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Sep 26, 201211:12 AMAfter Hours

with Jody Glynn Patrick

What do YOU do when you aren’t doing what you do?

I am so enjoying writing about people’s hobbies for the magazine. Learning about what people do in their “free” or “spare” time is not only revealing, but it also shows that successful people aren’t just driven to go-go-go at work at the expense of friends, family, and hobby passions. The most successful people, I’ve found, manage to balance and blend many interests.

Pursuing bliss is important. It helps remind us that we are not 100% defined by a job or what we “do,” and hobbies also can reveal to us that we are valued for what we love or have a natural talent for doing. Another bonus – doing fun things activates the brain’s nucleus accumbens area, which controls how we feel about life. When you completely submerge yourself in a joyous activity, you enter a rejuvenating “flow state.” During that state, you tend to lose track of time, but your concentration and energy levels get a great reboot.

When interviewing business professionals about their avocations, I always ask how they find time to do it, given their other obligations. A common answer is that they see a connection between the skills they learn while doing their hobby and their work performance. In other words, their “off” time benefits their “on the job” time.

Many pursue hobbies that they can do with friends or a cohort, like backpacking or refurbishing antique cars, which adds a social component. Meanwhile, those who have plenty of socialization at work, thank you, might prefer solitary hobbies (for example, I enjoy tombstone photography and solo art projects over golf or entertaining).

Since starting this new hobby series in the pages of The Business Report, I’ve been told that people pursue hobbies as a remedy for fatigue and boredom, as a chance to connect with self or others, as an intrinsic source of pleasure, as an alternative career option (developing one skill and buying supplies while otherwise employed), and/or as a way to shine a light on a talent. Some take up a hobby to be reminded of a more nostalgic time, and others do it to make a unique gift for someone that is an expression of their inner soul or art.

So what’s your hobby and why do you do it? Email me (jody@ibmadison.com) if you’d like it considered for an upcoming issue of In Business!

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About This Blog

IB Publisher Emeritus Jody Glynn Patrick blends work and life in this very clear departure from her other writing for In Business magazine. Awarded national recognition for both her previous work as a newspaper columnist and her journalistic leadership at IB, she brings us all back "Closer to Home" with her insights and remembrances. A nice place to be "After Hours." Check back often!

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