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Hobbies: Can out-of-the-office activities boost in-office performance?

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Whether you’re playing a team sport or attempting to learn a new language, these hobbies aren’t distractions from your work. On the contrary, they may be helping you perform better. These kinds of non-work-related activities are proven to help boost the skills you need to achieve your work and productivity goals. Here are a few ways your hobbies can help support a better work performance:

Increased creativity

When you take your mind off of your work and delve into a new area, you’re able to mix it up and gain some new insights. This is especially true of more creative hobbies where you’re generating new ideas and solutions all the time, but it’s even true of less creative hobbies. Even if you’re taking up soccer, getting outside of the office and experiencing new things and people can really help boost your creative juices. And it goes without saying that multidimensional workers perform better. People who are more in-tune with their creativity are better problem solvers and are capable of coming up with out-of-the-box solutions to everyday work issues.

Better time management

When you’re balancing different hobbies and activities with your work life, you learn to make time for everything. This helps you learn to manage your time more efficiently, a skill that can certainly help you in the office as well. You’ll be better equipped to balance different tasks and accomplish everything you need to. You also might find you’re motivated to work even more productively during your work hours so that you can leave on time to catch that group class or get home to work on that passion project.

Gain insights about yourself

When you take time to work on a passion, you’re able to explore other areas of what makes you tick. You might be the kind of person who is passionate about their work to the point that you’ve invested most of your energy into it. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your work, but allowing it to define you could limit your potential. I recommend picking up a hobby that can help you explore the other dimensions of your personality and learn more about yourself. These out-of-the-office activities can help you with your personal development. From there, you can take those new insights gained and use them directly in the office. For example, if you make time for creative writing, you might strengthen your ability to communicate and express yourself. You could then take those skills into the office as you interact with other people.

Working towards long-term goals

Our hobbies help us learn to have the patience to work towards long-term goals and build new skills. Having a hobby often means you’re learning a new skill and you won’t be perfect right away. For example, if you’re learning woodworking, you likely won’t accomplish what you want to right away. You’ll make plenty of mistakes and learn a lot before fulfilling that goal of building a backyard shed. This experience and the patience required will directly reflect in your work performance, especially with long-term goals.

Reducing stress

Aside from the ability of our hobbies to help us build useful skills, taking a break from work can have value in itself. These out-of-work activities often relieve stress and give us a much-needed mental break from work. They can help us bounce back from those more demanding days in the office. If your hobby is a calming activity, like photography or writing, this can be a great release after a long workday. Even if you’re engaging in strenuous physical activity, the decompression from work and the release of endorphins is proven to reduce stress.

Balancing your work and personal activities isn’t always easy, but it’s proven to boost your work performance. This can help us all feel less guilty about making time for our hobbies and passions. It’s often these non-work activities that help you build necessary skills to reach your work goals, all while giving you a much-needed reset from your workday.