Stress: After work, traffic and personal duties, take time off

From Mr Mahmoud Qazi, General manager in a Dubai-based company

I love fishing, I have been doing it since the 1980s. I lived near the sea in Kuwait and learnt how to fish when I was 19 years old. Even today, I take out time to go on fishing trips during the winter months and people who love fishing will take the time out. For me, it is not just about relaxing but also the excitement that comes with catching a big fish. People might not find the time in their life to find a hobby, but they should. Whether it is going for a desert safari, playing cricket or football. I suggest they should spare some time for it. It will help you relax after working for six days, being stuck in traffic for hours and when you get home, you have other problems.

I would also say I am a fairly creative person and this habit of fishing might have something to do with it. I love to take on challenging projects and enjoy creating things out of whatever I might have.

Time: Busy lives make us less creative

From Ms Norah Rashid, Electronic media student living in Sharjah

My hobby is horse riding but I do find it hard to find time for it. I even stopped for a while because of all my commitments. After coming back from university I would just feel too tired to go for it. However, now I try to do it twice a week.

I do it to pass time but I also want to be a professional horse rider and get a licence. A lot of people might not think of it as a big deal – “Oh, it’s just horse riding!” – but it is a very big thing for me and I do it to challenge myself. Even though I take it seriously and want to be better at it and be a professional, I don’t think that fact takes away the enjoyment from the process. I think I can do both.

People should take the time out and find something they love – a hobby to get out the stress in life. I do think there is a reduction in creativity because of how people are not finding time to switch off. They have to give themselves a chance to pursue what they enjoy doing.

Technology: The world is more than just the latest phone release

From Mr Jessin James, Relocation consultant living in Dubai

I used to travel a lot and loved playing basketball but now with responsibilities in life, I don’t find enough time for it. However, I still do take time out to do volunteer work. Your priorities change because of commitments but I do think that affects your creativity.

Just this week, I spoke to a boy who was cycling and asked him if he enjoyed doing it. He told me he didn’t and was just doing it for a school project. He went on to show an app which was registering how long he had cycled for and at what speed. So, he was just doing it because it was pushed on him and because everything becomes a project children seem to have lost the idea of hobbies. That does affect their creative output because even when I ask a group of children during volunteer work to create something, they tend to pick up phones or tablets. I encourage them to leave it and pick up chart paper instead. When I ask them, “What’s happening in the world?” they tell me, “Did you check out the new phone that just came out?” or they’ll talk to me about an app. I ask them, “What about the app inside you? What’s happening with you?” Because most of their activities are connected with technology, creativity does die down quite a lot.

Gulf News asked: Do you find time to pursue hobbies?

Yes 25%
No 75%

On social media, users shared their experiences on committing to a hobby and what stops them from pursuing it.

[Twitter+pic] @Darth_Alec: After 15 years in the hobby, I finally have a full unit of Tomb Guard [characters from a table-top war game Warhammer]. Some of my all time favourite models. They may be old, but they’re gorgeous. Can’t wait to bring them to #RAW18 for the last march of Khahara. #RoadtoRAW

[Twitter] @TownTalkHondo: 3: I’ve focused on a new and potentially life long hobby getting into collecting. I’ve already determined this isn’t for a year. I’m doing this for a very long time. Only just begun.

[Twitter] @mmysnowboarder: Picking up a hobby can change your perspective of how you spend your time… For me it allowed me to be myself, rather than a wife and mother. It will have such a positive impact on your wellbeing… What are you waiting for?

[Twitter+pic] @TheoArrives: my new hobby is hand drawing maps and stuff for my tabletop group

Have Your Say: Do you think the absence of hobbies in our lives is affecting our creativity? Have you made an effort to take time out for hobbies? Share your views with us on