You turn in projects and assignments at the speed of lightning. You commit to helping every colleague who pings you on Slack. You work more than 40 hours per week. Your manager describes you as a go-getter, ambitious, and reliable.
Most days, you finish late. After work, you usually sit down, relax, and watch TV – until you pass out from after eating overpriced takeout food.
Does this sound like you?
If you felt seen or heard through this fictional worker’s story, you have a hobby crisis. In other words, work has consumed every waking part of your life. You no longer collect Pokémon cards, water plants, or even go on short walks. You work. You sleep. You repeat.
But having hobbies makes your life more fulfilling. Non-work-related activities improve your stress, free your mind, and can even better your job prospects.
Reading books has the added pro of making you a better writer – an essential marketing skill. More importantly, reading enables you to live a better life – and here are five reasons marketers should pick up a few books in 2022.
1. Reading expands your vocabulary
When writing an email or social media post, marketers have to cycle through online thesauruses to create engaging copy. But reading can also expand your vocabulary, thus improving your natural ability to write.
Researchers have confirmed this phenomenon. Students who read from a young age develop large vocabularies over time. But reading can really improve your writing at any age. After all, every book has potentially hundreds of new words and phrases for you to learn.
2. Reading reduces your stress
8 in 10 workers feel stressed on the job. Yet many of them carry that stress with them in their personal lives. And get this: reading can improve your stress levels just as effectively as yoga or comedy.
In fact, one study found that 30 minutes of reading lowers your blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of distress – just like yoga or humor. Instead of spending an extra 30 minutes on work, consider setting aside that time to read.
3. Reading improves your ability to empathize
Managers have to communicate effectively with their colleagues from a leadership role. Sometimes, this power gets to their heads – prompting poor managers to foster toxic environments and create divisions.
You likely don’t have this problem – but long-term literary reading has proven to increase our ability to empathize. When you read a piece of fiction, you have to grapple with a characters’ inner emotions, thoughts, and struggles. To enjoy fictional work, you take yourself out of the narrative and dive into the head of someone else.
Even if you consider yourself a good manager, reading books will take your communication and understanding to the next level. Your perspective from reading shifts to consider another person’s inner monologue. You put yourself in a place where you better understand what someone else wants or needs.
4. Reading helps you sleep better
If you stare at a computer or phone screen right before bed, you likely get poor sleep. Science has proven blue light emissions from devices limits the number of hours you can get.
What can you do instead of scrolling on Instagram or watching YouTube? You can read.
In fact, the Mayo Clinic even recommends incorporating reading into your daily sleep schedule. After getting a good night’s sleep, you can improve your focus on work – thus increasing productivity and saving you more time.
5. Reading minimizes symptoms depression of depression
Unfortunately, 23% of workers report feelings of depression. While therapy and psychiatry offer solutions to stave off depression in the long run, books can also help reduce symptoms of depression – according to a study conducted by the Reading Agency.
After all, reading represents a form of genuine escapism. Unlike TV shows or movies, reading challenges your brain. You have the freedom to imagine how a book’s characters or settings appear to you. And reading is just really, really fun.
Now that you understand the benefits of reading, the best time to get started is now. Consider dropping by your local bookstore by yourself or with friends. Take a look through both fiction and nonfiction books – you might end up liking one more than the other.
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