Making Time for Your Hobbies When You Work Full-Time
I've got a big girl job now (woohoo) and 40 hours of my week are dedicated to being at that job. This marks the third week of my new position and I've already noticed my loss of dedication to photography, cooking, and writing. I'm not as energetic when I get home around 6 everyday and feel like Netflix and cat-cuddling are my only viable activities. Very tempting, but very unproductive.
Noticing this early last week, I wanted to stop this behavior before it really got out of hand and I lost all motivation to maintain my passions. Instead of accepting "this is life now", I started scheduling time after work to focus on recipe testing, photo editing, or even writing brainstorms.
I cut out time the way I did when I was scheduling my classes, trying to balance work and school. This is the most important advice I could give to those struggling with making time for their hobbies. Dedicating a chunk of time to whatever you do for fun the way you would an appointment is a perfect place to start when you need to get back into your hobbies. Treating it like a commitment rather than a passive activity is also a good way to ensure you devote the necessary time. It creates a sense of accountability to the craft and yourself.
Another useful thing I've been doing to keep my momentum towards my passions is keeping a pocket notebook specifically for that hobby. Every time I think of a new project, I write it down, as much detail as I can, in whatever time I have, in that tiny booklet so I don't forget and can get started on it as soon as I get home. The brainstorming doesn't have to happen only at home!
My last tip for staying focused and committed to your passions is taking a class to either learn more or freshen up on your skills. I love writing for my blog but I have very little "official" writing or content development training. Right now, I'm looking for classes I can take on SEO, more advanced graphic design classes, and using specific types of lenses for photography.
The important thing to remember is you never stop learning. You make that choice, not the fact that you graduated from university. I strongly encourage you to spend the money on a class if you want to learn more, you may even receive a certification for it! Great for LinkedIn content, too.
Trying to balance work and life catches up to all of us now and then. It's never easy giving both the fair amount of time they deserve... although work often trumps life. Even if the job you have is in the field you want with a position you didn't ever imagine being in, it's still a challenge. Try these ideas next time you feel yourself slipping away from your "me-time" so you can devote yourself to your passions effectively.
Shout out to Hootsuite for making scheduling and publishing my posts while I'm at work a whole lot easier! Highly recommend them for other bloggers.