Our lives and schedules are so full. Between work and family responsibilities, it can be daunting to try to fit in hobbies. And if that wasn’t enough, we also love our friends and want to spend time with them. Once all of this is accounted for, your entire schedule for the week is probably packed. Where does that leave hobbies or personal projects? On the wayside.
I was living like this for several years. I worked and had a social life but spent little to no time investing in any personal hobbies or pursuing my own dreams. Any free time I had was spent with friends or in front of the TV. I always had dreams of starting a blog. I had tried several times but never stuck with it, eventually getting lazy or feeling too burnt out to take on another thing on my to-do list. I also felt like I could never nail down what I wanted my blog to be or what direction it should go. So, I would quit, but it was always nagging me in the back of my mind.
Diane and I talked about Smoosh for about a year, not exactly sure if it was something we would try or if it was just fun to talk about. But then we took the plunge and started the blog! While it takes time and energy, I feel more well-rounded, and that nagging inner voice telling me I should be doing this has subsided.
I constantly am battling that devil on my shoulder telling me that watching TV in bed is so much better than setting up a blog post. But with each new week of posts, I am learning more and more how to do that.
Today on The Monday Muse, I encourage you to think about the personal projects, dreams, and hobbies you want to pursue but aren’t doing anything about right now.
Here are a few things that have worked for me:
Having a partner for Smoosh has made me 100x more likely to write and work on blog posts or post on our social media accounts. I am very lazy by nature and have a real problem with procrastination, so having another person who is relying on me to contribute helps immensely. My husband, Zach, also knows how much the blog means to me and will lovingly encourage me to work on posts when I would rather work on getting through my Netflix queue. So tell people in your life so they can remind you what’s important! Netflix will be there with open arms afterward.
2) Choosing working on the blog (or any hobby) over mindless free time
Instead of sitting on my phone for my train rides to and from work, I try to work on blog posts or posting and networking on our social media accounts. We write all our posts using Google Sheets so we can work and edit on the go, so I have those applications downloaded on my phone. That way, if I am not at a computer or it dies, I can still use my phone to work on content. I get home pretty late, but I know if I want a certain post to go up the next day, instead of letting my body melt into the couch, I need to rally and work on it.
3) Reminding myself that this brings me joy and I’m under no obligation to do it
This is big when fighting burnout from work or life responsibilities, which can make the blog feel like another job. But when I get in the zone of writing or putting a post together, I usually just feel joy and have fun. While I have to work through the initial hurdle of getting started, I remind myself that I am only doing this because I want to and I think it’s a lot of fun.
There definitely is a place for downtime, and sometimes it is the right decision to just relax and let your brain have a break. You definitely should do that, too. But, is there a hobby, dream, or goal you have that you’re not pursuing that is eating at you? Or maybe you have the desire to find one! Either way, take it from a lazy procrastinator 一 it’s worth it to find those spare moments in your life to invest in the hobbies you care about or feel passion for.
I encourage you to look at your schedule and see what small chunks of time you can use to invest in something personal 一 whether you like to draw, write, take photographs, bake, read, play video games, hike, craft, play a sport, swim, or whatever it may be. Those small amounts of time really add up, and you’ll love feeling like you’re living a more well-rounded life.
Now, I know a lot of people have circumstances in their lives that make hobbies nearly impossible. I know I have the privilege of only needing to work one job, and I don’t have any children right now, which gives me more free time. I would still encourage you to find ways to do things personal to you where you can, even if it’s listening to a podcast or audiobook on a subject you care about or taking the time to post your dinner on Instagram 一 whatever it is that is personal or fulfilling to you. Remember, this is because you find joy and fulfillment from it with no obligation from anyone else.
I hope this encourages you and that you have a lovely Monday,