Why you need to get a hobby... and no, Netflix doesn't count.

Printed Mint is introducing its employees to new leisure activities... It's time for you to get in on it too

Fifteen production specialists stepped away from their work stations over lunch to talk about indoor plants. When to water them, where to buy them, and how to give them optimal lighting. They observed bags of soil while Hudson, one of Printed Mint’s print specialists, described his experience with plants and offered advice.

Of course, Printed Mint’s windowless warehouse is one of the furthest things from a greenhouse. But  Hudson’s plant forum represents a new initiative at PM to encourage a range of interests outside of work. In the coming months, employees will take turns sharing about everything from football to healthy eating.

“We developed Friday Forums because we wanted to make an opportunity for an interesting lunch hour during Arizona’s hot summer months,” Maureen Webb, the visionary behind Friday Forums, said. “We saw a lot of our staff stay inside the break room during lunch, so we wanted to make an opportunity for staff to get to know each other, have fun and learn about new hobbies.”

To clarify, a hobby is an activity that you do in your free time. It’s different from passive leisure activities, like watching TV,  because it requires active thinking and participation.

Adding a hobby to your already packed schedule may seem daunting, or even unfathomable, but studies have shown that its benefits dramatically outweigh its costs.

“Having a hobby breaks up the monotony of the day,” Hudson said of his indoor garden. “You go to your 9-5 to pay the bills, but you also make that money for other reasons. You might as well spend it on something you enjoy.”

Hobbies require more effort than binge-watching Netflix, but they provide a better outlet from work. According to psychologist and counselor Elizabeth Scott, hobbies can prevent burnout, provide a social outlet, and allow us to take a break that feels productive. 

“People with full, busy, even stressful lives may need hobbies more than the average person, and benefit greatly from having hobbies in their lives,” Scott wrote for “Hobbies bring many benefits that usually make them more than worth the time they require” 

So.. with all of these benefits, how do you get started?

tips for developing your hobbies: 

1. Pick an activity

Think about activities you’ve always wanted to try. Now is your chance to finally dive in and take a stab at learning how to play an instrument, mastering a sport, or baking that new recipe. If you’re struggling to come up with something, try asking friends and family what they do for fun. Taking up a mutual activity will help deepen your relationship and give you a point of reference for your chosen hobby.

2. Start Small

Adding another “thing” to your to-do list can be overwhelming, especially for entrepreneurs, but your hobby doesn’t have to be ultra time-consuming. Start out by playing pickleball once a week or strumming your guitar for 15 minutes a day. As you improve, you’ll naturally begin to invest more time into your hobby.

3. Make time!

The best way to make time for something is to schedule it in! I know the idea of scheduling free time sounds repulsive, but schedules provide accountability. If you have to get to your kickboxing class during the evening, you’ll probably clean the house, cook dinner, and finish up work much more efficiently than you would have otherwise.

Attention: Christmas eve has been moved to July this year.
Okay.... Not officially. But we ARE officially closer to next Christmas than last Christmas. That means it's time for Christmas in July!

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