Your hobby is something you do for fun. It’s something you do for yourself, for fun. It’s the way you unplug at the end of a long day or week. You don’t do your hobby because you have a deadline or because the consequences will be dire if you don’t do it. You do it because it brings you joy. That’s why your hobby is good for you.
For years, studies have documented the health benefits of pursuing a hobby. Some have shown working on a hobby or learning a new skill can reduce your stress level as much as a workout routine. Lower levels of stress have a host of benefits for your physical and mental health. When you feel better you work better and live better.
Having a hobby can also benefit your career in ways you may not think about. The great news is that your hobby doesn’t have to have a direct relationship to your career to generate these benefits. You can just keep doing what makes you happy and let the rewards ripple through all parts of your life.
Achievement and Reward
Your hobby makes you more goal-oriented. You want to finish that sweater. You want to bowl a perfect game. That type of goal-orientation carries over through other parts of your life because it’s a mindset you can’t just turn off. If you’re getting the psychological rewards of success in one area of your life, you’re actually rewiring your brain to pursue success in all areas. Furthermore, you have more confidence about whatever you’re doing. Work goals seem more attainable because you’re achieving in other areas.
While you’re building all that confidence learning and improving in your hobby, you’re also becoming more patient with the learning curve. Dealing with setbacks in the relatively low-stakes environment of your hobby makes you better prepared to deal with setbacks in the workplace.
While your hobby may not be directly related to your work, you never know when additional knowledge– about any subject– can come in handy. Maybe your hobby is reading or watching documentaries, so you accumulate a wealth of knowledge that can come into play when you’re working on a case. Maybe you’re just training your brain to be more flexible about the ways you find new angles to solve problems. Maybe you’re just allowing yourself space to let an issue run in the background while you do something else, setting yourself up for the “Eureka!” moment. Each of these effects is increased by the pursuit of a hobby.
There’s a cliche in business about how many deals get done on the golf course. You don’t have to play golf to bring together social and career benefits from your hobby. Most hobbies have at least the potential for a social element: book discussion groups, online chats for favorite tv shows, crafting circles, club sports, cooking classes, and so on. These are all opportunities to meet new people in an environment where the baseline for conversation is already set. Developing a social life outside work takes away some of the personal pressure in your working relationships. While you shouldn’t pursue group activities purely for networking reasons, you also never know who you might meet while volunteering at the animal shelter or playing in a community orchestra.
Your hobbies also make you a more interesting person, with more conversational fodder to bring out at conferences, in meetings, or around the water cooler. These interests can help you forge connections with colleagues with similar interests or make you more memorable at a job interview or pitch session.
Better Time Management
If you’re consciously making time to pursue a hobby, whether it’s knitting a new sweater or raising your bowling score, you’re making a decision to keep your work and personal lives balanced. You have something to fill your downtime that allows you to decompress, whereas you might otherwise spend your time obsessing over the minutiae of an email or project. Overthinking leads to diminishing returns. A schedule filled with varied activities makes you more efficient at all of them.
Ultimately, you’ll feel more satisfied with your work if you’re making time to pursue your passions and dreams through your hobbies because you won’t feel you’ve deprived yourself of something you love to do. That kind of peace and satisfaction shouldn’t be underestimated.
The Records Company is committed to giving you more time to balance your working passions and your personal passions. Records retrieval can eat hours of your time, but it doesn’t have to. Our experts are ready to take on the challenge for you and bring more efficiency to your day. Contact us to learn what we can do for you.