A Hobby Is Not Just A Horse

Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or the busiest of industry tycoons, we are all subject to overload. Physical and emotional burnout is one of the most significant causes of lost productivity. It may seem counterintuitive to add one more task to what is perceived as an already bloated schedule, but there are significant life benefits to having a hobby.

First and foremost it is a stress buster. When we are doing our day-to-day activities we become wrapped up in the overall outcome of out efforts. Whatever the job may be it is human nature to first look back at the task we have just completed and evaluate it to see if the completed task was sufficient to me the goals set out to be accomplished. Next we then worry how our current effort will affect the next demand placed on our resources. It would seem that a person is constantly living in three places at once the past, the present, and the future. How can you ever be content with yourself if you never see a task as complete? A hobby allows you to become focused in the present only. As one becomes engrossed in their hobby, they become so centered that they are able to relieve the stress of past or future worry.

One of the major complaints we have with ourselves is that we are boring. I go to work and I come home, same old same old. By becoming more and more focused on our jobs and responsibilities we become narrow and one-dimensional. A hobby provides us with the opportunity to develop in other directions thus opening our personal horizons to new facets of life. It allows us to meet new people with similar hobby interests to our own. We can begin to experience and see new avenues of thought and creativity. This allows us to approach our day-to-day with fresh perspectives and ideas for succeeding in our goals.

Hobbies can lead you to new opportunities, which can lead you to personal growth in your current routine duties. You can experiment with doing a task multiple ways when you are performing your hobby a failure here is no catastrophe, but a success has the potential to teach you new directions to accomplish your goals in faster and more efficient ways.

How many times have you asked yourself, why does no one appreciate my efforts. As the seemingly endless repetition of your job requirements drags on and on with out accolade it becomes easy to develop self-loathing and a loss of self-worth. This in turn sucks the very joy of life out of you faster than an emotional vampire. A successful hobby can provide a sense of ongoing accomplishment and improved self-esteem. Again this can significantly improve you routine work outcomes, as you are able to engage in your work a day tasks without dread. Self-confidence is a key to success in any endeavor. As you begin to exhibit this trait others will come to appreciate what you bring to the table of life.

Hobbles are more than just stress relievers, they can be lifesavers. Studies have shown time and again that having a hobby or even more than one hobby can improve your life. There are endorphin releases, which improve mode. People with extracurricular activities experience decreased blood pressure. They have improved immune responses and are better able to fight off minor illnesses.

No less a person than Sir Winston Churchill once said:

“Broadly speaking, human beings may be divided into three classes: those who are toiled to death, those who are worried to death and those who are bored to death.”

To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must all be real. It is no use starting late in life to say: “I will take an interest in this or that.” Such an attempt only aggravates the strain of mental effort.”

Throw yourself in and get a hobby, give your self-permission to enjoy. It is OK to do something you want to do instead of always what you have to do. As you expand your life with hobbies do not be surprised to find that your already full cup now seems less full and ready for a top up.



How To Be A Good Leader

Leaders are responsible for individuals, teams, projects and products.  Giving reputable insight on leadership skills, Forbes cites several qualities and values in successful leaders.

Honesty and ethical behavior are key values.  Employees are a reflection of their leader; honest and ethical behavior will surface as employees mirror their leaders.

Ability to Delegate is a quality that every successful leader must possess. Trusting you team to carry out your vision is crucial. Capitalizing on each member’s strengths and interests will make them more productive as they will enjoy what they’re doing.  With more free time created by delegating, a leader can focus on higher-level activities.

Are “good communicator and successful leader” synonymous?  Absolutely!  The ability to clearly and succinctly articulate your vision and the steps necessary to achieve the goals is imperative in leadership.  Team members, according to their ability, have to have clear, precise instruction as to what the big picture is going to be.  The leader already has this picture:  it’s his dream.  Remember that team members are not mind readers!  Communication is a two-way street:  a good leader must be an excellent listener as well!  Understanding the needs and obstacles of the team not only improves morale, but can often lead to solutions.

Repeated time and time again in the literature: Morale is linked to productivity.  Good leaders have a sense of humor, an ability to inspire and motivate, and exude positive energy. A happy and healthy workspace is just that: Relaxed and produces growth.

Have you ever seen a person in a leadership position who was not confident in their abilities?  Were they a good leader?  Probably not.  Successful leaders have to be confident in their ability to take charge, and their knowledge of the task to be completed.  Team members mirror their leader:  if a leader or manager is not confident, his team will surely not be either. Conversely, arrogant, know-it-all, narrow-minded people in leadership positions earn no respect and do not foster productivity amongst the team.

Are good leaders committed to the cause?  Absolutely!  Commitment is integral to high productivity.  Committed teams are more likely to go above and beyond, and to do whatever it takes to get the job done.  Once again, a team mirrors the leader.  A lackadaisical leader will lead an unproductive team.

Successful leaders are also creative, seeking many routes or solutions to conquer the job at hand.  Creativity spawns problem-solving.

The Holden Leadership Institute at the University of Oregon highlights several other qualities unique to great leaders.  Being “proactive versus reactive” is one key ingredient!  Having the ability to think ahead and anticipate issues helps avoid problems.  Managers who simply react are not in control of their milieu.

Understanding what motivates each team member (and the rewards therein) is extremely important for leaders. Everyone is motivated by something different. Finding that perfect combination of a motivating factor with a like reward is crucial to retaining talent and fostering productivity within members of a team.

Lastly, good managers must be comfortable setting boundaries and being consistent.  Favoritism has no place on a team, and all actions have consequences.

Which of these do you possess?




Importance of networking: The Why, When, Where, Benefits & Mistakes


Networking is defined as the use of personal contacts to aid in a job search or even career advancement.

Contacts can ranger from personal to professionals you’ve only met once.  Starting with those whom you know the best is typically results in somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody.  Networking is simply using humans to create bridges to places you want to go or positions you want to hold. Studies reveal that about 70% of hires result from the human connection, or networking.

Employers also report that they prefer to interview a candidate who has been referred by a friend, employee, or co-worker.   Networking saves companies thousands of dollars in headhunting fees, agency fees, and ads.  Many jobs never make it to the newspaper ad sections, the online job banks or even to a search agency; they are filled by the results of networking.

The old adage of “It’s who you know, not what you know” proves true in many cases.

When and where do I network?  All the time and everywhere!  Even if you are happy in your current job position, it is always beneficial to widen your professional circle of contacts.  Experts state that the fastest method of garnering knowledge and real-life experience is from other people. Networking puts people together, fostering a mutually beneficial environment.

Beyond the water cooler, joining professional associations, local alumni clubs, church groups, and even parent teacher organizations are great places to start the networking process. And, networking needs to be an active verb, a life-long journey – definitely not a destination.

An individual who excels at the art of networking possesses the following characteristics:  Attention to appearance/ well-dressed/ neat/ clean; ALWAYS has clean business cards, polite, grateful, positive and upbeat, eager to praise and pass along praise heard from others.  Moreover, an excellent networker keeps in touch at all times– not just during downturns or bad times.  Finally, the networker is always quick to write a thank you note, or return a phone call.  Written notes and business cards are considered tangible rewards and have a lasting effect.


Is networking always done in person?  No.  While face-to-face connection is always the best, time constraints and geographical limitations at time preclude this type of interaction.  Realistically, a combination of both real life and online connection is the best.


5 Things a Social Media Manager Does Before Arriving To Work

  1. Before even getting out of bed, a social media manager is likely to open up all social media apps and check the various platforms for any engagement or updates that could have happened while sleeping.
  2. While eating breakfast, a social media manager will probably scan the Internet for any recent articles discussing new social media breakthroughs and trends.
  3. After finding an article on how Facebook changed an algorithm again, the social media manager will curse under their breath and plan on meeting with the digital marketing team to work through yet another changed algorithm.
  4. On their way to work, a social media manager will check their emails, hesitating to learn what new incredible idea their client has come up with this time, and how can we talk them down.
  5. And finally, a social media manager will put on their game face, fully knowing that social media changes hourly and preparation is key.