Managing both a full-time job and your hobbies can often feel like an uphill battle. Everyone is trying to find a way to make time for both, but it’s no easy task. Although we’d love to only try new hobbies all day, we face the same juggling act of personal and professional time, but we’ve found a way to successfully do both.
Here’s how you can make time for hobbies with a full-time job:
- Set Realistic Goals: Identify a specific hobby that you enjoy and set a realistic goal for how much time you can dedicate to it each week.
- Make It a Habit: Set a consistent time each week to engage in your hobby, and treat it as you would any other appointment.
- Be Efficient: Find ways to incorporate your hobby into your daily routine. For example, if you enjoy reading, listen to audiobooks during your commute.
- Get Support: Share your hobby with others and find like-minded individuals who can support and encourage you.
In this article, we’ll take a quick step back and show you why it’s so important to make time for hobbies. After that, we’ll work through all four tips above and provide you with some great resources for trying new hobbies. If you feel like you’re the last person to decide how your time is spent, keep reading – we wrote this for you.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRIORITIZING HOBBIES
Having a hobby is more than just a way to pass the time. It is a way to improve your mental and physical health, reduce stress, and increase creativity. And although we can attest to this, medical evidence also supports the health benefits of hobbies.
Specific to mental health, this evidence suggests that hobbies can:
- Reduce Stress: Significant reduction in cortisol levels, which is the hormone most linked to stress.
- Improve Well-Being: A higher sense of fulfillment after partaking in a hobby.
- Reduce Depression and Anxiety: Within a group or community activity, there is research showing a lower likelihood of experiencing depression, anxiety, and stress.
By taking the time to engage in activities that bring us joy, we can become happier and more well-rounded individuals. By setting aside time for our hobbies, we can recharge our batteries and return to our responsibilities feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
MAKING TIME FOR HOBBIES: 4 PRACTICAL TIPS FOR BUSY INDIVIDUALS
With busy work schedules and personal obligations, this all sounds great, but it probably sounds impractical as well. Hold onto that thought. For now, embrace how important it is to prioritize hobbies and a much-needed break from the daily grind, and take a few minutes to look at the following tools to make this a reality in your life.
1. Set Realistic Goals
One of the best ways to make time for your hobbies is to set realistic goals. Identifying a hobby or activity you enjoy, and setting a goal that is achievable with your current lifestyle can help ensure that you make consistent progress.
Start by breaking down the amount of time you can realistically dedicate to your hobby each week, and then think about how you can turn that into achievable goals. For example, if you can devote an hour a day to your new craft project, consider creating a small but attainable target each week such as completing two large items or developing one new skill related to your hobby.
By setting yourself realistic targets and making it a priority in your daily routine, you’ll find that time was always available, it was just a matter of defending it.
2. Make It a Habit
Did you know that it takes 66 days of consistent behavior to turn any action into a habit? That’s why one of the best ways to truly commit to a hobby is to create a habit out of it.
Setting a consistent time each week to engage in your hobby and treating it as you would any other appointment, can help ensure that you make time for it regularly.
If you have trouble finding an appropriate time during the work week, consider planning your hobby sessions and scheduling them into your calendar alongside all of your other commitments. This way, you’ll be able to make sure it’s always part of your schedule and not easily forgotten about when other tasks arise.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU DO YOUR HOBBIES?
You should set aside time for hobbies daily, even if it’s just a 15-minute window. If daily isn’t feasible, creating a regular schedule that’s every other day or every few days is beneficial as well. Creating a regular time slot will help you stay motivated and consistent even during busy periods.
3. Be Efficient
Don’t be afraid about ways you can incorporate your hobbies into tasks that are already part of your daily routine. Being efficient is key when it comes to making time for your hobbies. Look for ways to incorporate your hobby into daily tasks, for instance, whenever I walk my dog, I always listen to a podcast that I consider to be part of my hobbies.
This approach can also be helpful to find ways to maximize the amount of time spent on a task – for example, if you’re into bookbinding, try finding resources online that can help you learn new techniques more quickly. There are so many tech-driven solutions to help you bring personal interests into your “commute time.”
All these little steps can add up in the end, helping ensure that you make progress without having to put too much extra effort in.
4. Get Support
Having the right kind of support can be invaluable when it comes to making time for your hobbies. Look to those around you – friends, family, colleagues – and find like-minded individuals who can support and encourage you.
It doesn’t have to be a cheering section watching from the sidelines though. The bigger idea here is to do something you love with people you love, and ultimately build a shared connection with them and the activity. This will increase accountability and make you more likely to consistently spend time on your interests.
It could be as simple as asking a colleague who also happens to enjoy painting if they would like to join you for an after-work painting session. Sharing your hobby with others can also help keep you motivated and keep things interesting – joining a group or club related to the pursuit will give you access to valuable resources, such as shared experiences and advice from more experienced practitioners. These kinds of interactions can help spark new ideas, inspire creativity, and give you the confidence you need to carry on your hobby even during busy periods.
LOOKING FOR A NEW HOBBY?
Incorporating any one of the 4 tips above will improve your odds of making yourself a priority, which you need, and deserve. But what if your challenge is bigger than just finding time – what if your challenge began with finding a hobby to fill the time block with? Well, not to worry. We have a number of ways to help you get into a new hobby you’ll love.
You Should Have At Least 3 Hobbies
Perhaps a bit too ambitious, but it’s so important we have to mention it here. We firmly believe that everyone needs 3 hobbies in their lives at any given moment. The concept requires having one hobby that helps you move, one to help you reflect, and another to help you grow. If that seems like biting off more than you can chew right now, then please skip ahead.
But if you’re up for the challenge, you should first check out the approach to the three hobbies to better understand how it builds a more fulfilling life through hobbies.
And after, read our list of 19 meaningful hobbies, which are built around the construct of moving, reflecting, and growing. This list will certainly have some new ideas for you to consider.
How to Find a Hobby As An Adult
We all go through phases where a certain hobby we once adored just no longer gets the job done. And even with an open mind and an eager appetite to try something new, there are times when it seems like you’ll never have an interest again.
That’s why we’ve created another resource with 7 practical tips to help adults find hobbies. It runs through 7 unusual ways to discover a new hobby to not only try, but also increase your likelihood of loving and sticking with it.
Hobby Ideas for Older Adults
While this list was built for older adults most likely in retirement age, many ideas on it would be fun and impactful for any age. So whether you’re an older adult snowbirding or a young adult just starting your career, be sure to check out our list of 12 new hobbies for older adults.
Hobby Ideas for College Students
If your career is education currently, then we’ve got a great list of hobbies for you to explore. They’re laser-focused on fun and budget, so be sure to head over to our list of hobbies for college students to spark some new ideas.
PRIORITIZE YOURSELF BY PRIORITIZING YOUR HOBBIES
Finding time for hobbies is crucial to our overall well-being. By prioritizing our hobbies and setting aside time to engage in them, we can become happier, more creative, and more productive individuals.
While the practical tips provided in this article are just a starting point, with dedication and effort, anyone can find the time to pursue their passions. So, go ahead and find a hobby that brings you joy, dedicate the right amount of time to it, and enjoy the reward.