5 of the Most Productive Distractions

As humans with a limited lifespan, it is no secret that time is of great importance. In today's digitized world, it is only too easy for people to forget the advantages they have from simply being alive. As Voltaire once put it, “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” Instead of wasting precious time, the following five pastimes should serve as a chance at self-growth. 


Table Games 
Most people realize that that time is money. Instead of just idling away the hoursan increasing number of adults play online poker tournaments against players from around the world, and not only to have fun but actually attempt to make money in the process. Data from Poker Players Research shows that there are over 40 million people aged between 18 and 55 who play poker regularly, so it is no surprise that many people consider this popular game to be an actual sport. 

The benefits of learning to play a highly-skilled, high-takes table game – be it poker, chess, eSports or any derivative – are numerous, and help hone a set of transferrable skills that can serve an individual in just about every industry. Being able to cope under pressure, make decisions fast and stay calm on the outside are attributes that separate people in higher level positions at work to those who are stuck performing more grueling and repetitive tasks.  

Source: Pexels

Partner Dancing 
As an activity which is both a great laugh and extremely healthy, there aren't many negative things to say about partner dancing. According to a Time Magazine article titled “The Hidden Health Benefits of Dance” older individuals who previously didn't stay very active but recently started dancing Salsa saw a huge increase in physical fitness. In addition to burning off calories and learning a fun new ability, partner dancing is a fantastic way to meet new people and potentially make lasting relationships. 

There is an extensive variety of dances to choose from which range from social styles such as Salsa, Swing, and Argentine Tango to more ballroom/performance styles such as Waltz, Foxtrot and Rumba. Social styles are better suited for people who like to improvise depending on the style of music that is playing while ballroom/performance styles attract people who are more interested in mastering the intricate techniques which make dance look aesthetically pleasing. Regardless of what style someone wants to dabble in, there is something to be gained from this exciting pastime. 

Cooking is a great skill to have for a variety of reasons. In an article by Beth Hoffman for Forbes, a healthy body and a fatter wallet are just some of the benefits associated with cooking. The price that is paid for convenience is often higher than the price paid for quality. 

Cooking is also an awesome way to impress a date or spouse. Washington Post report by Roberto A. Ferdman shows that the home cooked meal is becoming a less common practice, which makes it a great way to stand out from the crowd. As acclaimed chef Rolf Baumann declared: “Cooking everything with respect will lead to amazing tasting experiences.” 


Being able to write well is a skill which is emphasized heavily on throughout a person's life for obvious reasons. As a skill which is important virtually everywhere, writing is a great outlet to let go of one's thoughts, and it is also a skill which is in demand by many people. 
In a private setting, writing one's thoughts is beneficial for one's physical and mental health. 

In a Huffington Post article titled “6 Unexpected Ways Writing Can Transform Your Health” by Amanda L. Chan, it is said that some of the health benefits associated with writing include being able to retain information better improved sleep, and even faster healing of physical wounds. Taking some time every night to write can be a relaxing experience which results in an overall better sense of self. 

Source: Bixabay
As one of the oldest forms of communication, pictures have been an essential part of the human experience. Drawing in particular has been a medium which has led inventive personalities such as Leonardo da Vinci to lay the foundation for much of today's machinery, and has helped creative geniuses such as Walt Disney to literally build empires from pure imagination. 

However, drawing has countless benefits on a small scale as well. According to Steven Heller in his article “The Cognitive Benefits of Doodling”, some of these benefits include an improved attention span as well as the ability to translate ideas from paper to real life. In today's age where information is continuously fed to people through electronic screens, these skills prove to be incredibly important. Contrary to what any people may think, drawing depends much more on practice than natural talent in order to be awesome. Once this skill is mastered, it serves as a medium for one to express their ideas in a way which brings joy to both them as well as other people. 

Sometimes it may seem like there is not much to do on a person's down time, however the reality of the situation would prove otherwise. The ability to learn a new skill and contribute something of importance is always at one's fingertips. With this in mind, there is no reason why anyone could truly waste whatever precious time they have. 

Karl Young

Part-time daddy and lifestyle blogger. Father of 2 boys under 2. Golfer, scare-fan, tea-lover, traveller, squash and poker player. I write on the @HuffPostUK http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/karl-young/

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