Stacy spends much of her day in office, working far more than the required nine hours. She is married to her job, and constantly chasing deadlines.
And when she isn’t working? She is thinking about all the things that still need to be completed.
The outcome, though, is that she can’t imagine life beyond work, usually because there is no time. The consequence of overwork and deprioritizing mental health? Burnout.
Instead of simply focusing on achieving that mythical work-life balance we hear so much about, why not work a few hobbies into the mix? While hobbies might seem like nice-to-have additions to your schedule, they can both nourish your personal development and add value to your professional development.
4 ways in which hobbies can help your career
Having hobbies can help nourish your mental health and wellbeing, making you more creative, resilient, and resourceful.
Here are a few benefits of hobbies — beyond the classic “something to do”. 😉
1. Improve resilience
Participating in challenging activities can help you learn how to keep going, and sports offer a clear example. Team sports can improve your leadership skills and help you perform better in a group, making you more disciplined and persistent when it comes to achieving your goals.
Judd Hollas, CEO of EquityNet says that “football prepares [him] to deal with other aspects of [his] life, especially as an entrepreneur.”
Sports activities also help you maintain your focus while helping maintain the right attitude to accomplish it all.
2. Enhance work performance
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, says that having a hobby shows prospective employers that you have passion and drive.
Hobbies require time. To nourish your hobbies, you need to focus on time management. Consequently, having hobbies encourages you to draw boundaries, making you more efficient in your work performance while also nourishing your creative side.
The creativity unlocked by nurturing your hobbies leads to employees being more innovative at their workplace and even having a better attitude.
3. Combat burnout
Putting effort into your passions gives you a much needed time-out from the everyday grind.
Hobbies allow you to sign out of work and truly connect with yourself, often putting you in a meditative state as you focus on getting better at your passion – whether it is sports, crochet, or even illustration.
This time-out will help you continue putting your best foot forward when it comes to work.
4. Reduce stress
Having hobbies isn’t just a good way to draw boundaries in your life — it’s also good for your health.
Leisurely activities can have an immediate effect on stress relief, not only improving your mental health, but also physical health. In fact, a study of over 1,400 people found that people who engaged in leisurely relaxing hobbies such as crafting or knitting had lower blood pressure and cortisol, and even a lower body mass index (BMI)!
Are you giving time to your hobbies?
Having hobbies does a lot more than improving your work-life balance. Different hobbies can have different benefits for your professional success.
For example, reading books is associated with heightened brain activity, whereas exercises can improve cognitive performance.
Returning to Stacy, who found that overworking wasn’t a sustainable lifestyle: To build balance into her life, she chose to dive into drawing.
While she’d always been drawn to drawing, Stacy had never made the time to actually, well, draw! When she made the decision to dedicate time to this hobby, she began to enjoy challenges that had nothing at all to do with her work. One day she was learning how to draw hands and the next she was trying to perfect a drawing of an adorable kitten.
Being confronted by new challenges encouraged her brain to jump into problem-solving mode as she confronted each new obstacle with creativity.
As she pursued her new hobby, Stacy began seeing a difference in the way she worked. She was more energized and proactive, and she developed better time management to allow for dedicated hobby time (rather than getting sucked into an endless workday!). The result? Both personal and professional development success!
Help your employees flourish!
Sure, extracurricular-type activities are beyond the scope of most HR programs, but the impact of hobbies on professional development is unquestionable.
That’s why it’s important to encourage your employees to pursue hobbies and personal goals. This will help your employees flourish on both the personal and professional front, making it easier for them to put their best foot forward, every time.
Are your employees nurturing their personal passions? Help them create a work-life balance by getting candid feedback with SogoEX.
Not sure where to start? Let’s get in touch! Our experts would love to give you a free demo of our platform.