How To Keep A Hobby When You Have No Time

Juggling a hobby alongside work and personal commitments is not as difficult as it seems. Follow these tips to identify new interests and find time to enjoy them.
Keep up with a hobby amid a busy schedule.

Having a hobby outside of work is essential to both our wellbeing and career. It gives us a sense of purpose beyond work and keeps our stress levels manageable.

Our interests beyond work can also bring new insights or connections to what we do at work – adding to work-life harmony.

Many people, however, may feel they lack the time to pursue their interests. Hobbies tend to be pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists and become something we only pursue when we have the time.

Here are some ways you can discover a hobby and find the time to pursue it:

Finding the Right Hobby

Keeping a hobby starts with picking one that you will love. Here are a few ways to start:

  • Do something you’ve always wanted to learn or try. An activity you were curious about could turn out to be your new hobby.
  • Revisit childhood interests. What we liked as children can be a good indication of what might interest us as adults.
  • Consider what you like to do in your free time. It may be easier to form a hobby out of activities you enjoy or are already doing regularly. If you like shopping for new clothes, for example, try sewing your own, or exploring photography by taking photos of your outfits.

Making Time for Your Hobbies

Having “no time” is a common reason people give for not maintaining a hobby. Instead of trying to squeeze a hobby into your schedule, see where you can find ways to work on your hobby without compromising your other responsibilities:

  • Track your time. Track a week of your life in 30-minute blocks to see where you’re not using your time well (e.g., scrolling through social media mindlessly) and that could be better spent.
  • Try multi-tasking. If your daily schedule tends to be filled to the brim, try picking up a hobby that you can enjoy with your other activities. If you spend a lot of time on public transport, for example, take up a hobby that you can work on while commuting – such as knitting or reading.
Try picking up a hobby that you can enjoy with your other activities.
  • Commit to short bursts. Realistically, it may not be possible to dedicate a few hours every day solely to your hobby. Instead of waiting until you are free, let yourself spend 15 minutes of spare time in between responsibilities or errands to explore your hobby.
  • Join (or start) an interest group. This is a good way of committing yourself to a hobby. The onePA website has interest groups for everything from gardening to robotics. From now till March 31, 2022, get a one-time discount when signing up for PA courses, activities, memberships and interest groups.

Alternatively, if you and your colleagues have common hobbies, why not start an agency interest group? Rally a band of musicians, or bond with colleagues over a monthly book club. You can even start a Workplace group with like-minded colleagues across agencies.

When we stay engaged and fulfilled outside of work, we are able to be more focused and enthusiastic towards our jobs. Find out how Aaron Maniam, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Information, switches between his work and hobbies to keep up his energy for both.

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    Feb 15, 2022
    Hidayah Md Sham
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