A few days ago, I asked folks on Facebook what their hobbies were and how much time they spent on them each week. Here are the responses I got:
- Facebook: Too much.
- Walking: 5 hours.
- Birdwatching: Not enough.
- Banjo: 5 hours
- Golf: Can’t admit it here.
- Building museum quality sailing ships from scratch: About 2 hours weekdays and 4-6 on weekends.
- Researching family tree: 10 hours.
- Magic tricks: 5-10 hours as a hobby and 20-30 making a living at it.
- Hobby? What on earth is that?
- Quilting: Some weeks, over 40 hours. Some, none.
- Quilting and Zentangle: 10 – 12 hours.
It’s great seeing so many people who are pursuing their hobbies with gusto. Quite honestly, I expected most people to admit to wanting to pursue a hobby but not having time. Here are some suggestions from my book Do it Well. Make it Fun. on being more purposeful with your hobbies.
- Make a bucket list of all the things you’d like to do before you die. If the list is extensive, it might allow you to do a variety of things as your hobby rather than focusing on one or two. The list, however, this is a good starting point for developing your work-life balance plan.
- Many of us have a sport in which we always wanted to participate. If physically able, look for local groups that may offer an opportunity to join a team. Fifty-year-olds should probably not participate in full-contact tackle football, but we’re not necessarily ready for balloon tennis either. I’m just saying.
- If you enjoy reading, you can join a book club. By becom- ing a member of a club, you’re forced to read at least one book a month. And being forced to pursue a hobby is not a bad thing.
- If crafts like cross-stitch are your thing, local community centers and libraries offer classes to learn a variety of crafts and to practice them with other enthusiasts. There’s nothing better than a little bonding with another male cross-stitcher.
- The Internet is a great tool for finding people who have the same interests that you have. There are groups within Facebook and Twitter that allow you to connect with others to share ideas about a lot of different hobbies.
- Finally, engage in your hobby at least once per week. If you don’t schedule it, you’ll neglect it. If you neglect it, you don’t reap the benefits.
Remember, your work is not a hobby. Hobbies should not be work. But blending work with hobbies is nirvana and the essence of doing it well and making it fun.