We received the following question from a reader. Today, we’ll aim to answer it!
Q. I liked your post on time management for work and social life. My problem, however, is not knowing what to choose! I am often interested in many different new things at once. Sometimes I have trouble prioritizing, and I don’t really meet the goals I set for myself (making a DIY project, for example, or learning to speak a different language). How do you decide which hobby outside of work is the most important to you? Is that even something you can do?
– Overly Committed
Rose: For starters, don’t be so hard on yourself. Hobbies and interests can wax and wane. Mine change constantly! Some months I’m obsessed with DIY projects and crafts. Other months, all I care about is fitness. There have been projects I’ve started and left on the table, unfinished. This is just life — it happens! I try and remember that I am choosing to do these for fun and that the process is sometimes more important than the outcome.
However, if for some reason it does come down to prioritizing, I sort of think of myself in three areas. Throughout my life, I’ve always seemed to gravitate toward food, fitness, and creativity. I aim to do a combination each week. I let what’s moving me take charge. If I’m really into something, there is probably a reason for it. So I immerse myself fully. And I try to block out the other things that cause me stress. For example: If going to Happy Hour isn’t productive to me, and I’d rather go home and be creative, that’s what I do. In the end, it’s all about choices and letting your heart have a say in that.
Jenna: This has been a struggle for me lately. Between balancing work being super hectic, work travel, personal commitments and a longish distance relationship my normal routine can get really messy and crowded. I try to prioritize, but sometimes you just have to say no. It doesn’t always feel good but I know mentally I will feel better.
It often does come down to prioritizing. I try to focus on what brings me joy. I’ve gotten to a place where I realize that it may feel crappy at the time to decline, but my overall well being will be better for it. I try to also be present. Ever spent time with a friend that wasn’t fully there or committed to the situation? That feels crappy too.
Give yourself a break, and listen to your heart. It usually guides you in the right direction.