Part of the joy of hobbies can be that they are unrelated to your work life. However, wouldn’t you like to feel a little less guilty about spending that third hour watching How I Met Your Mother reruns? Maybe that’s just me. Here are a few ways to learn helpful professional lessons from your hobbies, and to incorporate them into your work day.
The first thing you need to do is to think about connections between your hobbies and your job. Having a hard time connecting with coworkers? Watching TV has all kinds of pop culture credibility, which is useful for writers, creative types and basically anyone who wants to be more likable around the water cooler. Staying current on popular culture is also important for sales, advertising, or creative work. You will not only be better at making small talk, but also better at understanding the cultural conversation to which your company might be trying to contribute.
Playing sports can also make you a better employee. In addition to the nearly unlimited benefits of exercising regularly, playing sports can teach you important lessons about teamwork and goal setting. When you ran that marathon last year, you probably didn’t just wake up one morning and head to the starting line (unless you’re Barney Stinson—see, watching TV helped me write this post!) You had to set a long-term goal and build up to it slowly over a series of several weeks. Incorporate that experience into your work life, and push yourself in the same way you did for that goal. Practice the same kind of tolerance if things don’t go entirely as expected. When you play soccer with friends, you practice identifying different players’ strengths and weaknesses. You incorporate them into a cohesive strategy and understand that it takes all kinds to reach a goal (pun intended). Carry those experiences from your team interactions in the workplace—and then invite everyone over to watch the big game after you’ve completed a big project.
So, you’ve learned all these handy dandy lessons from your hobbies, now think about actually bringing them to the workplace. My mom really likes crafting hand-made greeting cards with rubber stamps and other nifty decorations. She works at a gym and brings her hobby to work to make motivational cards and posters for the club. Enjoy gardening? Bring cut flowers to work for decorations, or use your own customer loyalty at the local garden shop to score a great deal on landscaping for your company. No matter what your hobbies are, you can find a way to bring them to work in a productive way. Happy Hobbies!
What do you like to do in your free time? Tweet them to me- @ithinkther4iamb- and I’ll send you back an idea for incorporating that hobby into the workplace.