Investing in your creativity is a great way to boost your mood, especially during the gray days of winter. Hobbies like painting, indoor gardening and cooking can help busy professionals feel less stressed and happier. And the American Institute of Stress recommends making time for hobbies to reduce stress and fatigue.

Here are three ways to pump some design and “art” into your life — even if your idea of being creative is ordering pineapple on your pizza.

1. Paint your office and style your desk. Your workspace should reflect colors that make you happy. Injecting your favorite colors into the place where you spend most of your workday will motivate and stimulate your being. Keep it simple by painting a statement wall, grabbing new colorful desk accessories and hanging bright window treatments.

Extra business boost: Pick up extra paint swatches while you are selecting your new hue. Use the swatches for eye-catching notecards for direct mail marketing to your database. Remind clients that you can sign them up for Lowe’s coupons (use your Realtor benefits, folks) and to give you a call if they are interested.

2. Grow a plant. Do you enjoy plants but have a black thumb? “Forcing” bulbs to bloom indoors in winter is practically effortless. Grab some paperwhite narcissus bulbs and follow these simple steps.

  • Collect Mason jars or vases from a dollar store that appeal to you.
  • Pick up a bag of natural stones (small to medium-sized).
  • Put one layer of stones in the vase, then add a bulb or two, and then layer more stones on top to steady the bulbs.
  • Fill with water until the waterline is even with the bottom of the bulbs.
  • Place the jar or vase in a sunny window.

Boom! You are now an official gardening guru.

Extra business boost: Purchase enough materials for several “arrangements.” Forced bulbs make great closing or “thank you for letting me list your home” gifts! Make sure to hole-punch your business card and tie it on the vase with a little twine or ribbon to dress up the gift.

3. Bake bread: Traditional bread can be challenging for novice bakers, but quick breakfast breads are literally a piece of cake. The experience of mixing and the aroma of cinnamon is always pleasant. Make this a weekend task and take it slow. This recipe for cinnamon bread is easy and affordable.

Extra business boost: Make up a few extra “open house” or “congratulations on your first showing” mixes in a few Mason jars. Drop this by to a client so they can bake before an open house, and the house will smell delicious. Is your client too busy to bake? Drop off a bottle of vanilla extract and teach them the “mug trick” so they have an easier option. Pair it with a nice thank-you note and express how excited you are for the showing.

Agents who make time to create balance will avoid burnout and improve the overall buying or selling experience for their clients. Make sure to time-block hobbies into your busy schedule, and 2015 will be a fun and fruitful year!

By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s Tweeting for

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