THE INC. LIFE

Need a Reason To Go Camping? It Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur  

The outdoors will lower your stress levels and help you solve problems at work. A win-win for all.

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BY Jackelyn Ho - 31 May 2018

Need a Reason To Go Camping? It Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur  

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

I love camping so much. Sure, you're a bit roughed up and dusty for a few days without a proper shower, but oh do the views and adventure make up for it. If you're not into overnight stays in the great outdoors, my first suggestion is to rent or purchase the right gear to make it comfortable and then second, heading out with a solid group of friends to liven the experience.

There are so many beautiful places in the world and nothing quite compares to waking up with mountains right outside of your tent window.

Still not into it? Then how about this -- it's going to make you a more creative and innovative leader. Let me explain.

You will appreciate minimalism.

Whether you're a happy car camper or a die-hard backpacker, the first lesson you'll learn is that you can't bring it all. Say good bye to an outfit a day and hello to hand washing certain pieces to wear again the next morning. Toss out all the extra blankets and pillows and bring only an all-weather sleeping bag with your jackets as a makeshift pillow. Camping makes you realize that you don't need it all -- just the essentials.

When it comes to business, how can you do the same? Can you reorganize your team by shifting responsibilities? Can you release your product with minimal directions? Can you lean out the number of steps it takes for something to get heard, approved, or resolved? In business, sometimes things don't need to be so complicated.

You will be forced to think ahead.

One of my favorite parts of camping is planning out our meals. I love portioning out what we're going to eat, which ingredients can be reused, and sneaking in dessert surprises around the campfire. The important thing is that if I don't plan this right, we're going to end up with some pretty hungry people.

How can you apply this to your work life? Planning takes extra time, but if it's already scheduled, there's less you have to think about later. Treat your Mondays like the beginning of a camp trip -- write down the most important to-do's with dated deadlines and schedule in personal time or workouts. Your week and your team will thank you.

You will start to get creative.

Camping gets me out of a rut. Instead of my usual waking up via annoying phone alarm, brushing my teeth, making eggs for breakfast, and finding an outfit routine, I'm now waking up to the sound of a sweet birds chirping, brushing my teeth over a meadow, and appreciating the simplicity of my little JetBoil steaming up hot water for my oatmeal. I'm no longer thinking about my email (which I actually can't access), but instead thinking about how to live this new day in the wilderness. Yes, I'm technically doing the same things, but I am forced to do them differently and more creatively.

In work, how can you be different? Take away the things that you have relied on for so long and challenge yourself to solve the problem in a new manner. Think outside of the box and feel inspired by how other people live and work. When you can learn to step outside of your norm, you can start to live and work in new and exciting ways.

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