Friday, February 24, 2006

Finding Time For Your Hobbies

You may know what your hobbies are but find that working on them regularly is a different story. That can be for a number of reasons. First you may find that you simply do not have the time. Second you may find that you have so many project ideas that you are unsure where to begin. Here are a few ideas for making sure that your hobbies make it into your life.

Okay, let us take a moment to reassure ourselves that having hobbies is a good thing. They relax us. They make us better mothers and sisters and wives. Many women get it in their heads that they should not spend time on themselves, and that is absolutely untrue. You need to take some time to spend on yourself, and your hobbies are it.

Once you have decided that you can spend time on your hobbies, then you should begin determining how much time you have. Some hobbies can be completed during downtime. Perhaps you work on small cross-stitches that will fit in your purse or you make blankets for other people. You may be able to fit these hobbies in. Decide how many minutes you have every week and divide it by five.

Now look at the projects you have sitting around that are started or waiting for you. Pick five of them. Be sure that you have everything you will need to complete them. Now, you should get a sheet of paper. Write down the five projects that you have completed and then make several boxes along the same row.

You are going to use a basic rotation method to work on your projects. Take the number you reached earlier. Let us pretend that the number was two hours. So tomorrow you will begin working on the first project you wrote down. You will accumulate two hours of work on it, mark it off in one of the squares you made, and then move to the next project. Do that through the five projects and then start back at the top.

You should continue through this list until you complete a project. Once you complete one project, add another one to the list and keep going. This system will make you account for the time you spend on your hobbies and also will help you to be sure that you get some work done on the hobbies you enjoy.

This project spreadsheet should not begin to dictate the way you spend your time. Still it will help you to make sure that you are completing tasks. If you find that every time you come to one of the bead working projects on your list, you feel unhappy, then you should rethink bead working. Fill in that time with a hobby you truly enjoy.

You also should make it a point to take your hobby supplies with you whenever you go. Let us pretend that you do have that desire to cross-stitch small items. You can add this project to your hobby corral without adding it to the list of five. If you have a decent-sized purse, then you can put the stitching and the supplies you will need to complete the project in the same place. Put them in a small plastic bag so that you will have them wherever you go. Then when you are waiting for the kids or in line at the post office, you can begin to work on the project.

You may be surprised at how much time you have to spend on your hobbies if you really work at it. Sometimes we think that there is no time, but in reality, we are not using the time that we have very well. If you are conscious of your time use, then you will be able to locate little pockets. Maybe you have 15 minutes in the morning before everyone else gets up. Use that time. Little pieces of time here and there sometimes is all we can find, particularly when we have little ones running around. Just be sure that you do not give up the things you truly enjoy for the sake of other people. They would not want you to do that, and you should not either.

By Julia Mercer

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