When people say they are overloaded or cannot keep up with their todos, it is usually the result of taking on too much. Most of the time, I advise people that they need to “Say No” more often. Being able to “Say No” is key to avoiding being overcome by obligations others ask us to take on.
There is one exception… when it comes to saying no to yourself.
When the going gets rough and people start buckling down, they start saying no to themselves first. After all, saying no to others is hard, saying no to yourself is easy.
So, they begin denying themselves the things that keep them alive and energized. Leisure activities, sports, spending time with their family, are often the first things to go.
What is Your Hobby?
When people ask for advice because they are too busy at work, one of the first things I ask them is, “What is your hobby?” To which they respond, “Are you kidding? I don’t have time for a hobby!”
I tell them, “you don’t have time not to.” In fact, spending more time on yourself will result in more time and productivity at work.
Huh? How can spending time doing something else result in more time to get your work done? It does. It seems to go against the time management proverb of “get more done by doing less.” However, spending time on yourself results in more time and more focus in your other endeavours.
Finding Productivity in Leisure
So, how does working out or painting or reading, get more done? (Some people are ready to clip this now and show it to their boss…”You want that report done? I gotta go to the gym, stat!”)
People who are running ragged and cannot keep up with their commitments have often neglected themselves. You must keep your body and mind in top shape if you expect to perform at the top of your game.
Here are just a few of the benefits of having a hobby:
- Energizes You – A hobby brings you renewed energy and excitement. This will carry over to the rest of your activities.
- Provides New Creativity – I find that when you are doing your hobby it sparks your creativity. You are more likely to have creative breakthroughs. Solutions to problems you are facing will come to you.
- Prevents Burnout – We know that anything, even a machine, doing the same thing over-and-over will eventually burnout. If you do not take a break to refresh yourself, you too will burnout. Interestingly, this is also true in our personal lives. It is equally important for our home relationships to have an individual hobby.
- Personal Growth – We all need to keep growing both professionally and personally. I don’t care if your hobby is gardening, weightlifting, or reading, you will grow from it.
A Hobby is About Investing in You
Focusing too much on one thing and neglecting the things that renew us , will ultimately lead to failure.
Of course, we have all witnessed the person that concentrates so much on work that their personal life fails. And what happens next? Usually, their professional life suffers, as well.
Remember not to “Say No” to yourself. Invest in activities that lead to growth and renewal. Spend more time on yourself and you will have more productivity at work and all areas of your life.
It just works that way.