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 a 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, for Artisan Creative