These Hobbies Can Make You More Productive

by Raven Ishak

Most people have a hobby that they love to do. And for the majority of these people, a hobby is something that helps us unwind after a long day, and can bring us happiness and relaxation when things get tough. While there are plenty of hobbies to choose from, there are a handful in particular that will give your brain an extra lift to make you smarter, happier, and more productive. Whether you want something that will relax you or something that will boost your energy levels, there's a hobby out there for you that can also help you feel more on top of things in your life.

Hobbies are really the greatest thing ever when you think about how much happiness they can bring to your life. They may define who you are as a person or allow you to bond with others in ways you might not be able to otherwise. Personally, I have too many hobbies to count. I try to cook (without burning the house down, of course), I read whenever I get the chance to, I love to play video games (especially with my boyfriend — because I usually beat him in Mario Kart), and I love taking photographs. I wouldn't give up any of my hobbies for the world, because they make me who I am and add so much joy to my life. All in all, I believe that hobbies can make you grounded and really round out the type of person you are. But would you have guessed that those favorite little past times can actually make you happier and more productive? Here are six hobbies that can do just that.

1. Cooking

This hobby opens the world for you to try something new and gain new experiences. For a lot of people, cooking might seem intimidating, but in reality, it's a great stepping stone to exploring the unknown. Plus — it saves you money that you would have spent ordering in. Also, if a disaster were to happen and you did have to opt for takeout (ahem, burnt chicken that you might have forgotten about in the oven) you learn how to roll with the punches and try to fix situations.

2. Reading

Reading is probably one of the best hobbies you can do. It expands your mind and your imagination. According to a Simply Hired article about ways hobbies can make you better at your job, reading novels helps you become more empathetic. This is great for your job because it will allow you to be more understanding to unfortunate situations and to your coworkers.

3. Yoga

Whether you do yoga outside of your cubicle or you decide to do breathing exercises at your desk, either way, you are doing techniques that will help you be more productive. According to Career Realism, by doing breathing exercises at your desk, you are having the ability to feel calmer, more grounded, and energized. That's a three for one we will take any day of the week.

4. Playing Video Games

Whether you want to believe it or not, playing video games actually is very beneficial for you, especially if you are playing with other people. It promotes teamwork and games that take your mind off of your day-to-day stresses is actually a great way to decompress (but you probably know that already because of Candy Crush). According to an Entrepreneur article that references a 2013 study, video games that are categorized under "strategy games" can improve your cognitive flexibility — essentially your decision making in real time. This will help with your workflow and making hard decisions during your office hours.

5. Hiking Or Running

While I am not for one to simply "go for a run," I am all about doing things that improve my life and energy levels. Excising has so many benefits that I would have to write a completely different article about it, but when it comes to being more productive, the effects of a workout are actually quite astounding. According to a Livestrong article about how exercising can improve your productivity, one of the best ways is by keeping you alert and your energy high. You become more alert because the flow of blood that is being increased toward your brain is actually making you more alert.

6. Playing An Instrument

Did you ever think your favorite musical pastime might actually make you smarter? Turns out it actually can give you a brain boost. According to a Examined Existence article that references a 2011 study that was published in the Journal of Advances in Clinical Psychology, third graders who were learning to play an instrument exhibited higher IQs. This also includes that people had gotten better when it came to math ability, verbal memory, reading skills, spatial-temporal skills.

Although hobbies can make you relax and help you enjoy the little things, it's also great to know that they are expanding your mind in more ways than one. So don't think the next time you are doing one of your favorite hobbies that you are actually wasting time. Instead, think of it like you are doing a task that will make you more productive and smarter in the long run. If it makes sense to science, it makes sense to us.

Images: Giphy (6); Pexels