After a long week, it’s easy to want to collapse and not think about anything until Monday rolls around again.
But researchers at San Francisco State University have found some hidden benefits to extracurricular creative activities, especially for people with jobs that don’t usually have a creative component to them — for example, working as a cashier or as a security guard.
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The study authors surveyed participants through the university’s Health & Organizational Psychology Laboratory by getting in touch with them via email and asking them what activities they were doing and how they were feeling.
Roughly two-thirds of the time, the participants said they would be doing something creative such as writing, drawing, playing a musical instrument or even playing video games, especially those centered around world-building. In those instances, the participants reported feeling more recovered in time for work on Monday.
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Lead author Kevin Eschleman, an assistant professor of psychology at SF State, also conducted a similarly-themed study that found when people had professions that required them to follow safety protocols, such as truck driver or nuclear equipment technician, when they engaged in creative activities outside of work, it helped them focus better on the job.
“The impact of having people coming back and feeling more energized is that they make fewer mistakes,” Eschleman said in a summary of the findings. “This isn’t going to necessarily make you handle a major event better. But coming back refreshed might help ensure that you follow the safety rules.”