You know the saying: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” However, the second part of this proverb is lesser-know: “All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.” It’s perfectly natural to want to escape from work and enjoy your hobbies — just make sure you don’t shirk your responsibilities at work.
Finding the balance between work and play should not be as difficult as it is. Unfortunately, many people have trouble choosing between work time and hobby time, especially if they have a family to care for or other major responsibilities outside working hours. Despite its difficulty, it is possible to maintain an engaging hobby without sacrificing your work time.
Set Aside “Me-Time” Each Day
Take advantage of breaks in your day to unwind and take care of yourself. Focusing on work-related tasks for eight hours straight does no one any good — your employer won’t get the best work from you because you’re too drained to give your best. Setting aside time for yourself actually helps the company.
Every two hours, set aside ten to fifteen minutes where you can do your own thing, such as knitting or drawing. During your lunch break, take 30 minutes to go for a run or ride your bike. Whatever your hobby is, find the time to do it. Your hobbies are what make you happy — so if you do something that makes you happy during your work day, you’ll be in better spirits in the office.
Balance Your Workloads
Some people work at a desk for eight hours a day. Other people may do heavy lifting or repair work instead. Whatever your workload entails, find a hobby that complements your work.
Someone who fills out numerous papers might find exercise-related hobbies enjoyable. It provides stimulation that would not be achieved in the office. Inversely, someone who is running around non-stop day after day may want to just unwind by reading a book or solving logic puzzles.
It’s good to add variety to your life. Staying active physically and mentally is the best way to stay healthy and happy.
Maintain Hobbies Outside the Office
While breaks should be taken during your workday, keep in mind that you are getting paid to complete whatever tasks you have been assigned for the day. Your main focus at work should be your work. Although you can do some smaller, less time-intensive hobbies during your break, you should keep the majority of your hobbies outside of the office.
Create a schedule that gives you a timeslot for your hobbies. It may seem odd to schedule “hobby time” into your day, but by doing this you’re guaranteeing you have the time to take part in your hobby. Think of it the same way you think of a budget — just like you set aside money your savings, you’re setting aside time for your enjoyment.
It’s important to keep your work at work. No matter how behind you may feel in the office, don’t let this work take over your hobby time. If you don’t have the time to do the things you enjoy, you’re going to be a pretty unhappy person.
Share Your Hobbies
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys being with friends and family, pick up a hobby that multiple people can do. This is especially important for those who have a spouse and children — you want to include these important people in your life!
Many active hobbies, such as kayaking or rock-climbing, are more enjoyable with a group of people. Cooking classes are another option for those who don’t want a highly physical hobby. Even something as simple as origami can be taught to multiple people.
You can get your co-workers involved in these group hobbies as well. For example, if enough of you get interested in a local charity, there’s a good chance that you can get permission from your employer to do this charity work from the office. Many companies encourage their employees to volunteer within the community.
Maintain the Balance to Be Productive
It’s important to have a good balance between work and play. There is no reason for not maintaining your hobbies while having a full-time job. Take the time from your work to take care of yourself, and keep up the hobbies outside of the office. By having these hobbies, you’re making yourself a happier, more productive worker.