work outside

Being an entrepreneur means making up some of the rules as you go. One is choosing where you work. In this increasingly remote world, it's common to set up shop somewhere other than your everyday office space. When the weather is nice, why not take your work outdoors?

Many public places, such as coffee shops, libraries, parks and pools, have free Wi-Fi. Not keen on sharing the Wifi? Check with your phone provider about a hotspot; often, these are automatically grandfathered into service plans or relatively inexpensive to add.

Take advantage of being outdoors, even for a few hours, to get a change of scenery and have some fun to look forward to. Pick a patio, a shaded bench, or if you're geographically lucky, the beach to sit back and get comfortable... while also doing some work.

Related: Work-Life Balance Is Simple. To Succeed at Work, Get a Life.

2. Work-Cation

If you enjoy working outdoors, take it a step further with an all-out work-cation. Similar to a staycation, some hotels and resorts offer work accommodations (usually for a fee). The added perks often include food and beverage discounts, access to their pool, spa and other amenities, plus other bonuses depending on the property you pick.

Check out your local places to see if they offer these types of work-cations. Take a few business calls from the comfort of a daybed and then spend the rest of the day soaking up the sunshine and swimming a few laps.

Related: 10 Telltale Signs You Need a Break From Work

3. Fun read

Most entrepreneurs have a long business and personal development book list on their TBR lists, but sometimes you need something lighter. Summer is the best time to pull out that fluffy beach read and revel in getting lost in someone else's story. However, just because the reading is fun and breezy doesn't mean it can't serve a purpose.

Finding comfort in reading relaxes the mind and forces you to step away from the current stress of the day. It can also help if you've been working non-stop and need a "getaway" where you can unwind and not have to think too much. Let the story and characters entertain you.

4. Get creative

Harnessing creativity looks different for everyone. For some, it may mean journaling or spending time in nature. For others, it could result in painting, dancing, singing, or trying stand-up comedy. Stretch your creative mind by partaking in an activity you liked as a kid. Likely, you'll still have the same feelings toward it as an adult.

Peruse free classes on Eventbrite, Meetup or social media event pages to get ideas. Spending time on creative pursuits helps open the mind while doing something enjoyable. And scheduling time for fun lets you perform better overall. It's not a waste of time to do something silly. In fact, it can have lingering positive results like more motivation, inspiration and energy.

Related: 5 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Creativity

5. Schedule emails

Emails are the bane of our existence. As soon as the inbox empties, an onslaught of new notifications is waiting. Instead of ping-ponging between tasks and responding to emails, set aside time to focus on sending and scheduling emails ahead of time.

Email services offer the convenient feature of scheduled send. With this, you can review and respond to emails on your own time without worrying about forgetting to respond or hurriedly replying. Carving out specific time to schedule your emails can help you stay on top of your inbox and still "do work" while relaxing in real-time.

6. DIY Happy Hour

Happy hour doesn't have only to involve heading out for drinks. Though everyone needs to vent about work now and then, it's less fun when after-work drinks seem like an extension of being on the clock.

Try a different kind of happy hour by scheduling an hour (or more) of something else you'd enjoy. Schedule a movie matinee, yoga session or coffee date — an activity you can look forward to that inspires you to step away from work completely instead of drowning your sorrows in another drink.

Related: Adaptogens in Non-Alcoholic Beverages are on the Rise and Here's Why

7. Unplug

Shut it all down, at least temporarily. As an entrepreneur building and maintaining a brand, this can feel scary. But it's best to give your computer and brain a solid reset by unplugging completely occasionally. Whether it's for an afternoon, an entire day, a week or longer, a refresh is necessary to stay motivated and focused on the goals ahead.

Getting caught in the weeds of project deadlines is easy without taking a breath. This type of go-go-go mentality makes our brain run on auto-pilot without being able to see whether we're making effective progress or just going through the motions. The only way we can recharge is to step back and allow things to be without us for a bit, because they'll be there when you come back. Wherever you can carve out a few days to unplug, this summer is the time to take them.

The work-fun balance is possible and necessary for sustainability. Though powering through day after day may feel like an accomplishment, in the end, it compromises our health, well-being, and overall happiness. Working hard is essential as an entrepreneur, but so is taking time to feel present at the moment and having a little fun.

Kelly Hyman

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

TV legal analyst and Attorney

Kelly Hyman has been called "a modern day Erin Brockovich" by Forbes. Hyman has appeared numerous times on Law & Crime, Court TV and Fox@night. She is a TV legal analyst and democratic political commentator, and as an attorney, Hyman focuses on class actions and mass tort litigation.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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