It's proven: hobbies reduce stress, improve workplace performance

Published May 14th, 2014 - 11:02 GMT

Having a hobby such as painting, writing, singing or fishing helps you do better at work, psychologists say. Apparently, such pursuits have a direct effect on factors such as problem solving and helping colleagues at your workplace.

The study found that creative activities, in particular, help workers recover from the demands of their job by relaxing them, increasing their sense of control, and challenging them to learn new skills that can be transferred back into the workplace. The findings published in the ‘Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology’ state the need that learning to recover from stressful work situations was something all employees faced at times and employers should encourage their staff to engage in more creative activities outside work.

However, I can hear you already saying things like ‘That all sounds great but I don’t have the time’ or ’By the time I get home from work, I have no energy for any outside activity’. Well, of course, we can come up with the reasons why we don’t do something — after all, we are great at making excuses (in fact some of us major on this really well!). But it is about having priorities and making sure we stick to them.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so why is it that some of us have the ability to do a full-time job and still make the time for a hobby plus doing the school run, going to the gym, shopping and cleaning. Are these people really ‘Wonder Women’ or ‘Supermen’? Or is it as simple as being organised with what you do, being disciplined in saying ‘no’ and ensuring that you have some ‘me’ time in your diary every day?

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