Do you ever feel like you’re living life on a loop? Morning, night, work routines that produce the same type of results every day. That’s not necessarily a bad situation. Working smart is important. As Grant Cardone said:
Disciplined, consistent, and persistent actions are more of a determining factor in the creation of success than any other combination of things.
The question is, what do you do when it becomes dull and monotonous? Even if you love what you do, doing the same tasks over and over again can tire anyone out. You might even feel like something’s missing in your life.
Luckily, there are ways to become excited about life again and fill that hollow feeling in your soul, and they all come from building a hobby (or hobbies). The immediate argument one might have is: “Hobbies are a waste of time.” It’s important for me to ask you — why do you think that? The answer is obvious.
Most people dislike not being productive. If they’re not working toward reaching their goals, they not only feel like they’re wasting time — they feel guilty. According to psychotherapist Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D., we feel guilty for not working because “we link our behavior, our performance, our productivity, with our self-worth. […] So when we’re being less productive, we feel like we’re doing something wrong.”
Most of us live to succeed or to reach a goal, which is why we’re opposed to working on activities we have no interest in mastering. But there are numerous benefits to doing tasks you’re not interested in mastering — impacting even your career.
How Hobbies Can Help Improve Your Mood
Working on a hobby is proven to help avoid stress, improve your mood, and make you feel relaxed. Why does that matter? Other than a general improvement of life, when it comes to your work, a good attitude can increase your motivation and focus.
Bestselling author Steve Rizzo shared: “Studies have shown that those who make conscious choices (and it is a choice) to enjoy themselves and laugh throughout the day are more creative, productive, and resilient to challenging situations. […] In other words, focusing on your happiness not only makes you smarter but shifts motivation in to [sic] high gear.”
In other words, time for happiness isn’t something you can put at the bottom of your to-do list — it’s a requirement for a better work-life. People think they have to choose between work and fun when they should have both. This is one way I view it: your career is supposed to financially sustain you — not your hobbies.
Learn to Love the Process By Falling In Love With Hobbies
“Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake,” shared the author of Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.
Again, the point of finding a hobby is not to master it but to have fun and start enjoying your life a little more. It’ll teach you about the importance of the process because you won’t be aiming toward a goal. These lessons ripple into the rest of your life, including your career. You’ll stark taking your sight off of the goal, and focus on the work.
What’s the problem with being outcome-focused? Psychology Today wrote, “Most people think that to get the results you want, you need to focus on those results. But, and here’s the paradox, by having an outcome focus actually reduces the chances of your achieving the results you want.”
Don’t you want your work process to be exciting? This is why it’s important to learn to fall in love with doing rather than getting. Hobbies can help you develop the habit of focusing on the process.
Hobbies Can Help You Work Faster
Parkinson’s law is “the notion that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Let’s say you had to finish writing a long article, and you had all day to finish it. According to that law, you wouldn’t finish it until the end of the day. However, if you had, say, dinner with your family at seven, then you’d finish writing that article by seven.
If you don’t like the idea of having a hobby by yourself, you can consider a hobby you do with others. If you like reading, join a book club. If you want to learn an instrument, you could take lessons. It could be much simpler: you and your partner could agree to build a puzzle together every night at eight to wind down. How does this affect your work?
Psychology Today shared a point even a workaholic will find convincing: “Chances are, if you had choir practice or a book club meeting that night, you would get those tasks done much more quickly. So, hobbies can seem to create more time by encouraging efficiency.”
If you want to get your work done faster, get a hobby — preferably, with other people if you’d struggle to discipline yourself. You’ll finish work faster because they’ll hold you to deadlines.
If you feel like you have a lot of dead time, as Ryan Holiday calls it, hobbies can jumpstart your life again. While most people choose to scroll through social media or watch Netflix, your overall quality of life improves when you lose yourself in something that you do purely for fun.
Pick one thing. An instrument, an art form, a class. For you. For fun. Most importantly, prioritize it. This is the hardest step — especially when you feel bombarded with work.
You want to say you don’t have time, but somewhere, at least once a week, you have an hour to spare. You can replace one Netflix episode. Plus, unlike a tv show, this hobby will add genuine fun to your life. It’ll make you more interesting.
The truth is, you need to have fun. It’s good for you. Make time for it.