May 24, 2018

Making Time for Hobbies Can Boost Your Productivity

In the world of entrepreneurs, you can’t avoid the word “hustle,” a rallying cry for working 24/7. However, you may want to make time for another word starting with “h”  — hobby. Yes, hobby.

“There’s new science that’s emerging that says that all of that face-time and over-work doesn’t make us more productive. It doesn’t make us more innovative or creative and, in fact, it really burns us out and leads to disengagement,” said Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time.  

Unlike watching TV or scrolling through social media feeds, spending time on your interests boosts focus, problem-solving, and creativity – all skills that can help you succeed as an entrepreneur. “When you’re really engaged in a hobby you love, you lose a sense of time and enter what’s called a flow state, and that restores your mind and energy,” said Carol Kaufman, founder and director of Harvard Medical School’s Institute of Coaching.

Researchers say activities that require concentration and offer a challenge are more conducive to a flow state, but mastery isn’t necessary. Think running, playing an instrument, cooking, fishing, knitting, and doing a crossword puzzle.

Enjoying a hobby as a family or couple is a way to bond and take a break from technology. “You can’t be buried in your computer all day,” said Kerry Gipson who works for a small family-owned bakery. “You have to take time to keep creating, keep learning. We teach our kids that too. Now, my 7-year-old is into bird watching. She has binoculars and a bird book, and is teaching us bird names.”

Local recreation departments offer adult sports leagues and also may host continuing education classes including arts, languages, and improv. Online classes through Skillshare, Coursera, or Craftsy are another route for discovering new interests or rekindling old ones.

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About the author

Andrea Mather
Andrea Mather is a writer and coach whose first business lessons were watching her parents start an engineering firm. She loves helping people take small steps and big leaps toward enjoying healthier, more fulfilled lives. Andrea has a B.J. in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

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