Submitted on Friday, 12/6/2019, at 1:48 PM

With social media and other forms of screen time eating up our schedules more and more, developing a hobby is a skill that needs to be cultivated, argued Hope Reese in a recent article in Vox. She spoke with Amherst’s Jackie Alvarez, associate dean of students and director of the Counseling Center, about the benefits of having a hobby that is totally disconnected from your career.

“Jackie Alvarez advises students on how to manage a healthy work-life balance,” Reese wrote. “She sees hobbies as a way to not only bring a sense of engagement to the leisure task, but to contribute to a more productive and engaged work life. By practicing deep focus … we are learning how to become better at focusing.”

“When you’re working, can you be engaged?” Alvarez asked. “When you’re away from work, can you not have work on your mind?”

“When you’re working full time with a family, and have a hobby or two, the structure actually helps you,” Alvarez added. Reese continued, “Scheduling your time around a hobby can show you that you may have more time than you think, and help you prioritize.”