Making Wise Use of Your Hobbies
A growing body of scientific research has discovered that spending time on hobbies dramatically increases both happiness and work output, but doesn’t always produce the desired outcome. So how can you best ensure that you make time for hobbies in an already busy life? How do you get hobbies that really challenge your mind, body, and soul? How do you find hobbies that are suited to you? How do you learn to manage time and energy better? Consider these questions as you examine your hobbies and how you make time to enjoy them.
There are many ways to find enjoyment in your life. One way is through leisure time, which is generally defined as time spent doing activities that do not involve work or monetary exchange. This includes such things as reading, gardening, exercising, socializing, watching television, listening to music, and playing games. Because this type of free time is usually devoted to pleasure, it is thought of as the height of leisure time. Many people consider this type of time to be the highest quality of their time and their entertainment, and they often choose hobbies related to that quality.
On the other hand, some hobbies require a lot of work or investment in order to become successful. For example, participating in certain work groups or classes, such as a community service or an athletic club, requires dedicated time and effort in order to succeed. While social media may seem like a harmless hobby in some ways, most people agree that successfully participating in social media requires a tremendous amount of work, dedication, and patience. The time spent on social media may be leisure time, but it is not necessarily a hobby.
In addition to working or participating in a hobby, many people make time for non-hobby activities, which can contribute positively to their mental health and well being, but may not require as much time and effort. For example, many people make time to read, write, or meditate. These are all legitimate hobbies. When done properly, they can serve as tools to enhance one’s mental health and well being. However, there is always the potential for overspending if a person is not careful. One should only spend time on hobbies that will yield a positive return, or they could end up wasting money and time.
One way to avoid the pitfalls of spending too much leisure time on hobbies that will not bring a return is to be honest about how much time someone wants to spend on their hobby. If, for example, someone wishes to invest in a hobby that will help them get good grades, they should discuss that plan with a college advisor. Even though someone is not officially dating the college, they should still let the advisor know what they plan to do. This way, the advisor can give the student accurate information about how much time they need to devote to the hobby, and if they need help with getting a solid grade point average. If a person is going to spend time socializing or doing something else of social media while attending college, they should give the reason to the college.
Another way to avoid the problem of “wasted” leisure time is to be honest about how much time people actually spend on their hobbies. For example, if a person spends most of their spare time playing poker, they should let the poker fanatic know how much time they plan to devote to the game. The more upfront and specific a person are about their hobbies, the less wasted time they will have. This may mean that the person will make time to do things other than poker, but it will be more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Of course, it is not uncommon for a person to spend time in a field that is not precisely what they signed up for. For example, if a person wants to pursue a degree in English, they may decide to enroll in a creative activity class instead of taking a traditional college course. Creative classes allow for great hobbies to be work projects. This is often better for people who are not interested in taking a specific course but rather enjoy working on their creativity instead.
The key to all of this is to be honest. It does not matter if the hobby is something that people enjoy or if they spend their free time doing it. As long as it is not considered a waste of time, it will eventually become fun and not be seen as a “waste of time.” Once a person realizes how much fun they can have with their hobbies, it will become easier to be open and honest about how they want to spend their time. People that don’t have hobbies can learn to make time for them, and those that have started hobbies can learn how to turn those into a source of new skills and money.