Fun And Work: Double Doing

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Last week in my seemingly (but not actually) endless discussion of how we ruin fun and why, I explored the possibility that we can combine work and fun effectively. As long as we have proper boundaries and goals and check-ins, it’s doable.

Building on this positive idea (since there’s many negative ones I want to explore), I’d like to talk about another way fun and work can actually reinforce themselves, but without “can I turn my hobby into a job.” It’s something I’ve referred to as “double doing” – finding things in your life that have double benefits beyond just their immediate one.

In this case, you can find ways your hobby benefits your job, and vice versa, without necessarily combining them. Think of it as finding fun that may help you elsewhere in life, and finding work things that help you in your hobbies.

Fun That Helps Work

Sometimes, the things we do for fun have benefits elsewhere. If we want, we can cultivate them and use them to help out in our careers and such. This is just beyond the benefits of “it’s fun” or “it’s relaxing,” while not risking stomping on those by turning something enjoyable into work.

For instance, with myself:

  • My writing is a hobby and always has been. However that helps me a lot at work as I can quickly create documents and so on. I don’t even have to work much at this, I just do it. Plus it makes work fun as I like writing.
  • Coding. Now I’m no longer a pro, so my coding is more of a hobby, but as I work in IT, I’m very aware of coding issues. This helps me work with engineers.
  • Graphic. I’m not a professional, but neither are many other people, so not only do I make book covers and such, I have some skills to bust out at work. Plus it’s nice to be the “graphics guy” when other people get asked to do less fun stuff.

I’d note that all of these things benefit my life in general, not just for fun or at work. I’m literally better at many things as I have fun with them – it’s almost as if not pressuring oneself and enjoying things helps you grow as a person . . .

So for yourself, a challenge:

  • What are your hobbies and interests you truly enjoy?
  • How have they benefitted you on the job. Take time to dig deep, you may be surprised.
  • Is there anything you know how to do that might help at work or make it more fun?

Remember, as always, it’s OK to just say “it’s fun, letting it stay there.”

Work That Helps Fun

However, we should also remember our jobs can be a source of skills, experience, and more that helps us have fun. We’re going to learn things, go places, and meet people that we may actually enjoy. Be open to that.

For myself:

  • Management and productivity. I was always the organized type, but my work skills have helped me a great deal in my hobbies. I’m more organized, better able to pace myself, and more aware of what’s important.
  • Meeting awesome people. I meet great people at work, and I stay in touch with some of them.
  • Industry news. Being in tech, everything I hear abot at work is probably relevant to my life at home. New tech, security updates, and more all impact me.

Now, sometimes I’ve actually overdone using my work experiences for fun – especially my work on self-management, which I’ve overdone. But it’s nice to realize that your job might give you ways to enjoy life more.

I wont lie – many jobs are awful. Some are probably hopeless hellholes. May you get out of those jobs quickly.

Double Doing Does The Job

There’s my thoughts on fun helping work and vice versa without making them the same thing. It won’t apply to you the same it does for me, we are in different situations. It’s my hope you can make this work (and maybe help you find a better job if you can’t).

Steven Savage