Get a life – get a hobby!

Have you returned from the Easter vacation refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to make a fresh start? I know I have. This has been a long hard semester, and I imagine that the number of people who enjoy the short hours of daylight are few and far between.
In common with many others, I used part of the holiday to pick up on hobbies because I believe that having a hobby not only gives pleasure but has positive impact on one’s effectiveness at work. We hear a lot about work/life balance and clearly thinking about work every waking hour leads to unhealthy stress and potential burnout. Most hobbies require similar skills to those used daily at work, such as planning, working systematically and making decisions which influence outcomes, but because we’re practicing them in an environment we’ve chosen and control, they come naturally and free us up to think more creatively.
Whether you make patchwork or model railways, whether you play tennis or go snowboarding, the pursuit of your hobby absorbs your attention and stops you from thinking about work in any detail, which gives your mind room to ruminate on the bigger picture, whether you’re doing it consciously or not. I’ve spoken with many people over the years who have to me about sudden strikes of clarity about troublesome issues hitting them while they’ve been concentrating on something else entirely, so why not otherwise give it a try? Dust off your paintbrush or your golf clubs and give your brain some genuinely healthy exercise.

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