The typical entrepreneur undoubtedly has their hands full. Between building a brand from the ground up, launching new products and creating interest in their company, it's a role that doesn't offer a lot of free time.
However, as many millennials are finding out, taking up a new hobby during this time is a great way to reclaim personal freedom, reduce day-to-day stress and put a little excitement back into your life.
A study out of San Francisco State University actually linked creative hobbies with increased work performance. The report, which polled more than 400 employees amongst two separate groups, indicated an increased aptitude for teamwork as well as overall creativity in participants who had a creative hobby.
These two traits, highly valued in today's business environment, are just some of the professional benefits of fostering hobbies outside of the office. Keep reading to learn the benefits of these five creative hobbies.
Pick up a musical instrument
Music is an art form that is celebrated in all corners of the world.
Whether you prefer pop music over classical or rock over rap is a matter of opinion, but recent studies have shown that the act of simply learning to play a musical instrument can actually increase your cognitive abilities, bolster your memory and even improve some of your other language skills.
Maybe now's the time to pick up those piano lessons you never quite finished in elementary school.
Take up the visual arts
Visual arts--including painting, sculpting, illustrating and photography--are a popular way to combat stress and let your creative juices flow. Even better, taking up some form of visual art can lead to increased problem-solving capabilities, enhanced connectivity between the hemispheres of your brain and even a stronger sense of self-esteem.
In this sense, it doesn't matter if others view your art as good or bad, as these terms are very subjective. All that matters is whether or not you enjoy the activity for yourself.
Exercise more regularly
Now, you may view exercise as more of a chore than a hobby. But even just fitting in a few days of exercise each week can have major cognitive benefits. A 2013 study from the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience shows that a regular and consistent exercise routine can actually bolster your capacity for divergent and convergent thinking; the two primary contributors to creative thinking in the human brain.
If you don't enjoy hitting they gym, consider going for regular outdoor jogs or getting into the routine of doing bodyweight exercises at home. Just doing what you can to change how you think about exercise can help you discover that you actually enjoy fitness as a hobby.
Although many are under the impression that meditation is reserved for religious practitioners, professionals from all walks of life, cultures and beliefs have recently begun seeing the benefits of meditation on their own. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, even used a form of Zen meditation which he believed help to ward off stress and jumpstart creativity.
Moreover, studies performed in 1992 on the Dalai Lama and numerous other Buddhist monks indicated actual change in both the structure and the functionality of their brains during times of deep meditation. Additional studies in 2002 backed up these findings.
Learn a new language
Learning a foreign language is more than a neat trick to impress your friends. While you may not realize it, a 2012 study showed better test scores in bilingual students than those who only speak their mother tongue.
The study, which was conducted at the University of Mashhad in Iran, ensured clear and consistent results by compensating for any outside influences, including students' IQs and socioeconomic standings.
Driving self-esteem, motivation and innovation through learning
For some, the thought of taking up a new hobby can be overwhelming. While some rely on the typical excuses to avoid new activities, proactive professionals and dedicated entrepreneurs tend to embrace the opportunity. Not only does the act of learning strengthen your general intelligence, but it can even lead to greater innovation on the job.