As a creative person and someone who helps other people BE creative I see people struggling with how to make more time for hobbies, crafting, baking, gardening or whatever makes them happy. With our lives becoming busier and busier MOST would say the lack of free time is THE number one reason why they aren’t able to make time for hobbies.
I think I can help you with this and find more time to do the things you love everyday if you want it….and I think you do! I’ve been where you are and I’ve found ways to carve out new time for my hobbies that didn’t exist before.
My life is probably very similar to yours. I own my own business and I spend about 50-55 hours a week working. I’m married (my husband works full time) and we have a small hobby farm with chickens, MANY gardens and a big hairy dog (this hairy dog will be more important later). There are a ton of responsibilities associated with the property we own as we host weddings and events throughout the year.
Just like you I have a really hard time carving out time for things I enjoy doing like crafting, gardening and baking. It always seems like there is a higher priority demand somewhere that deserves or needs my attention. I’m sure you can sympathize with this feeling.
I’m not a self-help guru trying to help you re-prioritize you life, or school you on the importance of self care (although that IS important)….I want to share ideas for how to make more time for hobbies. This is what I’m doing and I think if you take these on board you can make time even when you have no time.
So here are five actionable ideas you can put into use starting today to get more of your life back and enjoy the things you love:
1. Use Public Transportation or Carpooling & Take Your Hobbies With You!
Before I started my business working from home I had a pretty substantial commute of an hour each way. This meant that two hours out of every day was spent on the road driving. That’s A LOT of time every day, every year of your whole life! I wanted that time back…not only for myself but for my sanity….
To say the least, that 2 hour commute got old really quick so I packed up my crafting supplies in my inconspicuous crafting tote and I started bussing to work everyday. Taking my crafts with me allowed for TWO WHOLE HOURS of crafting I didn’t have before. After riding the bus for a few months I met people in my area that I could carpool with and did that too.
It was amazing what I could accomplish with two extra hours of free time everyday! Leaving the stress of driving for two hours behind did wonders for my well being.
And since I had my incognito crafting tote with me everyday at work I found myself crafting during my lunch break. During this time of my corporate life I was able to work on my crafting hobbies about 2.5 hours a day!
It got to the point where I was taking my crafting tote with me in the car everywhere. If I had a few spare minutes to burn waiting somewhere I could easily bring out a project and get some small part accomplished even if I only had a few minutes. I really want to emphasize a point here…no mater where your going or what your doing…take your hobbies with you! Idle time is potential hobby time!
So if you’re going to pick up the kids at school and have to wait in the car line….bring your crafting tote. Sitting in bleachers during your kiddos sports practice……bring your crafting tote. TAKE YOUR HOBBIES WITH YOU EVERYWHERE! You never know when you’ll get an opportunity so be ready!
So, if you have a long commute see if there is an option to take public transportation or carpool with someone in your office. This could ultimately lead to several extra hours every week to balance work with hobbies.
2. Can You Buy More Hobby Time at a Reasonable Price?
Chances are you are doing a lot of repetitive, non-value added tasks that don’t really enrich your life. You’ll need to sit down and really think about the biggest time sucks in your life and see if there is a better way to do things. Top of mind for me (and probably you too) are cleaning tasks and shopping for groceries. Yes, these things have to be done (over and over again unfortunately) but is there a better way to manage this time in order to get more time for hobbies?
The answer is YES!
Remember, that big black hairy dog I told you about? Well, I was spending a few hours a week sweeping and vacuuming up all this dog hair over 2500 square feet of house. I swear his shedding cycle is permanently set on forever mode. Anyway, I looked at how much time I was spending on this super repetitive non-value added task and it amounted to several hours a week….hours I desperately wanted back!
With all our advances in technology we still haven’t got our Rosie Robot (you know…the robot maid from The Jetsons) to clean our homes yet BUT there is a iRobot Roomba Vacuum that I’ve invested in. I absolutely love it and I haven’t swept or vacuumed in months. This small investment has netted me 8 extra hours every month by my calculations. That’s a whole DAY I can devote to crafting, baking, gardening or whatever I want!
I started researching some other ways I could cut my cleaning time and found another product that’s worth mentioning and that is Clorox’s daily shower cleaner. Depending on your shower and how often you clean it….this can be a nice time saver. You just spray down your shower after each use and you’ll never have to scrub it again. It really works! I haven’t scrubbed a tub in months! I also spritz the bathroom sink down with this stuff a couple times a week and it keeps the sink clean too!
One last bathroom cleaning hack which eliminates toilet scrubbing are the Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Gels that you stick to the bowl. This is truly set it and forget it and it has eliminated toilet scrubbing for me completely.
One more time saver that I want to wholly recommend is having your groceries and dry goods delivered for FREE through Amazon or Target’s Shipt Program. The costs for these programs is pretty minimal (especially if you’re already a prime member) and its a huge time saver having your shopping delivered to your door.
I personally like using Walmart’s grocery pick-up service which is 100% FREE. Wal-mart does all the work and you just swing by to pick up your order! They’ll even bring it out to your car and load it up for you. This saves me a ton of drive/searching time on multiple trips to the grocery store per week. You can also purchase everyday dry goods like paper towels, pet food and cleaning products (and anything else in the store). I estimate that this saves me about 3 hours of driving/searching every week (plus, you can’t beat their grocery prices).
Investing in these few products/practices allowed me to “buy” some of my time back at a reasonable price. It was a good investment because in total I’m getting a ton of time back for my hobbies (also….I hate cleaning). So ask yourself if there is a way to get more time back for hobbies at a reasonable price?
3. Eliminate “Time Sucks” from Your Life.
When I talk with my friends about how to make more time for hobbies I often hear that there just isn’t any time for it with kids, home and family….and then….almost in the same sentence I hear about how they binged the entire season of Handmaid’s Tale over the weekend.
This is gonna sting a little but if you want more time for hobbies you have to step away from the TV. That means giving up sports, video games and yes….binge watching. Just think of all the extra hobby money you’ll have to spend by eliminating all these streaming services!
TV may not be the issue (or the only issue)….think a little more broadly. What is sucking away your time needlessly? Is it Facebook or Instagram? I don’t know how many times I’ve hopped on to Facebook or Instagram for “just a minute” only to realize a whole hour has gone by wasted on social media.
It was eye opening for me to use Apple’s Screen Time App to see how much time was spent surfing the web, on Facebook or Instagram. The app also allowed me to set some limits so I didn’t get carried away time wise (this is also a great app if you have kids engaging in too much screen time).
So take a moment to think about these little…and sometimes really big “time sucks” that add up. This is time that could easily be spent on hobbies you enjoy more that binging, social media or video games.
4. Combine Your Hobbies with Friends & Family Time
I know it can be difficult to feel like your hobby time is taking away time you should be spending with your kids, your friends or family. I totally get it. I’m just hear to say that you can do both! Here are some ideas on how you can balance your hobbies with kids, friends & family.
- Host a Crafting/Hobby Night With Friends and (or) Family– Invite your friends and family over for an open crafts night at your house. Chances are they are yearning for some crafting time as much as you are. You get to spend quality time with the people you love and work on your hobbies too. It’s a win-win! And while you’re all together perhaps you can make it a regular event which naturally carves out time for hobbies in the future. This is truly a “two birds with one stone” approach to friends/family and hobby time.
- Get Crafting with Kids– This may take some advance planning but finding something that your kids can craft on while you work on your hobbies is quality time. You’re spending time helping them with something that might become a lifelong passion. I know that almost everything I do today for a hobby started as something I learned from my mother!
5. Ask for More Support From Your Family Unit
If you’ve reached the bottom of this list and still haven’t found actionable ideas on how to make more time for hobbies it may be time to seek the support of your family unit to help MAKE more time for hobbies. Hopefully this isn’t news to you but most spouses don’t know what we need unless we tell them. So have a conversation with your spouse and see if there is a way to carve out more time for your hobbies.
I see too often that women/mothers are often taking on a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the home raising kids and keeping all the balls in the air. Consider using a chore chart & command center to get the kids organized into taking on more responsibility or develop a system to equally divide the chores in your home with your spouse.
You aren’t less of a parent or spouse by shifting more responsibilities onto your children or spouse….you’re developing future adults and bringing more balance to the family unit. Children need to understand they have responsibilities early on in life….responsibilities that have to be balanced with play time.
How to Make More Time for Hobbies Summary:
- Purchase an inconspicuous crafting tote and start taking your hobbies with you everywhere you go. You never know when the opportunity to craft will present itself so you want to be ready!
- Invest in major time savers like a Roomba vacuum so you’ll have more time to spend doing the things you love (like NOT cleaning).
- Have your groceries and dry goods delivered for FREE. This saves a ton of drive/searching time on trips to the grocery store and places like Walmart for everyday dry goods like paper towels, pet food and cleaning products.
- Carve out more time for your hobbies by taking public transportation or carpooling with people from your office. This can lead to tons of extra hobby time.
- Eliminate the “time sucks” from your life like video games, streaming services, Facebook and Instagram. Use Apple’s Screen Time App to help manage your time.
- Host an open craft night at your house so you can spend time with family and friends AND work on your hobby at the same time.
- Divide the labor in your household more equitably between your spouse and children by setting up a chore/chart and command center like this one.
I hope you found some actionable ideas on how to make more time for hobbies, crafting, baking, sewing, gardening or whatever it is you love to do. It’s so important for your well being to balance family and work with the things you love. It’s your sanity we’re talking about here!
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