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Take time for yourself

Utilising your hobby time.

It’s always hard to find time for yourself. It’s so easy to lose any semblance of free time in the rat race of a single day, week, month, or even year. This may sound bleak but it’s not the end of the world. If your 2022 goals were to have more ‘me time’ or start a new hobby, these tips will hopefully give you the groundwork to get started.

  1. Be excited.

A self-explanatory start to this list, however; being excited is an important first step to any hobby. You’re not always going to be excited, especially when you hit the parts of the hobby that are tedious or not to your liking. Maybe you’re writing/reading a boring but important plot chapter of a book, cutting out a sewing pattern, or waiting for the glue to dry on your latest scrapbook page. Initial excitement to the hobby will hopefully give you the power to move through the parts that may not be your favourite. All hobby projects should begin with this fondness and excitement, it is fundamental to the foundation and helps you find the will to keep going in those tedious sections. If you try to start something you’re not excited about- when that new thing excitement fades away, you’ll be left with no desire to continue.

Along these lines, do not resume a hobby that left a bad taste in your mouth. It’s great to try new ideas and new projects, but, if something didn’t bring you enjoyment so much so, you put it down and didn’t touch it again until this moment. It’s not worth going back to just for something to do. You’re certainly not alone, everyone on the planet has unfinished projects tucked away somewhere in their homes I guarantee it. Don’t go back to that haunted hobby attempt. Start something that you’ve always wanted to try or something that you enjoyed once but haven’t had time for in a while, just be excited about starting it!

  1. Find the time

‘Finding time’ is a difficult task in a busy world. The last time there were mountains of free time available the world was in lockdown! Time management looks different for every individual and some advice may have worked for you; other advice may make you eye-roll. I will level with you here; I am a serial procrastinator and a perfectionist finding time can be extra difficult for people like me because even if you’re so excited about your project - you won’t do anything about it; the worst! Hopefully, not all of these ideas make you eye-roll, setting some form of time-related goal can help whether you’re a busy individual, you just don’t know how to make a start, or you’re trying to beat your inner procrastinator can be helpful to starting and maintaining hobby time.

Set a weekly timeslot; this is one of those methods that work for some and not all, if you adhere well to set schedules and like to meet time-sensitive goals this method may work for you to make consistent time for your hobby. This can be self-enforced, or you can find a studio space or class to attend for your hobby, this may provide extra motivation to commit.

If the time is right; if a rigid schedule isn’t your preference, you might need to take a more fluid approach. Free time slots, sometimes become available during the week. Perhaps you’re watching TV after dinner, or you have an afternoon to yourself. Those are the times you can utilise for your hobby. It’s about ‘feel’ at first, if you have that moment to spare, you can start with the question ‘is this the right time?’ If you answer yourself yes, go for it! Leaving reminders around your space can help you commit to an inconsistent schedule. Leave your hobby materials out, set some completable goals on your calendar anything that keeps your focus on regular task time.

  1. Commitment tactics

So, you’ve told yourself a time slot to commit to your hobby, now you need to stick to it. As I mentioned in time is right, sometimes leaving your hobby materials out is a good system reminder that you need to commit to some hobby time; even leaving a book on your table or your bedside can help you read more, if that is your hobby. But your hobby may not contain a bunch of materials or anything physical that you could leave lying around in obvious places, there may be no space, or it is unsafe to leave things out around your home. Never fear! Now is the time to find your rhythm in other ways, you’ve got your hobby, you’ve got your scheduled hobby time, now you have to commit.

Grab a friend; when in doubt get friends involved! Finding a social hobby can help keep all of you motivated, sharing progress or discussing what you’re working on will help inspire you to stick to the task.

Join a club; club activities are not only a great way to socialise they are also an opportunity to learn more about your chosen hobby, discover new things, or share resources with other club members. Clubs can motivate you to keep you on task so that you can share with your clubmates' progress at the next meeting.

Book a hobby space; if you prefer to use your own time for some quiet time, a solo way to commit to your hobby time is to select a space outside of your home, preferably a space you need to book in advance. This has two benefits, it creates that hobby timeslot we discussed in finding the time, it is also a way to help you commit as you’ve made a booking which may come at a cost to cancel or otherwise was an allotted space you had to commit to. A hobby space can also have the benefits of a club, where the space contains shared tools or materials that you can be permitted to use during your booking. Brisbane has multiple arts and hobby spaces that are discoverable on a google search including SLQ’s The Edge which contains multiple hobby spaces like Fab Lab, Recording Studio and Brisbane Tool Library. Attending a class, booking your space, talking with classmates, may be a way for you to combine all this article’s tips into hobby time.

  1. Have fun!

A hobby is not work, it’s not a chore, it’s not a responsibility, it should be something you commit to for a fun escape from the day to day. It’s beautiful to read or write a book, knit a scarf, draw or paint, laser cut or sew! While things you create may be monetizable I would recommend that hobbies are something you commit to outside of the ‘work hustle’ if you are an artist, a jeweller, a small business or all three; find a hobby that you’ve always wanted to try outside of work. It should be fun, it should not have a strict deadline, it should be just for you!

Seek and yee shall find...inspiration! For books and more visit the Library Shop Online for your next spot of free time. Or simply shop for activities of the puzzle kind.

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