The Unusual Hobbies of Successful People

Sir_Richard_Branson_photo_by_Priory_StudiosSome people think you have to give up your hobbies to be productive – but that’s not the case. In fact, hobbies can help become even more productive, as I’ve written about before.

Did you know that many  successful people have a hobby of some kind?  I have a whole pinboard dedicated to celebrities who enjoy list making just like me. Other celebrities have some more unusual hobbies, here are some of my favorites:

Meryl Streep – She’s known for playing a wide variety of characters, but at home Meryl likes things a little more mundane. Rather than going out to fancy parties, she prefers to stay at home and knit. In an interview with The Record she explained – “I live a very unspectacular life. I love to sit on my chair in the living room and knit. Or I cook or read a book. I’m a very frugal person.” Knitting can be a very repetitive task, but that gives your mind a chance to wander and be more creative.

Stanley Kubrik – I’m always on the lookout for a good note pad, which is something Stanley and I have in common. Those who were closest to him often mentioned his love of stationery. He once apparently bought 100 bottles of brown ink because he heard they where going to discontinue the line. Collectors are often very organized people, they also understand the importance of research.

Sir Richard Branson – This famous entrepreneur is an avid list maker just like me.  Many entrepreneurs like to unwind through exercise, but for most this is normally with a round of golf. Branson prefers a little more adventure and is often spotted kite-surfing. He enjoys it so much he has broken a couple of world records. Branson is the oldest person to kite-surf across the English channel in fact. Also in 2013, he organized the largest parade of kite-surfers to complete a one-mile course. Sports are a great hobby for keeping you healthy and helping you to understand the importance of perseverance.

What are some of your hobbies?

My Latest Productivity Killer: Periscope

periscope-logo-1920-800x450Smartphones are in many ways a productivity blessing. They provide you with instant access to hundreds of apps designed to help you get more out of your day. However, smartphones can also be a productivity curse. Because you also have access to hundreds of apps designed to get you addicted and take up all your time!

As much as I write about the importance of not being distracted – I too, sometimes get addicted to apps and get thrown off course.

The latest being Periscope.

The app allows you to live stream video from your phone from anywhere in the world. It’s very exciting for me, as a news producer, to think of all the possibilities. When I downloaded the app I had expected to watch a few videos of people going about their lives, but I quickly found myself becoming addicted.

Here are some of the things I’ve watched so far:

  • Pizza delivery guy arriving at a house in Utah
  • Kid playing super mario brothers for the first time
  • Pearl Jam tribute band
  • Guy hiking in Arizona
  • Person hanging out near the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Guy walking through the mall in NJ
  • Little girl learning to ride her bike for the first time
  • Guy who couldn’t sleep in the UK drawing
  • Newsroom tours in Waco, TX, Lexington, KY, Las Vegas, CNN
  • A puppy that is afraid of a cat in Alabama
  • Mother daughter dance at wedding
  • Malibu Beach sunset
  • Some nascar race
  • A firehandler on the beach in Florida
  • A cat yawning
  • A puppy eating
  • The MTV Movie Awards red carpet
  • Cherry blossoms in DC
  • Behind the scenes tour at The View

You can download the app here. Follow me — I’m @listproducer of course. Remember it is seriously addictive – so consider yourself warned!  So use is as a reward when you get something checked off your to-do list.  Then you can check out someone walking through Times Square or a Disney parade in real time.  Let me know what you think if you check it out.

I’m on the “So Money” Podcast

Take a listen to my So Money Podcast to (1)What do lists have to do with money — you might be thinking?  Well a lot actually.  If you’ve read my book Listful Thinking, you’ll know that I believe a list can be adapted to any situation. In particular, lists can be really helpful when your trying to stick to a budget and get a handle on your finances.

I met Farnoosh Torabi a few weeks ago and we connected immediately. She is also an avid list maker – she’s been making lists since middle school. Plus she used to be a TV producer and is an author too.  She asked me to be a guest on her daily podcast So Money!  I’m not into numbers so much but you’d be surprised how much a list can help you keep track of financial stuff.

In the podcast we discuss:

  • How using lists can help you lead your best life.
  • The idea of a permission list when it comes to budgeting and how it can help.
  • My biggest habit – besides list making – that helps keep my finances in check.

Listen to it here: