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Try a Different Hobby to Improve Job Performance

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

In Opposite World, "yes" means "no" and "no" means "yes." If you need a better explanation, ask a teenager.

The point is that some things are counter-intuitive, like hobbies that can improve your work. You would think that playing chess, for example, might help develop trial-strategy skills.

But it doesn't work like that. According to research, you should have hobbies that are completely the opposite of your work. Apparently, it's about balance.

Work-Life Balance

Everybody knows by now that you have to balance your work and your life to be healthy. "All work and no play makes...blah, blah, blah."

But hobbie-life balance is something new. When choosing a hobby, you should pick one that does NOT connect to your work life.

Kevin Eschelman, a psychology professor at San Francisco State University, says hobbies that are less like your job are better for it. Wait, what?

"Whatever the activity is that you're doing in your free time, it becomes incredibly more valuable if it is different from what you've been doing most recently in your work environment," he told Fast Company.

So if you are a criminal defense attorney, you should take up sleight-of-hand tricks? No, that would be too similar. So if you are crook, you should become a criminal attorney? No, that would be redundant.

Opposite Hobbies

So what then? Eschelman says hobbies should protect the resources and energy you need for work. Hobby time is a time to relax and refuel.

Like being a comedian; nothing is a better escape from the seriousness of work. Steve Johnson, an improv comedy guy, says it's a fun way to let go, too.

It's also perfect for lawyers who take themselves too seriously. Johnson teaches the "yes, and" skill to teach practitioners to talk to others and build on their ideas.

"You approach ideas with an ability to explore and heighten -- rather than question and parse," he says. Exactly -- the opposite of cross-examination.

Have an open position at your law firm? Post the job for free on Indeed, or search local candidate resumes.

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