2020 is time to Take up one new hobby.

2020 is time to Take up one new hobby.

Trust me; I know how hard this one can be. When you’re in the early stages of getting your company up and running -- heck, even when you’re 15 years in -- it can be excruciating to entertain the idea of having a personal life. But you need to: It’s good not only for your mental, physical and emotional health, but also for the health of your business. Hustle leads to burnout. Workaholism stifles your imagination, keeps you from seeing outside the box and results in poor productivity -- and the future business success of your company. 

Having hobbies and interests outside of your industry and your job keeps you creative, innovative and, perhaps most important, gives your brain and body a chance to de-stress and focus on something different. To set this goal, focus on just one activity you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe it’s something you used to do as a kid, or that just sounds a little out of your usual routine. Think gardening, listening to music, painting or drawing, cooking or photography -- all of which are associated with improved mental health

There are real-time associations between engaging in leisure activities and daily health and well-being. According to research from Harvard Health, hobbies can offer immediate stress relief by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, which research shows have benefits such as improved focus, less overall stress, happiness and long life.

Having a life outside work also benefits you back at the office, too. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology reports that having a creative hobby leads to better work quality, including project creativity and an upbeat attitude. The study notes that large organizations, such as Zappos, take advantage of this research by encouraging employees to bring their artwork to work to decorate their offices. Help yourself meet your goal by helping your staff do the same. Offer memberships to art studios or creative-writing resources or provide access to musical instruments.

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