Whether you enjoy sewing or scuba diving, baking or baking, one thing is true—you probably wish you had more time for your hobby! In fact, most people give up on an activity that they enjoy because they can’t squeeze it into their schedule. Art supplies gather dust in a drawer, and plans to take a class or finish a project get pushed back, again and again, until they’re forgotten altogether.
But hobbies are pretty much like everything else in life: the only way to find time for it, is to make time for it. Here are some creative ways to squeeze in that all-important “fun time.”
1. Block it in.
Set a regular time every week where you can work on your hobby. This “appointment” should be just as prioritized as any other of your deadlines. You can even talk to other famly members about your plans, and get them to help. For example, if you plan to work on your quilt every Sunday afternoon, get your husband to make Sunday dinner, or hire a baby sitter to watch the kids.
2. Set up a hobby corner.
Sometimes the thought of lugging out our supplies and equipment from a closet or boxes and then packing up at the end of the hour is enough to make us say, “I think I’ll just watch TV.”
So try to set up an area where you can keep your supplies or leave an unfinished project. (This also lets you take advantage of unexpected blocks of free time. Baby’s asleep? Maybe you have 30 minutes to work on your sewing!) If you don’t have a lot of space, maybe you can clear a table or find a corner in the basement.
If that’s really impossible, invest in easily-accessible storage. For example, instead of placing all your scrapbook supplies in a plastic box shoved deep in the recesses of a closet, get an expandable 12×12 folder for papers and then place embellishments in a hanging organizer, which you can hook on a nail in the closet.
3. Find a “hobby buddy.”
If you always put off your hobby time, then why not team up with a friend? For example, the two of you can meet up one Sunday a month for a marathon scrapbooking session. This not only combines hobby time with much-needed bonding, it also lets you “inspire” each other when you’re in a creative rut.
4. Break a project into smaller chunks.
You may feel completely overwhelmed by the idea of making a heritage scrapbook—especially when you see the boxes
of photos and memorabilia! The trick, then, is to break the task into smaller chunks that you can finish in the time allotted in Tip # 1. For example, on one Sunday you can sort out photos for layouts and pick out the papers. Then, the next Sunday you can give yourself a simple goal, like “3 layouts” or “print out the journaling.”
5. Delegate an unimportant task.
You’d always find time to take a bath or eat, right? Why? Because it’s important to us. “I’d feel so hot and sticky if I didn’t bathe!” or “I’d have no energy if I didn’t eat.” Well, hobbies nurture your emotional health and control your stress levels. If you didn’t make time to have fun, you’d feel worn out and weighed down (which is just as bad as
being sticky) and you’d soon be too burnt out to work efficiently and productively.
So, make time for it—and if you’re busy, look at your to-do list and ask, “is there anything here that I can delegate or deprioritize?” Or observe your day and the habits that suck up your time. For example, how much time do you spend playing Farmville on Facebook? Maybe instead of growing fake vegetables, you can actually spend an hour growing real ones in your own backyard.