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Having a passion outside of work will help boost your performance at work. It will also increase your confidence, make you more resilient and more.

For many people, work is life. Many of us spend more than 40-hours each week immersed in the work we’re doing. It gives us purpose, fulfillment, friendships, and sometimes even fun. But even if your work does all these things, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Here’s why not having an interest or passion outside of work can be a bad thing.

Work Isn’t Everything

There’s science out there that shows having a hobby outside work is a really beneficial way to spend your time. Here are some examples to consider:

  • Research shows having a hobby outside work can make you 15 to 30% better at your job. Creativity outside the office is a great benefit for your employer. The research wasn’t even that specific, citing anything from knitting to painting as enough of a creative outlet to make you better at work.
  • One study showed having a hobby outside work will make you more confident on the job. Researchers found that our passion in pursuing an activity regularly outside work helped them have the courage to overcome challenges in other areas. The more time you spend on a hobby, the stronger and more confident you feel. But there is a catch. The hobby must be different from your work or it doesn’t have the same confidence-building effect.
  • There is also a school of thought that suggests certain types of hobbies can boost your brain power. From reading to playing music to even just exercise; all of it can improve your intelligence. Even playing video games can help with your ability to make split-second decisions that build your mental capabilities.

Inc. reports that having a hobby outside work can also act as a kind of medication or mindfulness practice. Hobbies help you focus in on the present activity in front of you, whether it’s a crossword puzzle or working in your garden. It’s a kind of stress-reducing activity that is the opposite of worrying about a project deliverable or planning ahead for a work meeting. Focusing on something outside the daily grind is a way to refresh your mind and body and reinvigorate it after a long, possibly stressful day. One New Zealand study showed a lift in mood or wellbeing that lasts up until the next day after spending an evening working on something other than work. The study cited songwriting, creative writing, crochet, knitting, visual art, and musical performance as creative projects that caused this effect.

The bottom line is that there are all kinds of hobbies and activities to take on after the job is over. Many of them can benefit you and your employer. Having a hobby is a good way to unwind from the daily stresses of the job, learn new skills, and maybe even bring those skills back to work every day.

But what if your job doesn’t give you the kind of work/life balance you need to take on a new hobby or pursue an activity you enjoy? If this happens, it might be time to have a conversation with an IES recruiter. We can help you achieve your career goals. Contact our team today to find out more.

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