Sunday, July 27, 2014

July Ponderings on September Projects

Do you have a hobby? I hope so! Having a hobby can make a big difference to your creativity for work, even if it is completely unrelated to what you do for a living.

Here is a blog post I wrote a while back for Artisan Creative:

You Need a Hobby
Remember when I gave you some advice about how to ask for a raise? Well, I took my own advice and it worked!

And so, because of the way my life is structured, soon I will have a little more time to spend on my hobbies. You say, why aren’t you spending all that extra time on work? Guess what—I am!
Creatives, like you and me, need to spend some time on creative activities just for themselves to replenish their energy and keep them on the cutting edge.
A hobby is wonderful way of jumpstarting your creativity for your work, as well as offering personal rewards. But once you have carved out some time to “play,” it can be hard to decide what exactly you should do. Here is where a hobby comes in.
Whatever you do for fun outside of work is a hobby; be it collecting, visual or performing arts, craft activities, athletics or cooking, they all require creativity for success. Some of the skills you use in your hobby can enhance your skills in your work, too, like small motor control or doing research.
The other important element a hobby brings to work, though, is the energy we gain from taking a break and doing something that we are passionate about. We’ve talked on the Artisan Blog before about how to be at your most productive all day and taking breaks is essential to that productivity. What we do with those breaks, though, determines how valuable they are. If I take a break from writing a blog to read on my computer, well, that’s not much of a break, is it? Doesn’t rev me back up to finish the post. But twenty minutes of one of my hobbies will help me think of the conclusion, wake me up if I’m in a slump and get my afternoon’s work done more efficiently every time.
A Twitter Follower was having trouble getting down to work the other day and asked the Twitterverse, “What can I do to be more productive today?” My answer: “Counterintuitive, but take a break with a definite end.” If I had more characters, I would have added “and do something you love for a little while.”
What is your hobby? We would love to hear about and how your avocation it helps you do better in your vocation! And if you don’t have one, go get one! Hey, I’ll teach anyone to knit!
Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative
I just came back inside from a trip to my yarn stash in the garage with a clearer idea of the materials I have to choose from for a new sweater to be done by September 19th, when my daughter once again goes to Choir Camp for the weekend. I did this same thing last summer, hoping I would go along and need a wooly sweater in the mountain air. Last year I didn't go, though, and there's no knowing whether I will get to this time, but just in case, I would like another new fall handknit to keep me (or the kid) warm and toasty. Of course, right now it's 100 degrees out and the idea of actually putting on a wooly sweater is anathema, but September is fast approaching and stripes are calling out to me. What shall I choose?

I'll let you know as soon as I decide! Have a great rest of the weekend!

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