Is there something you like doing more than anything else? This pastime or hobby could be anything, such as reading, watching movies, doing crafts, sports, recording a podcast, geocaching… the list is endless. Everyone likes different things, and it’s highly likely that there will be at least one activity you would choose to do over and above anything else.
That’s a good thing because having interests and hobbies keeps your brain active (reducing the chances of cognitive decline) and boosts your mental healthy by giving you something to look forward to, as well as being something you can practice mindfulness while doing. On top of that, some hobbies are physically good for you too.
The bad thing about this is that there often doesn’t ever seem to be enough time to enjoy those hobbies. We have to focus on our responsibilities first, including work and our families, and that can leave very little time to do the things we enjoy.
If you feel like that, it can be upsetting, especially when you build up a lot of excitement to enjoy your hobby, only to find that your plans fall through because other things take precedence. However, there are some things you can do to help you enjoy your favourite things more; read on to find out what they are.
Set Aside Dedicated Time
Setting aside dedicated time for your hobby might seem like a simple solution, and that’s because it is. It really is a matter of deciding when you want to do your favourite thing and marking that time out in your diary. Don’t let anything stand between you and what you’re planning to do (apart from real emergencies, of course).
Setting aside dedicated time is the easy part of this idea, but sticking to that time and not letting anything distract you from it is much harder. You might need to think of ways to ensure you can do whatever it is you want to do. Perhaps you book some time off work. Maybe you hire a babysitter. Perhaps you invest in live TV streaming so that the rest of the household is occupied while you enjoy your hobby for a little while.
Although this planning and creating boundaries might be tricky to do at first, soon it will become a habit, and not just you but everyone around you will know that this is your time to do your favourite thing, and they’ll help you with that in any way they can.
It might be that you actually have plenty of time to do the things you want to do, but you’re so easily distracted that you waste a lot of that time and then wonder why you never get to enjoy your favourite thing anymore. If that sounds familiar, it’s time to eliminate the distractions so that you can focus on what you want to do and make the most of however much time you have for it.
One of the best things you can do if you want to eliminate distractions is to switch off your phone. This is a huge distraction, and you can easily find yourself scrolling through social media without actually realising that you’re even doing it – it’s that much of an ingrained habit. If your phone is off, there is an extra step you’ll have to take if you want to use it, and that should remind you not to until you’ve finished with your hobby.
By eliminating as many distractions as possible, you’ll be able to focus more easily on what you’re doing. Not only will this mean you enjoy it more because you’re paying attention, but it also means you’ll get more done, and that will boost your confidence, helping you do more in the future.
Try New Things
Of course, we are talking about how to find the time to do your favourite things, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick exactly to those things. Could it be that the reason you don’t find the time to do whatever it is you want to do is that you don’t actually like it as much as you once did? Or do you feel you’re stuck at a certain level and can’t seem to progress?
If this is how you feel, you should try new things. Start by thinking of something similar to what you love, but that will give you a fresh start. You might be reading a book but not really enjoying it. What if you switched to a different book that was better? You’d make more time for reading if you did that. The same is true for anything, and life is too short to do things you just don’t enjoy. It could be time to branch out and make some changes so that you can find enjoyment in your hobbies once more.
Connect With Others
If you are trying to do your favourite thing more and you’re the only one you know who enjoys it, it can be hard to make the time to do more of it. You might feel guilty because no one else understands why you like this thing, or you might feel as though it’s not worthwhile if you’re the only one who can see value in it.
Don’t let this happen. If you’re the only person you know who takes part in your favourite hobby, why not look for people you don’t know and make some new friends? You can look online at groups and forums, or you might find there is a local face-to-face group you can join or even a club where you can enjoy your hobby in a more formal setting (helping you set aside time to do it).
When you are with other people who like the same thing you do, it will feel important, and that will help you make time for it. Plus, if others expect you to be at a certain place to join in, or they want to chat with you online, you’ll be held accountable and become more dedicated to your specific favourite hobby.