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Managing Hobbies

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By Kristin Backert

Recently, a friend (and Thinking Organized colleague!) dragged me out to be social and enjoy the nice weather. We were chatting about books while eating some froyo, and she mentioned that she’d read about 100 books last year. Now, I love reading as much as the next person, but 100 books?! How on earth did she have the time? Was she secretly a robot? I immediately felt guilty about not reading nearly as much as my possibly-a-robot friend, and I started plotting how I could get close to 100 books this year.

But as I sat and plotted, I ran into a problem. Namely, I have so many hobbies that if I tried to just focus all my efforts on one, I’d be forced to neglect the others (or I could just avoid sleep altogether). Reading, puzzling, crocheting, and running all take up good chunks of time, not to mention any new hobby that decides it wants to join my life. If I didn’t want to cut back time on a hobby but also wanted to increase how much attention that I devoted toward others, I would have to come up with some sort of plan.

This is all still a work in progress, but my initial plan to Increase Reading Time looked something like this:

  • Reading: go to bed earlier so that I can have at least a solid hour of reading time. Depending on the text and how I’m feeling, I can knock out a few chapters every night.
  • Puzzling: when the work day is over, take a few minutes to relax and puzzle. Focus on one section for maybe 20 minutes to clear my head before dinner.
  • Crocheting: while watching TV, work on my current project! Do this for about 30-60 minutes each night if possible, or every other night.
  • Running: wake up early to run and beat the heat of the day. Depending on the temperature and whether I’ve busted my knee again, the amount of time that I’m outside will likely range.

A lot of this depended on me altering my morning and evening routines, which seemed doable. Once 9:00 pm hit, I aimed to get ready for bed, giving myself about a 20-minute grace period in case I was working on something and couldn’t stop exactly at 9 pm. Then, I set my alarm early enough so that I’d be out the door by 8:00 am to head to a running trail. While I don’t love waking up early on weekends, I have really loved exercising in the morning; it somehow makes the rest of the day that much easier to get through. And while it definitely feels weird to sometimes be in bed before 10 pm, I’ve absolutely loved having so much time to just sit there and read.

While I don’t think that I’ll hit 100 books this year, I feel better knowing that I’ve thought through how to divide my time amongst my favorite hobbies (other than figuring out if my friend is a robot…I can sacrifice that pursuit…for now). There are just so many things that I enjoy doing, so if I manage my time properly, I know that I’ll be able to tackle them all!

Erica MechlinskiManaging Hobbies

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