If you’re like me, you have more hobbies than you can count: guitar, singing, photography, writing, cooking, cycling, etc. It’s difficult to devote time to even one of them during the week, so my list of hobbies looks more like a bucket list than a list of things I love to do.
As work and life have gotten busier, I’ve learned some tricks to make time for my hobbies. Do you find any of the tips below helpful? If you have an especially good tip not listed here, tweet it out to @liftapp.
Find time for your hobbies by bringing it to work
Think about all of the breaks you take during a typical work day. Between coffee runs, your lunch break, and 5-10 minute productivity boosting work breaks, you probably have about two hours of time that you could more wisely.
If your hobby is portable, bring it to work and devote 10-15 minutes of break time to it every day. These hobbies are especially easy to bring to work:
- Play an Instrument: This works best if you have a safe place to store the instrument and a sound proof conference room or park where you can play. I keep my guitar at work and practice a song when I find my concentration waning.
- Dance: Put on your headphones and take a dance break if you can scoot into a private conference room.
- Drawing/Reading: Pop into the work cafeteria or go to a cafe nearby to read, draw, or do any other solitary activity. Set a timer so you don’t go overtime!
- Photography: Grab a quick lunch and then spend the rest of your time taking street photos of the people and places around you.
Find time for hobbies by making them work double duty
There are only 24 hours in a day, so sometimes the best way to make time for your hobbies is to fit hobbies into activities you’re already committed to. Here are some ideas:
- Your Commute: Commutes are the perfect time to unwind with your hobby. Get to your stop earlier than usual so that you can grab a seat and then spend the travel time reading, writing, or drawing. If you’re more of a sports hobbyist, try cycling, walking, or running to work (if you have a place to shower, of course).
- Meetings: Whatever you need to discuss over coffee can probably be discussed on a walk, hiking, or cycling. Take meetings outdoors whenever you can. Also, suggest your hobby as a team building activity for company retreats.
- Socializing: Why not host a knitting or comic book reading night instead of a typical dinner? Instead of brunching with a friend, you can go for a run together, take a dance lesson, or have a co-working coffee to get some reading or writing done.
Find time for hobbies by putting them on your calendar
At the end of the day, you’re more likely to do your hobbies if you make them a priority in your schedule. Some ways you can do that are:
- Prioritize: Trying to do every hobby you love will stress you out. Whittle your hobbies down 1-2 priorities and then make an effort to do these regularly. Since I have so many hobbies, I focus on a different hobby each month.
- Add hobby time to your calendar: Block out 1-2 times a week and reserve those times for your hobbies. Be strict about keeping to your commitment (you can set a target on Lift or use Lifts’ beta accountability coaching program to help you reach your targets).
- Take a class or coach: Coaching is as much about accountability as it is about helping you improve your skills. Sign up for a class, meet-up , or private lessons for hobbies you especially care about. You’ll get the added bonus of making friends with people who like the same things you do.