I used to write upwards of 3-5 posts per day when I first started blogging. I was publishing around 100 posts per month; the amount of blogs a small company with interns usually churns out. Everything is different now.
When I got my first job I was still able to blog fairly regularly but I started to wonder how to better negotiate my time. You have to do that all the time when you get really busy. Negotiate your time.
Can I have three hours today for writing? Now here’s why I think I should have three hours today. It’s really going to show you results, Lorelei.
With my new job, I’m even busier, so here are some ways I’ve been able to maintain my hobbies:
Drop anything that’s not incredibly important to you
The first thing I did, first due to lack of choice, was drop off my freelance work. I was no longer seeking new clients and any marketing I had been doing for my own work went away entirely. This put into perspective how much energy running your own business really takes. I realized I was no longer interested in chasing that career path so I slammed a big pause button and let it go.
Your hobbies are your life
The things that I enjoy doing the most are the things that naturally become a part of my life. Falling asleep reading a book or drawing while I watch television. These hobbies were most important and I didn’t struggle very hard to keep them afloat. There’s the simple truth, and sometimes a hard pill to swallow. When something is important to you, you’ll naturally make time for it. If you’re not making time for something, if you don’t want to make time for something, maybe it’s not as important as you think it is.
Make tech-free zones, tech-free times
My goals is to eventually have a drop spot by the door where my technology departs for the evening into little sleepings pods with chargers. Phone, laptop, iPad, kindle, bluetooth headphones, anything with a gentle buzz when you go near it. I think learning how to fight the itch of “what am I missing?” is healthy. When I intentionally go an hour or two without my phone I realize just how much I can truly accomplish. Time seems to double and my productivity goes up.
Devote yourself to one or two things
Some people want to dip their toe in a little bit of everything and be a little bit good at all the things. I’ve been trying to separate myself from this and focus on the hobbies that I get joy from, not the hobbies that other people think I should try. Go back to basics. What makes you happiest to do? Spend a whole week just devoting an hour or 30 minutes a day to that one thing.
Write a to do list every morning
Create a mental reminder for yourself to do your hobbies by creating an abbreviated task list for yourself each morning. Jot down any important pieces of work you need to do and then write a little reminder for yourself that your hobby is its own piece of business. Create. Write. Read. Play Golf. Play Chess. Paint. Run. Cook. Add anything that will help you direct that hobby. A recipe you’ll make, a goal for your hobby (finish that painting!) or a new personal challenge (8 minute mile!)