Today, I want to share some of my thoughts on how engaging in hobbies can have a positive impact on your daily life, and more specifically, on productivity at work.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a bit of a hobbyist. I’ve practised gymnastics for over 11 years and it’s become central to balancing my life. It’s provided me with values which have shaped who I am today, my attitude toward adversity and my personality traits. Whilst I do more dance now, the essence remains the same.
It’s not just a hobby for me. It’s a crucial opportunity to decompress and have a moment to myself. This type of physical activity allows me to switch off from whatever’s going on in my head and prepare myself for tomorrow’s tasks.
For some, it may seem contradictory, but directing my attention to everything that isn’t ‘work-focused’ is actually one of the best ways I’ve found to ensure I have some left for when I do need to work!
Like an elastic band, too much stretching in one direction, and your mind will snap. We need to give it time off.
My strategy is to ensure I have time blocked out every day, even just 15 minutes, to connect with my body, move and disconnect from everything else. Meditation works differently for everyone, and this is how it works for me. I’m most present and at ease when I find my flow with dance and I’m enjoying my time of movement. It sounds a bit cliché, I get that, but it’s what works for me! Everyone needs to find their ‘15 minute activity’ and it doesn’t really matter what it is.
In general, we’re gathering more awareness about how mental health and work/life balance intertwine, and I believe that at times, people only manage to construct tenuous fences that separate these important life entities. I agree that work needs to be considered a part of our personal lives, as it is somewhere we socialise and engage in emotional growth. There’s nothing wrong with that! It’s all about balance.
Having a hobby, whatever it may be, makes it easier to insert this balance and brings creativity, happiness and productivity to the centre of our non-work hours. There are so many studies which prove that motivation is a direct result of well-being and how well you perform in your role. It’s all linked, see?
If we find ourselves feeling fed up or held hostage to our routines, engaging in our favourite hobbies outside of work hours is an amazing way of injecting fresh enthusiasm into our life.
What happens is it triggers a cyclical sequence. As we become more committed to our hobbies, we’ll become more balanced and we’ll start to see results. Before we know it, it’ll feel like brushing our teeth. We’ll stop thinking about it and these positive results will become entrenched.
For so many people, time management… or in other words… feeling lazy… is one of the biggest challenges. There’s always something going on in our hectic lives which means we find ourselves making excuses to just do nothing. The problem is we forget how important it is to allocate time and energy towards things which are free from work because it sometimes feels secondary. What we need to learn is that practising our hobbies will make us feel better about all things we do, including work.
For me, it’s dance and movement. Losing myself to music makes me feel distant from everyday challenges and what I normally feel. For others, it could be going for a run, reading a book, cooking a nice meal or anything else! I genuinely believe that everyone has a “dance equivalent” that will liberate them as it has for me, and bring about some of the magic that a hobby can provide.
No matter how busy you feel, no matter how little time you feel you have, you should always be able to find a tiny bit of time to practice one of your hobbies and ultimately improve your quality of life. In the beginning, it could be once a week for just a tiny period of time, but as you gain consistency, you’ll notice the difference. Trust me!