Taking up a hobby makes you more well-rounded because it can positively affect other areas of your life. These pursuits of leisure can help create a healthy work-life balance, one that stimulates creativity and positivity.
The following are the top reasons it’s important to do something outside of work, and how it can help you become more successful in life.
Clear your mind
At work, we constantly push ourselves to improve and deliver what is expected from us. But a hobby is the easiest to pursue because you choose to do it. It is a great way to clear your mind because it doesn’t require much effort on your part.
“When you’re really engaged in a hobby you love, you lose your sense of time and enter what’s called a flow state, and that restores your mind and energy,” assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School Carol Kauffman says in a New York Times article, “Hobbies Are Rich in Psychic Rewards.”
“In a flow state, you are completely submerged in an experience, requiring a high level of concentration,” Kauffman continues. “Research shows strong correlations between flow states and peak performance.” Hobbies allow you to relax your mind after a long period of inactivity or repetitive work.
Recharge your productivity
Your hobby inspires you to manage your time for a healthy work-life balance. You have something more exciting to look forward to, other than your adult responsibilities.
Cultivating your hobby will help you avoid burnout, making you more creative and improve your problem-solving skills.
“Taking time to indulge in your favorite creative pursuit might help you recharge before heading back to work, or could also be a means to learn more about your strengths and weaknesses, knowledge that will benefit you professionally as well,” says an INC.com article, “How Your Hobbies Affect Your Work Performance,” citing a research conducted by the San Francisco State University.
According to the study, “Those who are engaged in a hobby also reported greater feelings of control and mastery.”
Broaden your network
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, life always finds a way to lead you to people who share your interests.
And of course, your hobby is one of the easiest ways to make new friends. It broadens your social circle and lets you gain new perspectives from the people you meet.
Studies have found that social connection is one of the important components of happiness and living a meaningful life.
According to a Harvard study, “People who built strong foundations in their relationships with family, friends, and community lived longer and fared the best.” Your hobby acts as a gateway to these new possibilities.
Learn new things
Experience is the best teacher, as the adage goes. And what better way to learn than following your interests and being better at it?
The things you learn while pursuing your hobby can teach you valuable life lessons such as humility and resilience. And just as important in learning things on your own is being open to the ideas of others, to keep yourself in check.
Billionaire Richard Branson’s favorite hobby, kitesurfing, has taught him some valuable things.
“Kitesurfing is no different from starting a business because without the necessary skills, you end up fighting against the various obstacles along the way,” he shares with INC in an article titled “Why Successful People Need Hobbies.” “It can become very frustrating.
“However, once you finally learn to slow down, remain calm, and allow the rhythm of the wind and ocean to guide you, kitesurfing can be very exhilarating, just like running a business,” Branson adds. “Kitesurfing has taught me how to anticipate challenges, solve problems, and embrace the exciting life that comes with being a global entrepreneur.”
Boost your confidence
Hobbies build healthy self-esteem. You develop your strengths and learn from your weaknesses, and apply them in other aspects of your life.
Allowing your work, hobby, and personal life to harmoniously merge can greatly enhance your self-esteem and confidence. You become a well-rounded person, and all the things you’ve learned and achieved add up to your personal development—and, ultimately, success.