What if we told you that pursuing a creative hobby or passion project would actually make you better at your day job? Research shows that the best teachers actively engage in personal, creative pursuits outside of the classroom—and the creativity they generate from those pursuits is actively transferred to their students back in the classroom. We’re willing to bet the same would apply to coworkers in the workplace.
So go ahead and make time for that pottery-making class you’ve been eyeing or that creative writing blog you’ve been wanting to start. These six success stories prove it’s worth the time.
1. Warren Buffett
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—Warren Buffett is a titan. After all, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO and chairman has been investing since he was just 11 years old. When he isn’t busy dominating the business world and acting as an all-around investment guru, he’s—wait for it—strumming away on his ukulele. Check out this video of him performing a duet with Bon Jovi if you need any further proof of his musical chops.
[Watch: Office Hours with Warren Buffett]
2. Taylor Swift
If we’ve learned anything about Taylor Swift in the last few weeks, it’s that she’s the ultimate multi-tasker. When she’s not belting out hits in sold-out football stadiums with her #ModelSquad at her side, she’s changing the minds of billion-dollar executives, breaking VEVO records, and making generous donations to fans in need. But wait—add one more thing to T-Swift’s resume: In her spare time, she’s a serious crafter. Some of her best work? A Drake-inspired needlepoint for bestie Ed Sheeran, mason jar snowglobes, and red, white, and blue desserts.
3. Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is a techie through and through: Before taking on the role of chief executive officer, Nadella spearheaded the development of the multinational tech company’s cloud infrastructure. When he’s not working, however, you’ll catch him reading poetry. Oftentimes he’ll even pull his favorite inspirational quotes to include in the next employee email, like this one from poet Rainer Maria Rilke: “The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.”
4. Marissa Mayer
Another tech CEO, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer is most often recognized for cultivating company culture, making changes to her company’s maternity leave policy, and creating conversation around female executives. In her downtime, though, she marries her analytical thinking skills with a passion for baking—she’s been known to study recipes and create spreadsheets for ingredients in an attempt to craft the perfect cupcake.
5. Meryl Streep
All hail the queen: With 19 Academy Award nominations to her name, there are few actresses who can compete with the force of nature that is Meryl Streep. But acting isn’t Streep’s only forte—she’s also an expert knitter. Word is she even hand-knit her own shawl for her role in the 2008 film Doubt: “I spent all of my time knitting on set,” Streep once told BBC Radio 4. “I taught Amy [Adams] to knit… For me, it was a place to gather my thoughts.”
6. George W. Bush
Since leaving his gig at the White House, former president George W. Bush has been flexing his creative muscles with a venture into oil painting. You’ll count dogs, cats, world leaders, and, uh, Jay Leno among his many subjects. Check out this slideshow of some of the former POTUS’ portraits, which were unveiled in an exhibit at his presidential library in Dallas last year.
Photo: Kaboom Pics