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How hobbies can improve your happiness and productivity at work

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Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon spends evenings with the turntables. Adena Friedman, CEO of Nasdaq, swears by Tae Kwon Do and told the BBC it serves as a great reminder that success is in her control.

Though time is a more precious resource than ever, many of today’s successful business leaders are onto something—the importance of setting aside time for hobbies. For my part, as CEO of JotForm, I spend a few weeks every year olive picking on my family’s farm in Turkey. Afterward, I’m relaxed and refreshed, and I even have a few new ideas, ripe for exploring.

It’s not easy to carve out time for the activities that we enjoy. There is a misconception that to succeed in the startup world, we need to be working nonstop. Phrases like “Good things come to those who hustle” dominate the conversation. At the same time, the prevalence of burnout in the workplace is at an all-time high, which makes having a hobby outside of work all the more beneficial. Studies show that spending time on leisure activities not only releases dopamine—that feel-good organic chemical in our brains—it may actually lead to a range of benefits that help with launching or running a competitive business.

But first, how did hobbies become so underrated to begin with?

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