Research Shows Pursuing Your Hobbies Benefits Your Business, Too. Here's How to Make More Time for Them.

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A few years ago, on a family vacation, my wife and I took a cooking class. I like cooking, but I’m a novice at best — and the recipe, French macarons, wasn’t a cakewalk. Lucky for us, the chef-instructor was there to guide us each step of the way.

That day I learned many things: how to beat egg whites until soft peaks form; the importance of sifting the flour; how to pipe the batter. I also learned how much work goes into one macaron, which translates to the price we pay at the bakery. I left with a new appreciation for those tiny cookies.

As CEO of Jotform, I spend a lot of my time managing and guiding others. It’s nice to switch hats (or rather, toques) once in a while, and let someone else teach me. It’s humbling to realize how tricky something as seemingly simple as mixing ingredients can be and helps me maintain the “beginner’s mind” mentality — staying open to learning new ideas and subjects. That’s why, even when I’m not on vacation, I try to make time for my hobbies — like cooking, writing and listening to old records. It turns out that I’m not alone. Many leaders make time for their leisure interests, and research shows that it’s beneficial for business.

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