Work is only part of your life. Most people spend the time they aren’t at work with their family and friends and/or with their hobbies. Can your hobbies support your skills in the workplace? Here are some examples of how a variety hobbies and activities can help you at work.
Practice problem-solving through crafting.
Problem-solving is a task that everyone does daily, whether it’s deciding what to eat for breakfast or tackling an urgent issue in the workplace. Depending on the task, it can require a lot of brain power to solve. This skill is like training a muscle… practice makes progress!
How can crafting hobbies help? If you sew, bake, build or craft, you learn to see the problems you face from a variety of perspectives. When things go wrong, you may have to start over from scratch. The better you get at solving these hands-on issues, the better you get at solving more complex ones.
Taking some lessons from mixing up the ingredients, measuring twice and cutting once, or working with what you have even though it may not be exactly according to the plan can all help provide your brain with a more flexible problem-solving muscle ready to tackle problems wherever they arise, even at work.
Strengthen collaboration through group games.
Collaboration is also a big part of every workplace environment. It’s impossible for a business to function without you and your peers working together to complete projects and solve problems. Learning to work with a variety of people and see their perspectives is an important skill for anyone.
Playing interactive games with friends and family can help strengthen your team skills outside these games.
- Strategy games, such as chess and team-based video games, require strong insight and collaboration to win the game with your teammates
- Collaborative storytelling games, such as tabletop RPGs and mystery puzzles, require a great deal of imagination, collaboration, and taking the time to understand individuals and scenarios in order to continue the story
- Competitive games, like Risk, Monopoly and Clue, are similar to strategy games, but instead of working as a team, you need to understand your goals and the goals of your opponent(s) to find the best way to win the game before they do
Any game is meant to be a fun way to relax, either alone or with friends. They also provide a lot of opportunities to grow a variety of other skills as well, mostly for insight into situations and people.
Work on public speaking through improv.
Preparing a speech or presentation is an impressive skill, but improvisation is an additional skill that can be equally, if not more, difficult to master. What is the best way to respond to a conversation? Is there a wrong or right answer? What is the best way to keep the conversation going on friendly and favorable terms? Improv can help with navigating these situations by preparing you for the unexpected.
What are some ways to practice your improv? Well, collaborative storytelling games, as mentioned previously, is one. However, you can also go to networking events to try small talk improv or see if there are improv classes or groups you can join. These groups offer more of a variety in the scenarios than networking can inherently provide. You can also just try it as a game with friends, testing random situations with each other as a party game.
Any of these can help prepare you for social situations that you aren’t prepared for by navigating them with your improv skills.
Learn to destress by being active.
Many people enjoy working out or meditation as a means of destressing before or after work. There are many studies that suggest these activities can help reduce burnout at work and/or mental health issues.
Learning how to destress from a situation is a great skill to use during stressful situations at work. Being able to calm down from intense situations leads to more objective problem-solving and better collaboration since you are less likely to act purely on emotions and more on logic.
In addition to calming activities, staying active, whether it’s in a sport or just taking a walk, can increase endorphins and lead to a better mood for your day as well as allow you to sleep more soundly at night, leading to a better morning the next day. Of course, this isn’t the “be all, end all” solution, but it can help with decreasing stress by allowing you to release some excess energy in a more controlled environment.
These are just some examples of how your hobbies can strengthen your work skills. Any hobby or interest you have is an extension of you and your own creative brain. Taking time to pay attention to how you use your time outside of work can allow you to realize your strengths and how you can use them to improve yourself inside and outside of work.
Remember: Your hobbies are meant to be enjoyable. Enjoy your hobbies and the people you spend your time with. See how they can help you grow into a better you!
What is a hobby that you enjoy that supports your life and work skills? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Rachel Wichlacz is a Wisconsin native and Florida resident currently working at CuraScript SD as a Marketing Lead Analyst. She has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from The University of Tampa. Rachel is a blogger for AMA Tampa Bay with a background in marketing, design, and technical communication.
Connect with her on LinkedIn.