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Hobby Month: Why it's important to have a hobby

It's January and a new decade. What better time to start a new hobby. And no, I don't mean binge watching a new series on Netflix (although all of us are tempted).

It is far better to have a productive hobby that will be a stress reliever, stimulate the mind and allow you to take a break from work. Cooking, knitting or playing guitar for example. Did you know that six minutes of reading can help to reduce stress levels by two-thirds? Reading also improves memory and empathy.

Hobbies are so important, especially if you work from home, because you take your eyes away from screens, experience social interaction and possibly have a change of environment.

Studies have shown that hobbies can increase productivity at work by providing a boost in morale as you'll have taken time out to do something you enjoy and having a hobby allows for better time management as you would attempt to complete all tasks beforehand.

Exercise certainly leads to greater productivity as your body and mind become re-energised. So if you don't mind the early starts, you should exercise in the morning to power up your brain throughout the day. Running is fantastic because it relieves stress and releases endorphins known as a 'runners high'. It also improves psychological functioning and focus, two things essential to productivity at work.

Learning new skills can make you more confident at work. This is especially true if your hobby is a creative one. Creative hobbies have been shown to enhance performance and problem-solving abilities. I love singing so I have just joined a new choir in Bournemouth. Think about what you're passionate about that isn't work related. You never know, a hobby could turn into a career...

Here are some of the more productive hobbies that you could take up:

So get out there and find a new, fun hobby for 2020!

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