In these unprecedented times, many people find themselves with a bit more free time on their hands. Rather than scrolling through social media or binge-watching Netflix shows, why not use this time to pick up a new hobby? Mark Zuckerberg himself said that engaging in hobbies outside of work makes you better at your job. Here are 5 hobbies that can make you a better employee.

1. Reading

Reading is a great way to pass the time. The most impactful stories in human history have been written down in books. Books take you to different worlds and in different shoes, giving you a wealth of experience and fun.

More practically, reading improves your writing skills and communication skills. By reading regularly, you’ll be exposed to different writing styles and techniques that you can then incorporate into your own writing. What’s more, reading can also help to improve your concentration and focus, both of which are essential for productivity in the workplace. If you’re looking for a way to sharpen your written communication skills, pick up a book and start reading!

2. Gardening

Gardening is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, but it can also teach you some important lessons that can be applied in the workplace. For starters, gardening requires patience and planning. These two qualities are essential for any successful project. Additionally, gardening can also help to develop your problem-solving skills as you troubleshoot issues like pests or poor drainage. It also teaches you to be careful with your actions. Consider taking up gardening to improve your project management skills.

3. Taking an online course

Another benefit of taking up a new hobby is that it makes you more well-rounded as an individual and as an employee. If your hobbies and interests are diverse, chances are your skill set is too. In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever to continuously learn and update your skill set. By taking an online course in something that interests you, not only will you be able to learn something new, but you’ll also be able to show employers that you’re serious about professional development. You also become more adaptable and resilient in times of change. After all, if you’re used to trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone, change shouldn’t be anything to fear. Taking courses makes you more open-minded and eager to learn, two traits that will always be valued in any workplace. Lastly, many online courses offer certification upon completion, which can give you a leg up when applying for jobs or promotions. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your resume and stand out from the competition, consider taking an online course!

4. Playing Music

Playing music can make you a more productive employee for several reasons. First, playing music can help to improve your focus and concentration. This is because music can help to block out distractions and create a calm and distraction-free environment, especially when you are playing calming music. Second, playing music can help to reduce stress levels. When you’re stressed, it’s difficult to focus on anything else but your stressors. By playing calming music, you can lower your stress levels.

Some instruments are harder to learn than others, so you might need more motivation to learn them. Still, it is important to choose an instrument that you enjoy hearing. For most people, the piano is the best first instrument; it sounds amazing, you can play almost any song on it, and learning it is easy, especially with a great piano teacher.

Person Playing Brown Guitar

5. Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while also developing important workplace skills. When volunteering, you’ll likely have to work with people from all walks of life, which can help to develop your interpersonal skills. Additionally, volunteering often requires working on tight deadlines and budgets — two challenges that are common in the workplace. Volunteering itself feels like a job, but is more rewarding mentally and spiritually.

6. Learning a new language

Learning a new language may seem like a daunting task, but it can actually be quite rewarding both personally and professionally. Being bilingual or multilingual shows employers that you’re adaptable and capable of working with people from all backgrounds. Additionally, learning a new language can help improve your memory and multitasking skills, both of which are essential in the workplace. Learning a new language actually gives you a unique perspective into that language speakers’ culture, since most languages evolve in response to a population’s culture. It’s a great hobby that will pay off well in the workplace and on vacation!

Conclusion

These hobbies aren’t just fun; they can actually make you a better employee. By picking up one (or more) of these hobbies, you’ll be developing essential skills like patience, problem-solving, interpersonal communication, and time management. Taking up a new hobby is a great way to improve your performance at work and your life in general! Start a new one today and feel the difference.

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