Can a hobby help you in your day job?

Short answer is – yes! 🙂

It is easy to think of a hobby as something that you do just for fun, without anything to do with what you do in your regular day job. But can a hobby actually help you in your day job?

In my experience, I’ve found that a hobby can act as a wonderful complement to your day job. Here are a few ways in which having a hobby can help:

  1. The ability to disconnect effectively – When you get stuck at work, a hobby can act as a wonderful way to immerse yourself in something else, and allow your mind to truly disconnect. Watching videos on Youtube helps, but immersing yourself in another productive activity – whether it be painting, cooking, bookbinding, pottery, hiking, etc., can be way more effective. Moreover, your mind will sub-consciously continue working on the thing you’re stuck on, and the break can help you make progress faster in many ways. Author Austin Kleon even has a word for it – he calls it “productive procrastination” 🙂
  2. Your sense of self is not locked up in one thing – Our jobs allow to express only some parts of ourselves. A hobby or a side project gives us the freedom to explore other facets of our personality, and express ourselves better.
  3. Your hobby will help you develop other interests and connect with others, in ways not possible before. You may find others at work who have similar interests as you, or complementary interests, and now you have a great way to strengthen your network at work. For eg: A co-worker of mine found my blog on bookbinding, and now we love talking about this common interest! Moreover, a hobby will also allow you to expand your network outside of who you meet at work.
  4. Your hobby can help you develop skills and traits that can come in handy in your day job. For eg: Bookbinding has helped me develop my creative side, an artistic eye, and greater attention to detail. These are all great skills for my day job!
  5. It builds your confidence – Learning new skills is a sure shot way of building your confidence. As you become able to do more and more tings, your confidence in your ability to handle any situation or problem also increases. And confidence is a great skill to have at work, and in life overall.
  6. A hobby can help you build knowledge in adjacent areas, that can come in handy at work. For eg: If you start blogging about your hobby, now you know a little bit about blogging. Tomorrow if there’s anything related to blogging that comes up at work, you’ll have something to contribute. There are lots of unexpected areas that a hobby might get you to explore, which could come in handy at a later point.
  7. You’ll be a happier and more fulfilled version of yourself – Us humans are more than just our jobs and our families 🙂 A hobby gives us a way to explore other dimensions of ourselves, and feel all the better for it. Having a relaxed mind and fulfilled soul is perhaps one of the core pre-requisites of doing well at work!

All of this to say, if you don’t have a hobby and think it will be far too time consuming, think again. You might be missing out on a very rewarding part of life!

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