The best leaders have hobbies. Personally, I have found that the more I can invest into my hobbies outside of work, the better I show up at work. My hobbies include weight lifting and cooking, but yours could be anything. Whatever brings you enjoyment, go for it! Let me share with you a few reasons why you need a hobby to be an effective leader.
1. It gives you something else to think about
Ever had to make a big decision and someone told you to "sleep on it?" To me, having a hobby is the exact same concept when it comes to management. It's so easy to become consumed with our work and especially when we have a team to consider as well. Having a hobby to pour energy into will give your brain that mental break it needs to come back refreshed, revitalized, and ready to conquer the workday.
2. It gives you a reason to disconnect
There's no doubt that the life of a manager is a busy one. Between meetings, one-on-ones, projects, personnel concerns and everything in between, you might not even have time to take 15 minutes to eat your lunch without interruption. With all that craziness spinning around you, it's extremely easy to fall victim to the perpetual "just 5 more minutes and then I'll go home" trap that keeps you in the office a couple hours past 5pm. Having something to look forward to when you are off work can push you to wrap up what you're doing and get out the door!
3. It prevents burnout
If you spent all of your time focusing on work, not only will you burn out, but I can tell you honestly that you will not be a leader people want to work for. As a manager, you are setting the tone for your team. They are looking directly at you to determine what success looks like. If you are working at all hours of the day, your team will feel as though they need to do the same and eventually they will burn out too. But if you make having fun and enjoying your hobby outside of work a priority, your team will feel the freedom to do the same. The last thing you want is for you to burn out only for your team to follow in your footsteps.
4. It makes you a better you
My hobbies have taught me so much about leadership that I never would have expected. Through weight lifting, I have learned first hand the importance of patience, how discipline can help us stay the course, and that cheering people on can help them to do things they never thought possible. Your hobby, no matter how crazy it is, will teach you important lessons you can and should bring into the office.
Whatever your hobby is, get out there and have some fun!
So what's your hobby? How do you like to disconnect from work? What lessons have your hobbies taught you? Comment below - I'm dying to know!