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Stop working so much, and start a hobby!

The human brain can only focus for a max of 4-5 hours a day. Before the industrial revolution, work took a much smaller focus of people's lives. People also spent a much larger time in a variety of hobbies.

Why do I need it?

We need to limit our working hours in order to prevent burnout. Our life expectancy is decreasing for the first time in generations as we are literally working ourselves to death. However, we actually work much more productively with fewer hours.

By working fewer hours, we can also spend time in hobbies which help reduce our stress levels and lead to improved mental health. Studies show that people who devote time to hobbies improve their performance at work.

Why do leaders need to let employees work less and play more?

Managers cannot tell the difference in work of someone who puts in less than 40 hours versus 60. Instead of paying people for their time, pay people for their work.

The hours your employee spends in a chair has nothing to do with how good their work is. (Celeste Headlee)

Furthermore, when managers force employees to be in seats for a certain amount of time, it increases cynicism which leads to people leaving their positions. Leaders benefit from increased performance by encouraging their employees to pursue hobbies.

How can I do it?

  • Start tracking how you spend your time using a tool like Toggl.

  • Find an activity that you enjoy doing whether it is something creative, active or intellectual.

  • Figure out your 'shop hours' when you will work, and play hours. You can enforce this by taking work notifications off your phone.

  • Listen to Winnie Sun's Interview of Celeste Headlee to learn more.

Action Steps

  1. Set 'shop hours', and do not work outside of those hours.

  2. Schedule in weekly hobby time.

  1. Sun, Winnie. “Having Better Conversation with Celeste Headlee.” Apple Podcasts, 13 Apr. 2022, Accessed 16 Sept. 2022.

  2. Venkat S.R. “Health Benefits of Hobbies.” WebMD, WebMD, 9 June 2022, Accessed 16 Sept. 2022.


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