Hey everyone, I don’t think I specifically mentioned this on my blog but I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I do, however, make a yearly goal on my birthday for the upcoming year. Last year, for example, I decided Year 24 of my life would be my time to try new things. I think I did okay at that. However, because I had such bad anxiety for the start of the year I really didn’t get to do as much as I could have, out of worry that I would be out and about and then get a panic attack out of no where.
So for Year 25 I decided to make a new goal rather than renew my previous year’s goal. My goal was FUN. I wanted to do more things that made me happy and I was going to meet my goal no matter what. I’ve been 25 for almost 2 months now and I’ve been focusing on continuing to go to musicals, reading more books, learning to ride horses, going on walks, writing this blog, and a few other things that I’ve realized have made me happy.
It’s not always easy to find time for my hobbies though. I work a full time job 7:30-4, my commute takes up about and hour and a half of my day (45ish minutes to get to work, 45ish more to get home), and on Sundays I help my dad out with his landscaping business. But I’m not about to let that all get in the way of my goal. Here’s a few tips I have to make time for fun.
Use the time you already have wisely
One of my favorite things to do is to read. This does take time and unlike Netflix, I can’t put a book on in the background and do other things. In our fastpaced world of constant connectivity and multitasking reading actually felt like a waste of time doing only one thing. But I’ve fallen back in love with it.
I find time to read by reading on my breaks at work (I keep a book there at all times now). I don’t often take breaks though so it can take awhile to get through the books but I do my best. I also read on weekdays at the end of the day when possible, before going to bed. On weekends I tend to get a lot of reading done. I still wake up early on Saturdays so I stay in bed and read for about 2 hours before I actually get up and then on Sundays I read in the car as my dad drives us to and from work, as well as in the evenings.
I also really like listening to podcasts. My car’s AUX input doesn’t seem to connect to my phone so I can’t listen to them in the car easily. Instead I use the time that I work with my dad to listen to them. I normally do things like watering the plants or pulling weeds so it’s simple things that don’t require a lot of attention. I take advantage of this and put on a podcast. I regularly have about 15-20 episodes queued up to play so I don’t have to worry about running out.
Plan your days in advance
At the beginning of the year, as schedules were announced for the season’s major theatre performances, I made a list and ranked all the shows I wanted to see. I have forgone a lot more than I thought I would but I have seen the ones I did not want to miss. I have tickets to my next show already and am waiting for the tickets to the next couple to go on sale.
Going to the theatre can be tough. In fact, usually I’m one of the youngest in the theatre because lots of people my age just don’t make time to go to a show. I make sure to plan out the day in advance, including travel time. If I need to get to downtown Chicago for a musical I take the train down earlier than I need to make sure I get there in time and plan to take the next train back. The train is about 3 hours round trip so it’s a full day’s adventure. I also look up the weather, to make sure I have an appropriate and comfortable outfit (three hour performance with intermission, comfort is key!).
Usually I go to see a show on a Saturday or Sunday. I don’t work weekends for my full time job and my dad is flexible if I have plans so I know I’m free on these days. Sometimes though, weekends don’t work and I request a day off from work. I don’t have any vacation planned for this year where I would need to save my vacation days and my boss doesn’t mind when we take our time off as long as we aren’t facing a deadline for one of the projects we are working on or when no one could cover for us.
Note: I used theatre only for this example but I also use this one for the days when I go to conventions as well!
As you can see, planning is a big part of making time for fun. If you are going to be rushed or stressed when the big day comes, you won’t have fun. Even then, always have a back up plan prepared. Since I take the train I make sure to keep a credit card in my hand just in case I need to hop into a taxi or reload my city transit card for a bus or the “EL” train. You just never know!
Make time by prioritizing
And the final way I suggest finding time for your hobbies, is just to make it a priority. Once you prioritize your fun, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find time for it.
After a long day at work all I want to do is curl up and relax. But am I getting the most out of my day? No. So I’ve had to prioritize my hobbies to find the best way to spend my time. I wanted to make healthier choices so my mom and I try to take a walk around the neighborhood after dinner. We don’t always go but we also don’t stress about it either. If the day is nice (i.e. it’s not rainy or cold) off we go.
My riding lessons are every Wednesday afternoon. I know these take all afternoon so I plan the rest of my week around these. If I have errands to run then I do them on the other days or if they must be done on Wednesday then I head into work earlier and to be able to leave work a little earlier and get it done.
I also write my blog posts during the evenings when I have time. Usually I end up writing it the day before but if I’m having a particularly inspired day, I’ll write an extra post or two. I schedule it for the next day and I usually read the post again in the morning to do a final proofread and check to make sure everything looks good before it’s posted. Since I post Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 4:00pm CST, aka the time I leave work, I don’t have time to write it on the day or to publish it myself. Doing it early works best for me and having a deadline of bedtime is a great motivator.
So those are my tips! Unfortunately there are some hobbies of mine I’ve been neglecting. I haven’t made time for creative writing in ages, I want to get back into music and find some flute lessons to pick up my instrument again, I want to try voice lessons, I’d love to try some baking recipes I’ve found and been given, and so on and so on. But I also know that I can’t do everything so I’ve left them off for now. However as I get more accustomed to making time for fun I think I’ll get better at allocating my time between my hobbies.
For writing about beauty a lot in this blog I didn’t really mention it in this post. I wanted to leave it out as I really do a lot for that portion of my life in all the categories rather than one in particular so I didn’t think it would the best example. However it is a hobby that I really enjoy and spend a lot of time on as well. (I also don’t want this post to be eight years long.)
Let me know if you have any tips for making time for your fun in the comments. I’d love to read them!
Thanks for reading!