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8 ways to balance a career and the love of a personal hobby

We have all been there. The stresses and pressures of a job and the joy and love of a personal hobby. What to do, what not to do? What gets prioritized, what doesn’t? Let’s talk more about this, yeah?

Some of us may have left our professional jobs to pursue the hobby we love. Few of us may have just given up the hobby. And there is a small portion of us who have a professional job and still keep a personal hobby, to keep us sane after all the rigours of a work day. The question that arises is, how to manage both, a job and pursuing a hobby you love?

I go through this every day, and I can tell you, at some point, it is absolutely exhausting managing both. There are days when I want to give up. Either the job or my hobby. But the thing at that moment was: I loved both of them, my job and my hobby so much that I didn’t want to give up either of them.

But then the inevitable happened.

I barely scraped through managing both work and hobby. I was so burnt out, I gave up on my work and my love, and I felt so lost. I lost the work life balance and absolutely went bonkers. But this happened to be my wake up call. I decided this was it. I couldn’t let such things happen again. So here is what I did; I made a few changes to my lifestyle and that made a great difference for me. Little changes here and there and currently, I am almost back on track to getting control of things.

So here’s me sharing some of the little changes right here; hopefully, it might help some of you guys too who are in a position like me.

1. Set a schedule – Make a proper timetable of everything you do from morning to night. Set aside sometime every night to work on something you love, be it art, painting, music, anything. And work on it. On the days you’re absolutely exhausted from work, give yourself a break from the schedule from working and just relax. Take a bath, go for a walk, read a book, cook a simple meal for yourself or just sleep. You need to give your body the rest it needs. Don’t tire it out.

2. Get your priorities right – What is more important at the moment? That TV show or a new artwork you planned or the new recipe you want to try. You can give up one episode of your show to get some important work done. If you really want to watch, keep it playing in the background and work on your stuff. Also, binge-watching doesn’t help in any way. Your TV show will come back. Time lost doesn’t. Keep that in mind as you sort through priorities.

3. Sleep – Yep, that’s as important as setting your goals for work and hobbies. Your body can’t bear a large amount of stress at a shot. Give it a break and sleep well. Switch off your phone an hour before you go to bed. Use that time to read, write, draw, spend time with family, or anything that keeps you away from browsing your phone.

4. Make a List – Important as hell. There may be a 100 things to do at work and personally, and making note of things will keep thing easy for you. Make a list of all the things that need to be done for the day, week or month, whichever suits you. Making a list will help you keep track of all the things on your plate. Be it those future plans and goals, things to do, a list of artwork to be done, anything. Where there is a note of stuff that needs to be done, you have things in your control.

5. Take a break – Yep. Every once in a while shut off everything, go off grid and take a vacation. It can be over a weekend or even a longer one. A holiday where you do nothing but relax is a great way to rejuvenate yourself and get back to work recharged and refreshed.

6. Limit your time on social media – In the constant “perfect” world of social media it’s easy to waste time looking at others’ posts and get lost in them. Social media is scary; from looking at the perfectly laid art posts, to fitness goals and how perfect everyone’s life is, it is easy to lose your mind over it. Limit yourself to the amount of time you spend staring at your phone and laptop and get to creating things. Once in a while, use social media to get inspiration, but please, don’t get yourself hooked onto it. Learn to keep the balance.

7. Don’t make perfection your end goal – That can ruin all the joy of creating and doing something fun. Perfection should not be a goal; remember that. Nobody’s perfect. Everyone’s learning, everyone’s trying new things. When you remove the word “perfect” from your dictionary, it take away a lot of stress and you can actually go ahead and have fun with things; be it at work or working on your personal hobby.

8. Learn something new – Every once in a while try something new. Get out of that comfort zone and try something that scares you, be it at work or with your hobby. Once you try something new, you allow yourself to immerse into something different which can be really interesting. Keeping things monotonous can get boring; which can lead to you getting exhausted and get you out of mood to work or tackle your personal hobby. Maybe attend a workshop to pick up a new skill. The more you try new things, the more you are open to experimenting, the more active you get and the more ideas you generate and ultimately, the more fun you have with whatever you are doing.

What have I learnt from these tips?

These are some little things I kinda incorporated into my lifestyle and it has kinda worked wonders for me. I rest the body and mind, try new things, take a break once in a while and look to having more fun while creating. This has kinda made me feel way better than the days I slog and don’t create “perfect” art. I have learnt to let loose, learnt to not stress out much when things don’t go my way. It hard to make these changes immediately, but with slow steps, you can easily get to the place where I am at now. I am yet to get to that place, but I know that I am at least getting there, even if the progress is slow.

Until the next blog post,

Cheers! 🙂

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