If your weeknights are a little boring these days, it might be time to get hobby-happy.
You know how important it is to switch off from your job after you leave the office. You know you’re not supposed to check your emails or take client calls, and that you should be exercising. You know your productivity at work depends on your ability to relax and regenerate in the evenings. No phone before bed, right? Yes, you know all of this and while it sounds great in theory, it’s a lot easier said than done. You’re going to need a positive distraction to help you.
The answer? A hobby.
Hobbies help break up the ‘work, eat, sleep, repeat’ cycle that tries to take over our lives. Stimulating your brain and body outside might even make your more successful. According to BusinessInsider, a lot of highly successful people swear by theirs; Richard Branson plays chess, Marissa Mayer bakes and Tom Hanks… collects typewriters. If you’re not sure what interests you, here are 7 free ideas you could try:
1. Learn a language
There a number of different courses available on line to help you learn a new language; a simple Google search will bring up a number of resources, like this one from the BBC. Learning a new language requires patience, tolerance and hard work. Even just half an hour per night is enough to get you started. Pick a country you’d perhaps like to visit or work in one day, and go for it! Becoming bilingual will open more doors that you could imagine.
2. Start a new book
Ask your friends and colleagues if they have any recommendations for great books, head to the New York Times bestsellers list or visit your local library to find a new read. Books provide alternate realities to get lost in and will help you escape for a bit each day. The beauty with books is that you can take them in your hand bag or brief case and whip it out when you have 15 minutes up your sleeve.
3. Learn to cook
Most people love going out for food – eating is fun and well, tasty. Why not try to master a dish you love, but only ever order when you’re out at a restaurant? Why not pick a great recipe book and make your way through each page over a couple of months? Cooking up mini projects will be fulfilling when you get it right and you’ll reap the rewards of your own efforts, as will the people you live with.
4. Start a blog
A blog is a great opportunity to express your opinion on certain topics as well as share your expertise. Writing can be very therapeutic and can also help you organise your thoughts. The final pieces you create and publish become a useful portfolio for you as well.
5. Run for charity
Instead of just joining a gym and forcing yourself to a class every now and then, why not sign up for a charity run? Having an end goal will help you prioritise regular training, and knowing you’re doing something for a good cause will also make you feel positive about yourself.
6. Get crafty
If you’re looking for something a little less strenuous, perhaps try your hand at a new craft. A Beautiful Mess has compiles a great list of ideas of things you can make with your bare hands and a few materials. Take a look around your home for inspiration – does your couch need some pillows? Sew some. Does your window look a little bare? Make some decorations. Bit cold? Knit a scarf.
Focussing your energy into something other than work and TV in the evenings might be exactly what you need to add a bit of colour to your working week! Any other ideaS? Let us know in the comments below!