Why Hobbies Make You More Successful At Work
"Work is my hobby," he said with a weak smile, and then continued by sharing all he had on his plate at his job. It's a comment I hear far too often. We have become so conditioned to focus on work until some nebulous point in the future when a break will magically occur... but rarely does.
A recent article from Peter Jones also makes the case that hobbies aren't just a luxury but can be essential for our success at work. In his article, Here's Why Having Hobbies Outside Of Work Is Key To Your Professional Success, Jones (the other one) offers several compelling reasons to make these times of personal renewal a higher priority in your week. Here are three of my favorite:
Hobbies replenish your energy.
"I love my job," you say. Fantastic. I love mine too. I find that time spent in a "just for me" activity returns that physical, mental, and emotional energy I need to be my best at work. It's a chance to get lost in your own world for a few minutes and not have to worry about deadlines, making tough decisions, or creating the next idea.
Hobbies make you more interesting.
Ever been talking with someone at work and find that they have a similar hobby? There's that amazing moment of, "You too?," and then the conversation flows more freely-not just now-but in the future. And even if their hobby is way different than yours, I find it's always fun to discover something new through the journey of someone else. Having a hobby gives you a tool for creating quicker and stronger connections with others. How important is that in today's workplace?
Hobbies offer you a fresh perspective.
It's ironic that disconnecting from work while engaging in a hobby actually frees up your mind to process your challenges at work. Our brains prefer to work on problems in the background so they aren't so limited by our conscious mind. Think about the best ideas you've come up with on your own. I'll bet most of them were not while you were at work.
My challenge to you? Find a hobby that you will commit to being engaged in at least 1 hour per week. It might be in 30 minute segments or at one time. The key is that you get so lost in the activity that you don't look at your electronic device or watch (for the few people like me who still wear such things). As Jones writes in his article, "Use your chosen activity to give you the calm and rest to step back and examine and improve all aspects of your life."