We know that playing is good for young children. We encourage them play, solve fun puzzles, and use their imagination. It’s an important part of growing up and learning to think for themselves. It’s also a great way to encourage creative thinking. The good news is that kids aren’t the only ones who will benefit from playing and spending time on hobbies. There’s no cut-off date when we no longer benefit from those leisurely pursuits.
Society tries to tell us that taking out time to play, craft, play a sport, learn a language, play an instrument, and other ways of having fun with others is a waste of time for adults. As it turns out, society is wrong. Taking the time to have fun and doing something completely different from what you do for a living is very beneficial.
We’ve talked at length how creative thinking works and how we need lots of different ideas and experiences to give our minds something to work with. It turns out that playing is the perfect way to do that. Those hobbies you have may be very different from your day job and that’s a good thing. They give you more data and help your brain come up with creative ideas by making connections between seemingly unrelated things.
To get better at creative thinking, make time for hobbies and play. Come back to some things you enjoyed before you decided you didn’t have time for hobbies anymore. Try something new and see if you like it. Find some enjoyable things to do in your spare time. This will be time much better spent than catching up on work after hours or flopping down in front of the TV.
Don’t pick a hobby because it seems particularly enriching. Pick something that seems like fun. Take the pressure off yourself. Think back to our earlier post about giving the mind a rest. A hobby or even spending a couple of hours playing a video game or goofing off with the kids isn’t a waste of time. It’s a great way to give your mind a rest and create some very different syntactical connections in your brain.
The fact that you’re having fun and relaxing is an added bonus. That will help with you attitude and positivity. In the end, you’ll come back to work the next day in a much better frame of mind, more rested, and with a mind bursting full of creative ideas. Try and it and see for yourself. Most importantly make the time to go out and play. Pick up those favorite hobbies again, and don’t be afraid to try something new.