If you’re struggling to prioritize hobbies in your general day to day living then you may start feeling some frustration or resentment building up towards the situation or others around you.
This isn’t always your fault and could just be the result of a poor hand being dealt — rest assured though, there’s always fat you can trim from your day and hopefully, we’ll be able to point some of that out to you to help you manage your hobbies better.
We’ll look at all aspects of hobby prioritization in this article from time management, budgeting, and even your relationships with family or friends.
It’s important to recognize that every single thing you do in life takes place in the realms of time; making the most of this time is a fine art but can yield significant rewards once you have a good structure in place to prioritize how you allocate it.
In fact, hobbies are deeply rooted in our behavior as humans therefore it’s not realistic to expect people not to do them.
This is why it’s important to start with the basics first as this is what makes for a good foundation to develop your hobbies on.
A Measured Approach Is the Right Approach: 6 Tips on How to Prioritize Hobbies
1. Analyze your day
Before you create a schedule or try to prioritize your hobbies, it’s important to analyze your day — this means keeping a journal of everything you do, even the non-productive stuff, so you can see how efficient you are and what you can cut down on.
Famous ultra-marathon runner and retired Navy SEAL, David Goggins, calls this “trimming the fat” which is an accurate analogy as it basically means purging the non-essential stuff i.e. watching Netflix all day, scrolling through your social media feeds, and playing video games.
That’s not to say you can’t ever do these activities but if you want to prioritize your hobbies then you’ll want to get rid of non-productive stuff first, or at least cut down on it.
Basically then, your daily priorities should include meeting household responsibilities such as cleaning, achieving your daily fitness goals, making time for your hobbies, and also making sure you give your family enough attention.
By journaling what you do on a typical day it should reveal many more opportunities to prioritize your hobbies and to help you make the most of your time.
As a caveat, if you feel like there’s too much variation in how you spend your week then you may want to elongate your journaling process to keep a record of what you usually spend your time on.
2. Communicate your intentions
If you have a circle of friends or family members (which is most likely) then suddenly changing your modus operandi can be a shock to them and may seem strange.
It may also cause some friction between you and them if they don’t understand how you want your day to go as they may be used to something entirely different.
This doesn’t mean you should cave to their whims but it’s important to be realistic (especially if you have a family) and to communicate what you’re trying to achieve, why it will be beneficial (for both you and them), and how that will apply in the long run.
Good communication is the grounds for success within what you do — it allows you to strategize your day without meeting obstacles along the way from the people around you who may be used to getting their own way.
It’s also just a generally courteous way to approach your day to day living if you have to interact with other people; it means they can also strategize their day too around your new schedule.
3. Figure out what you enjoy the most
It goes without saying that when you’re trying to create a schedule that you should determine which hobby you enjoy the most.
This means you can maximize the time spent on this particular pastime rather than trying a shotgun approach for many different tasks.
If you only have one hobby then you’re in luck as you won’t have to worry about this part as much, however, you should still aim to prioritize the productive hobbies over non-productive lifestyle choices such as sitting and watching television all day.
Another factor to consider is whether you’re willing to sacrifice a more intriguing passion for one which yields bigger life benefits i.e. is a hobby that potentially nets extra income a better route to go down than pursuing something that you enjoy more.
If you’re still on the fence about what you want to do as a hobby then make sure to have a browse of our top lists of hobbies that might be able to deliver some inspiration for you.
4. Consider your work schedule
This is another area to consider trimming especially if you’re relatively unsatisfied with your job or the work you’re doing.
If you think that a hobby you’re doing might lead to financial gain or better long-term prospects then sometimes it can be a good option to reduce the hours you work or to go part-time to try to put more time into it.
Managing your work-life and making time for your hobbies can be a challenge for most people, however, we’ve created a guide on this topic which is worth looking at afterward if you find it a struggle.
Basically, if you’re working 9-5 and barely making ends meet, then it would be wise in trying to maximize your potential elsewhere as it could be the only way to escape a hellish lifelong existence.
As a caveat, if you can further your hobby in work time without any negative consequences then this will allow you to be twice as productive while getting paid on company time.
5. Understand the costs
Another huge factor when it comes to prioritizing your hobbies is understanding all of the costs involved.
This means getting to grips with the upfront costs and any long-term costs that you might foresee further down the line.
For example, if you’re a collector of trading cards then you’ll probably want to budget for more long-term cost rather than any huge upfront investments like some other hobbies.
Another example, if you enjoy cycling then you’ll want to budget for a fairly large initial cost for the bike and safety gear, but may also have to keep some money aside for any repair costs should it break down.
As a final example, if you like studying the stars and partaking in some astronomy then you’ll more than likely have a large initial investment for the telescope but very little to no on-going costs to sustain the hobby.
In fact, finances are one of the biggest factors when it comes to executing your hobbies in the way you would prefer to do them which is why it’s a good idea to get to grips with this as soon as you can.
6. Create a schedule
With all of the information we’ve provided in mind, you should now want to create a schedule based on your day (or week) that will keep you on the right path to help you prioritize your hobbies.
This will include the expected time taken per week towards your tasks or chores such as seeing family, keeping the house clean, going to work, and furthering your hobby.
You’ll also want to have trimmed the fat and got rid of non-productive pastimes such as sitting and watching television all day or playing too many video games.
This doesn’t mean not to do them at all but you should have an hour or two maximum per week for leisure and the rest should be spent on furthering your hobbies or goals.
Another key factor we mentioned which can increase the amount of time dedicated towards your hobbies is to try and optimize your work schedule — this might not be something you can do straight away but is definitely worth pursuing if your hobbies can lead you to a better life.
Lastly, you’ll want a good estimation of what the expected costs of your hobbies are are whether they are upfront costs, ongoing, or unexpected e.g. repairs.
Provided you include this information in a schedule then you shouldn’t find it too hard to prioritize your passions.
Prioritizing your hobby is often a case of understanding how your day pans out so that you can get rid of any unnecessary excess, and so that you can streamline the many interactions you might have with people throughout the day.
Planning for unexpected hiccups is another useful tip when it comes to prioritization as you’ll be able to deal with them quickly and effectively without going off track too much.
There are many other tips and tricks you may want to employ which is why we recommend checking out our hobby advice page.
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