If Work Is Your Only Hobby...It's Time For A New Hobby!
This post is dedicated to my wonderful hubby, whose hobby is...well, you can probably guess. He is constantly thinking about work, so much so that even our date night conversations consist of...work. (Good thing we work together, or we'd have nothing in common!) In contrast, I'm the type of person with a plethora of hobbies. I love learning new things, gardening, working out, playing my ukulele, scrapbooking...the list can go on and on. So, if you're the type of overachiever who doesn't practice self-care, read below on why it may make sense to have a hobby and some ideas for hobbies that might interest you.
Hobbies...What Are They Good For?
Actually, a lot. According to Brigid Schulte in her book Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, she argues that people convince themselves that they are 'too busy' because they believe it makes them feel important. Psychologist Jaime L. Kurtz, Ph.D. urges everyone not to believe the 'too busy' fallacy and gives us five reasons why you need a hobby:
1. Hobbies Help Structure Your Time
According to Parkinson's Law, "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." This means that if we have a large amount of time to complete an assignment, we will use the full amount of time. Hobbies, however, help improve efficiency and productivity by defining a definite 'stop' time to your work. If you have a tennis league appointment at 6 pm on your calendar, you know you have a hard stop and will usually work more efficiently to complete your tasks before leaving. So in a way, Dr. Kurtz argues that hobbies create more time by forcing you work more efficiently.
2. Hobbies Promote Active Leisure and Creative Flow
Dr. Kurtz explains there are two types of leisure activities - passive and active. Passive leisure activities are like surfing the web or binge watching on Netflix. Everyone needs a little passive leisure activities now and then, but unfortunately, passive activities don't stimulate or stretch your mind or body. Have you ever gotten so absorbed in an activity that you've lost track of time? Dr. Kurtz explains that this is called 'flow' and hobbies, particularly hobbies that involve doing something we thoroughly enjoy, can help create this mental state of 'flow'.
3. Hobbies Help Foster New Social Connections and Relationships
While some hobbies are solitary activities, many hobbies involve getting out in the community, joining a club or otherwise meeting and talking to others. What better way to build and foster new social relationships than by doing something you enjoy with other like-minded people? Social relationships are often the key to a well lived, happy and meaningful life and what better way to meet other than through a hobby.
4. Hobbies Make You Interesting
Get a hobby you love and you'll now have something to talk about with others, other than your job! (Mike are you reading this?) Often people like connecting with those who have interesting and different experiences that often hobbies bring. Hobbies create layers of diversity to your identity and soul and help you to bring some creative passion and zest in your life. You will be surprised at how a hobby not only inspires you to greatness, but others as well.
5. Hobbies Help You Deal With Stress
If you have a stressful day at the office, feel demoralized or run down, turning to passive leisure activities like watching TV a hobby can help to temporarily distract you from the stresses of your job. However, performing an active leisure activity like a hobby you love can not only help to distract you from your stress, but also to remind you that you are more than just your job. You have other interests and opportunities.
So when picking a hobby, make sure you follow what I call the 'golden rule' of hobbies. Make sure it's doing something you have a genuine interest in and passion for. If you try it and it turns out to be not that interesting or fun for you, then move on to something that does excite you. Plus, you can plan and keep track of your hobbies in your Ignited Life Planner!
Special thanks to Jaime L. Kurtz, Ph.D. of Psychology Today for her insights into the need for hobbies in our lives.