Date Published: 14th July 2016

If you’re trying to progress your career, you may feel like it’s imperative you spend all your time focussing on your goal. It can be easy to get caught up in working beyond your office hours as you try to climb the career ladder; downtime, however, is an important factor in helping you become successful.

Some of the world’s most successful people have hobbies which they devote a proportion of their free time to, and which may in fact contribute to their success.

The Hobby: Chess
The Name: Richard Branson

Alongside his much-publicised love of adrenaline-seeking sports,  Branson is also a keen chess player.  In interviews, he has explained his love of the board game as combining many attributes useful to working life, such as tactical thinking, planning, bravery and risk-taking.

The Hobby: Hiking
The Name: Jack Dorsey

Twitter co-founder Dorsey has stated in interviews than in order to successfully run Twitter and Square full-time, he had to be able to  get his distractions out of the way so he could focus on the tasks for the day ahead. In order to clear his head, Dorsey took up hiking – which he devoted his Saturdays to.

The Hobby: Knitting
The Name: Meryl Street

Street has been quoted as saying that she finds knitting therapeutic, and that it enables her to compose her thoughts and clear her head.  Fellow actress Julia Roberts and actor Ryan Gosling has also both stated their love of the hobby. A mind at-ease is a mind that can focus clearly on its goals.

The Hobby: Card Games
The Name: Bill Gates

Gates has told interviews in the past that he enjoys ‘old-fashioned’ hobbies, one of which is playing bridge. Card games tend to involve tactical thinking and quick responses, skills which are beneficial if you’re trying to climb your career ladder and become the best of the best.

The Hobby: Baking
The Name: Marissa Mayer

Mayer is a keen baker, and implements a scientific approach to her hobby. Mayer has even told interviewers that she has created multiple spread sheets analysing cupcake and frosting recipes. The Yahoo CEO believes that her hobby makes her work better, because it enables her to be creative and have to come up with new ways of looking at things.

Whatever your chosen hobby, make sure you allow your brain some down time away from work. If your hobby also helps enhance your skills than will help you progress in the workplace, then that’s a bonus, too!

Follow us for more updates