Take a Break: 5 Ways Hobbies Can Improve Your Productivity and Creativity
When talking about improving productivity and focus at work, one particular piece of advice people would usually give you is to take a break. This way, you get to allow your mind and body to rest - to refresh - so that you don’t quickly get burned out.
A lot of techniques are introduced for us to maximize our break from anything. One particular famous technique is the Pomodoro, where you take a few quick breaks between work hours. Some people use time blocking to give themselves a whole hour or two to rest.
But, what most people forget to mention or emphasize is how you should spend your breaks.
If you think about it, most people might probably take a power nap, browse on social media, or maybe watch a movie on Netflix. It’s the common way to chill just to have that release of dopamine that we need.
It’s a good kind of break, but it doesn’t give you something more. And what usually happens is, once you’ve finished the movie or closed your social media, you are immediately forced back into reality, and you’re still burned out.
So, what’s the best way to spend your break?
It’s actually by spending it on something that really interests you - your hobby. Here are some ways how hobbies help improve your productivity and creativity:
Reduce Your Stress
Hobbies reduce your stress. It’s a perfect distraction from your hectic day. With a hobby, you get to spend more time for yourself, allowing you to release all that stress build-up.
It allows you to disconnect yourself from work. But aside from just mainly disconnecting yourself, you are still keeping your mind active by doing something. And the best part is, what you’re doing won’t get you bored.
So, if you have plotted an extra time in your day to take a break, spend it on something that will help keep you in motion but will also not give you stress.
You Get to Experience Eustress
Eustress is a healthy kind of stress that somehow gives excitement. So, instead of the usual stress that makes you worry, eustress keeps you happy and very active.
If you think that work is getting boring, there’s no growth, or it’s no longer interesting, a hobby can help you with that. This way, you can have a break from your dull day. And the best part about this is that even if you’re done working on your art or reading a book, you get to bring this happy momentum to work.
It’s the perfect way to counteract burnout. On top of that, it gives you a better perspective on what work-life balance means to you. Because now, your days will not only be about work but also about yourself.
Helps You Recover from Demanding Days
The very purpose of rest or taking a break is to help you recover. You’ve been using your mind a lot at work, and without that chance to escape, your productivity will just get lower and lower.
You should always have some time for yourself and work. You should always have this invisible boundary between the two, which is why you should block time for your hobby. And if your hobby is something that interests you or it’s something you love, you will spend more time with it.
Let’s say your hobby is writing, and you have this goal to finish a fiction book in two months. In order to do that, you want to give yourself an hour a day to write. So, whatever it is you’re working on, outside your hobby, you’re going to stop that even for just an hour so you can write your book.
So what happens is, your hobby forces you to take a break to do something you want. And it doesn’t have to be work-related, as long as it keeps you happy and active.
Exercises a New Part of Your Brain
Another great thing about hobbies is that you can try a lot of them. You want to make reading a hobby now, or painting next, then try out knitting, etc. Your choices are endless. The only important thing is you get to enjoy.
And since you can try new things, you get to exercise some parts of your brain that you don’t utilize often. If you prefer doing something physical like dancing, music, theater, and sports, your brain trains your executive functions.
Mind games and strategic games like chess open a different part of your brain. If you try to play an instrument, that also enhances another area. And if you learn a foreign language, you get to boost cognitive functions.
In other words, your hobbies can improve your brain, making it healthier and more active. It makes you creative at work. And you even get to learn things that may help you with work, although it might seem unrelated.
Enters You in Flow State
Finally, hobbies can help you enter the flow state. Flow state refers to being “in the zone.” It’s a state when you are fully immersed in doing something.
Have you ever wondered why it feels like time flies FASTER when you’re doing something you love? An hour doesn’t even feel like an hour. This is because your mind is in that state of intense focus. What’s good about this is that it helps restore your mind and energy, improves your concentration, and enhances your creativity.
The best part about this is that the flow doesn’t stop after you do the hobby. Sometimes, you even bring this flow to your work environment. Effects can also last longer and will improve your overall performance.
Taking breaks is essential in our day-to-day lives. After all, we’re humans, not robots. So, think about how you want to make your life better by thinking about how to spend your breaks better.
If you want that temporary surge of dopamine, go and scroll through your social media or binge-watch some series. But if it’s the mental improvement you’re looking for, creating hobbies is the start.
You can also supplement your hobbies with Neuro Energy & Focus gum and mints. With nothing but functional ingredients, this product will help you focus the whole day, whether you’re doing work or play - or both.
Hero Image by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash