Creativity, productivity, memory, and concentration may all benefit from having a satisfying pastime.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin enjoys a wide variety of activities in his spare time, including ultimate frisbee, springboard diving, and flying trapeze, among others.
The successful entrepreneur in the online world has his whole staff participate in recreational sports. As reported by Business Insider, he has led Googlers on team-building exercises at the Circus Center in San Francisco, a place where people go to study high-adrenaline activities like, well, flying trapeze.
While circus sports may appear unrelated to Brin’s day work, they really may be helping him develop important abilities. Hobbies are more than just a relaxing pastime; they boost our efficiency, originality, memory, and overall well-being.
Unfortunately, hobbies now have a negative connotation, as the opposite of the “grind” required to be successful in business. That’s why it’s essential to refresh our memories on why and how we might start enjoying new forms of recreation.
Here, we’ll do a brief inventory of our current work-life balance.
As a group, we’re working more than ever before—but why?
The “increasingly automated character of many occupations, combined with the decreasing workweek,” as Erik Barnouw said in a 1957 New York Times column, “[leads] employees to seek not to work but to leisure for fulfilment, purpose, and expression.”
Leisure time has grown in significance as work has become less taxing, a trend that is certain to continue. Since Barnouw’s essay, however, work has moved from being something done out of need to something done out of enthusiasm, and as a consequence, people spend more time in the workplace.
Some individuals, instead of enjoying the leisure time that advances in technology have made possible, are working longer and harder than ever before because they believe their job is central to who they are.
Meanwhile, burnout is at an all-time high. The majority of full-time workers (63%) say they sometimes feel burnt out on the job, while 23% say they feel this way very frequently or usually, according to a new Gallup study of 7,500 workers.
Burnout is a condition “coming from continuous occupational stress that has not been properly handled,” as described by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its International Classification of Diseases, IDC-11.
Burnout is having a serious impact on the workforce. According to research, 95% of HR managers believe exhaustion is a retention killer. Stress in the workplace is projected to cost anywhere from $125 billion to $190 billion per year, or 5% to 8% of total U.S. healthcare expenditures.
This is where hobbies come in, since engaging in things outside of work that we like may relieve burnout and stress while also providing us with additional advantages in the workplace.
What role your pastime may have in advancing your career.
The yearly olive harvest in Turkey is something I help out with by spending a few weeks of my summer there with my family. Despite the fact that harvesting olives has nothing to do with my business, JotForm, I have had some of my most fruitful brainstorming sessions during or immediately after such excursions.
This is due to the fact that our time away from the office often provides us with fresh perspectives on everyday matters. Take the moon, for example; before Galileo, most people believed that its surface was flat and even. However, Galileo was able to deduce that the moon’s surface was rough and rugged from its shadows because of his training as a painter, where he learnt to render three-dimensional things on a two-dimensional canvas.
The greatest ground-breaking concepts are the result of collaborative problem-solving that extends beyond the confines of any one person’s job description.
The time we spend on our hobbies often has a reviving impact, which in turn boosts our efficiency. Institute of Coaching at Harvard Medical School founder and director Carol Kaufman explains, “When you lose track of time and enter what is termed a flow state, it rejuvenates your mind and energy,” says Dr. Michael Neill.
When we give ourselves time to relax and recharge from the stresses of work, we are able to come back to it with fresh vigour and enthusiasm.
The important parts of our work performance may also benefit from our leisure time. Reading books, for instance, has been shown to increase activity in a region of the brain that controls language and cognition. Doodling has been shown to increase retention by 29%.
Kevin Eschleman, an organisational psychologist at San Francisco State University, has discovered that engaging in creative hobbies outside of the workplace has a direct impact on aspects like problem-solving and aiding others in the workplace.
Working out also improves our productivity on the workplace. Studies in cognitive neuroscience have shown the benefits of aerobic exercise on memory, attention, and other mental functions.
Hobbies are a certain way to lift your spirits. Specifically, neurotransmitters like endorphins, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which control mood and reduce stress, are released into the bloodstream when you reach the flow state while doing an activity you find very enjoyable.
And it’s common knowledge that content workers provide greater results. Happier workers are 20 percent more productive, according to research by Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage. Particularly, a 37 percent rise in sales may be attributed to happier sales staff.
The advantages of hobbies should have convinced you by now that you need to make room for them in your busy schedule. The only remaining choice is which pastimes to pursue.
Tips for choosing a new hobby.
Get your feet wet by doing what you did when you were a kid. One of the simplest ways to choose a new activity is to rediscover past interests. In addition, it raises the possibility that we’re engaging in an activity only because we feel like it, rather than because of any actual advantages to ourselves.
I still make time to go olive-picking every year since it was something I looked forward to doing as a kid. Whatever brought you joy as a kid—harvesting, video games, colouring books, or tennis—will continue to do so now.
An section of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, which governs how we feel about life, is activated when individuals do activities that make them feel good, such as a hobby, according to Dr. S. Ausim Azizi, head of the department of neurology at Temple University’s School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
Or you may engage your brain in a way that stimulates a different area. You should learn a new language if your job involves a lot of spreadsheets and figures. If you’re often in meetings, you may want to take up a hobby that requires quiet concentration, like crocheting. You will gain mental agility via this “cross-training.”