In our work oriented culture, hobbies are often perceived to be a waste of time. If you struggle with the idea of putting time into a hobby, consider these benefits. There are many cases where working on a hobby will help you to improve your performance at your day job.
1. You Will Grow Your Network
Many hobbies lend themselves to growing your network and meeting other people who share your passion. One great way to get started is to do a Google search with your hobby and the words association or group (e.g. “running club New York” or “creative writing association”). Building your network through a hobby is easy because you already have common ground with other people interested in the topic. Over time, you can give favors to people you meet and ask for help when you need it.
2. You Will Manage Your Time Better
The challenge of fitting your hobby into your daily and weekly schedule is a challenge for many people. Jeff Sanders adopted a 5am morning routine in order to accommodate his marathon training and maintain his other responsibilities. Making the most of limited time is a great skill to develop and it applies to the working world. Not sure where to start? Learn how to starting a personal project or hobby will improve your productivity.
3. You Will Improve Your Mental Health
How well you manage your mental health and stress levels has a major impact on your work performance. Fortunately, many hobbies offer mental health benefits. CNN found that crafting is good for your brain. Scientist Dr. Jeff Brown found that running improves your mental health – he shares his findings in the book, The Runner’s Brain. When you have the ability to think clearly, you will be able to solve more problems at work and get ahead.
4. You Will Have Better Physical Health
Like it or not, your appearance and physical health directly improve your work results. The Daily Mail reports that HR staff and companies tend to view overweight people as less productive. Consider starting a hobby that will improve your health such as a sport or healthy cooking. As you improve your physical health, you will have more energy and that will help you at work.
5. You Will Be More Creative
Developing creative solutions to problems at work is one of the best ways to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack. Actively pursuing a hobby is a great way to improve your creativity. Fast Company reports that creative hobbies such as photography and needlework improve performance at work. Simply occupying your mind with an activity beyond your regular work gives you a chance to ask new questions and new approaches to life.
6. You Will Understand What Matters To You
Knowing yourself is essential to career advancement. By exploring a variety of hobbies, you will gain a new perspective on yourself. For instance, you may enjoy the challenge of leading a team to victory when you play basketball. That experience will help you to discover your leadership skills. As you experiment with different hobbies, you will also discover areas that are not your strength. For example, you may not like the technical aspects of digital photography. That experience will remind you to limit technical activities at your place of work.
7. You Will Be More Self Reliant
As you pursue a hobby, you need to be self-directed. Nobody will stand over you each day and direct you to work on a hobby. It is up to you to purchase equipment, go through books and develop your skills. If you are training for a marathon, for instance, you are the one who decides whether or not to train each day. In your work, becoming more self-reliant is highly valuable skill. You will take on projects and learn new skills on your own, rather than waiting for your boss. Being self-reliant means you will be motivated to expand your job.