Improve Your Job Performance: Get A Hobby

By: Kara Hutcheson

Hey. Kara, here. I keep things running smooth and on time, here, at WorkBook6. Spend just a few minutes with some of the folks on our team and you’ll know that job is easier said than done. By design, this business is a buzzing hive of activity. Our team is dynamic, and often very, very busy. It’s my job to help them keep it all straight and to help us all maintain sanity. Playing an insider’s role in each of the team’s day to day has given me a unique perspective around how to maintain such an intense workload while staying happy and healthy. And while every person here is different, they all have a commonality – they’ve got something else they’re passionate about. For many on the team, music is the go-to. Brett and Sav are both obsessed with electronic dance music (EDM). Kyle’s a DJ and Max plays guitar. Others aren’t quite so indoorsy – Anna can be found on a horse at least one afternoon or evening each week and Chris is a free-diver and avid surfer. JT is flat-out obsessed with fishing, yardwork, and anything else outside. Justin hits the gym (and he never skips leg day). My hobby is in all things film, in particular screenwriting, at least for the moment. The point is this – every one of us has a counterbalance to help put the hours in the office and on the road into better perspective. And I’m convinced that this might be what enables us all to go so hard at work!

While it may seem contradictory, investing more time in your personal life and interests outside of work can help you improve your job performance. Despite the traditional idea that ‘workaholic’ behavior drives success, the ability to thrive in today’s business world requires more than just showing up to work. Investing some time in hobbies helps develop your skills in a rounded way making you even more productive (and marketable) than you are now.

Get the Creative Juices Flowing

For many of us, our job roles and functions are straightforward. Typically our day-to-day activities in the office are often predictable – which is in not necessarily a bad thing! It would however, be a terrible thing to assume that because we do one thing well, it’s the only thing we do well. Having hobbies furthers our understanding of our creative capabilities. Putting ourselves in unfamiliar situations lets us tap into our creativity in a different way than we usually would.  This can spark inspiration to get us past ‘just showing up’ to work, and rather pushing hard for progress and innovation.

Playground for Failure

Personally, my favorite reason to participate in a hobby is the opportunity to make mistakes without any really scary consequences. When was the last time you spent time doing something for yourself where you hadn’t considered the return on investment? Are you willing to be challenged and work at something, even if it doesn’t produce a paycheck? I challenge you to find any successful person who can truthfully say that their success came overnight, without much work and without any failures. If you walk into a photography studio, you’re likely not going to be Ansel Adams on your first day. Take a boxing class, you’re probably not ready to get into the ring with Mayweather any time soon. Sitting down to write? Ask Tolkien, Rowling or Martin about failure before their masterpieces became our current obsessions! Giving ourselves a creative space to be daring without the fear of getting fired or endangering our livelihood can give us the confidence to unravel some of our underlying talents. While taking chances may be a little daunting at the office when there is much at stake, the journey in our personal interests have a way of taking us on a much more adventurous path.

When it rains, it doesn’t have to pour

Have you ever had one of those days at work where everything went wrong? You come home, only to continue thinking about work. You wake up the next day, only to dread going in to work to deal with yesterday’s fallout. Having a hobby can help take us, even if just momentarily, out of a bad situation, refresh our perspective and force a little joy into our lives even on the worst days. I guarantee your ability to solve problems when you are refreshed and optimistic is far better than when you are in a stressed and overwhelmed state.

The beautiful thing about a hobby is it can be anything. It doesn’t have to be something you are naturally talented at, or it could be your secret passion that opens up brand new career doors. It’s an opportunity for extroverts to observe, or for introverts to take the lead. If you ever doubted whether investing time in a hobby is worth the effort, remember – if the return of growth, accomplishment and happiness doesn’t quite get you there, a new hobby may be just the tool you need to take you to the next level at work!



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