Time Waits for No One: 14 Efficient Hobbies That Don’t Require a Lot of Time


Do you find yourself always consumed with work or tasked with various chores such as picking up the kids?

Are you frustrated that you don’t have a segment of your life that is dedicated towards having fun or developing a passion?

Well, you’re not alone and it’s quite commonplace to find it hard to strike a good balance between making enough to pay the bills and learning something new.

It’s not all bad news though because there are tons of hobbies that are suited to that particular lifestyle where you’re trying to balance being a productive member of society whilst still managing to have a bit of fun.

If you’re pressed for time then it’s not always easy to dedicate a large portion of it towards nurturing a hobby, however, we’re going to look at several efficient options that allow you to have the best of both worlds.

14 Time-Efficient Hobbies That Fit With Any Schedule

1. Resistance Band Training

This first hobby is amazing because you can take your resistance bands basically anywhere and crank out a good workout.

Resistance bands are super versatile and you can manipulate them to hit various muscle groups meaning even if you’re stuck in the office you can build a decent physique.

You can even get non-permanent door anchors that are relatively low-profile that can enhance the efficacy of your resistance band workout which is a great idea if you have your own office or room to do it in.

Best of all, you don’t need to have a dedicated portion of time through the day to train (unlike going to a gym) meaning you can really streamline this hobby around your needs rather than the other way round.

2. Photography

Provided you have a camera and something to store it in then photography is a super-efficient hobby that you can do basically anywhere.

You don’t need to dedicate large portions of your day towards this hobby and can actually opt for more of a “snap-and-go” approach instead.

It’s interesting to look back on the things you captured in a picture when you do eventually find the time to sit down and analyze it.

And better yet, photography has many different styles meaning if you do work in the city you could snap some pictures of buildings and architecture, or if you’re situated out in the countryside then maybe some snaps of the landscape.

To summarize, photography is one of the most efficient hobbies when you have little time because you can immortalize those moments to look back on when you do have more free time in the future.

3. Reading

Reading is a highly efficient hobby because you can choose to read as much or as little as you want to.

In fact, it has many positives such as being cost-effective and relatively productive especially since you can educate yourself on basically any topic that you’re interested in even if you only have a five-minute slot in your schedule.

We recommend interweaving reading with other time-efficient hobbies as this literally can be done anywhere and basically at any time; even if you’re in the rest room.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that audiobooks have their place within the world of reading and can actually be more convenient sometimes due to not having to lug a book around with you.

There are many great audiobook services out there such as Audible who offers a free trial for 30 days allowing you to listen to many books and podcasts.

4. Learn a second language

Learning another language can unlock many benefits that you never knew were possible and can be done at basically any point throughout the day.

It’s easier than ever to learn a second language through apps like Duolingo and even just reading a book on your chosen language.

Similar to reading, you’ll only need as much as five minutes to increase your multilingual skills meaning even if you’re on a short commute or just about to go to bed, you can further your knowledge in a chosen language.

Contrary to popular belief, English is not the foremost spoken language in the world — Mandarin Chinese and Spanish actually have more native speakers across the globe meaning they’re a good place to start for your second language.

Here’s a great book featuring two-thousand of the most commonly used words in Mandarin Chinese.

5. Spinning Tops

Playing with spinning tops is an ancient hobby that dates back thousands of years yet still remains popular even to this day.

In fact, they’ve actually been found all over the world including the ancient city of Troy and even in the Etruscan tombs in Italy.

They’re not the most complicated toy to get to grips with and the aim is to try spin them for as long as possible without them toppling over.

You may ask why you would do such a thing but people swear that having a fiddle of something very passive like this can actually inspire moments of genius.

You can literally keep one in your pocket meaning if you find you have a minute or two of downtime then you can give it a little spin to make your day a little more interesting.

6. Meditation

Meditation is the process of focusing on a single thought, sight, or sound which is meant to promote inner restfulness and mindful clarity.

You can do it basically anywhere for as long or as short a time as you want making it very efficient to spread throughout the day.

For example, if you’re sat in an office it may be easiest to focus on the hubbub of chatter whereby you’ll try to shut off all other thoughts that attempt to intrude your mind.

If you’re lucky enough to be in a silence-filled room then sometimes it’s easiest to just shut your eyes and focus on the process of your breathing.

In essence then, you’re trying to deliberately hold your focus on one thing to clear your mind of the clutter that often pervades it.

It’s not the easiest hobby to understand when read by text so luckily there’s a great video you can watch that explains the process:

7. Walking

Walking is something you can do either pro-actively throughout the day or to be done as a dedicated workout when you have a little free time.

For example, instead of commuting via automobile or bus then why not walk to work instead?

You can also opt to take the stairs rather than getting in the elevator as this can easily mount up throughout the day to hundreds of calories burned.

You only get the time between you waking up and going to sleep in the day so it’s important to maximize the opportunities to get some exercise in as well.

8. Doodling

Doodling is the process of drawing without paying attention — essentially, you’re letting your hand do whatever it wants to do without giving it much thought.

If you often have periods of downtime at work where you’re sat at your desk not doing much then keeping a pen and pad nearby to doodle can really keep your day fresh.

In fact, studies show that doodling whilst talking to people (such as a customer on a phone call) can actually improve your recall of the conversation meaning you’re better at making notes.

9. Mobile Video Games

Not the most directly productive hobby on our list, however, taking ten minutes out of your day to relax, unwind and just have a great time on some video games is actually really beneficial.

When you’re constantly attempting to focus on something, it can eventually become detrimental to the point that we recommend actually doing something considered non-productive such as playing games.

Better yet, mobile video games can be played almost anywhere meaning the fun doesn’t have to stop once you leave the house.

Level up, collect gold, and slay enemies till your heart’s content.

10. Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding is a creative process that you can do in your head or by making notes on a pad with a pen.

This means it can suit basically any schedule even if you don’t have lots of time to dedicate towards it.

So, what is worldbuilding I hear you ask?

Well, it’s kind of like creating a fantasy world such as for a story; think Middle-Earth in Lord of the Rings, or Azeroth in World of Warcraft.

There doesn’t have to be a purpose to making the world either meaning you can get really crazy about some of the details such as the creatures who inhabit the world, what kind of landscapes there are, and even intricacies such as the political structure of the world.

In fact, J.R.R Tolkien is most popularly known for his Lord of the Rings book series, however, he was actually one of the best worldbuilders we’ve ever seen and he even invented an entire language (Elvish) for the purpose of his vision.

11. Create & Listen to Music Playlists

Music is known to drive certain moods and emotions meaning you can harness the energy of a song to get you pumped for the day.

One of the best things about services like Spotify and Amazon music is that they allow you to create and cultivate playlists that you can add all of your favorites too.

Whether that be for on your break at work, or whilst traveling in the car, and even whilst waiting in an airport, music can give you some much-needed energy or relief from the general day to day musings that happen around you.

Many of these services offer free trials meaning you can try this hobby out for yourself before needing to pay for anything.

And best of all, you can listen to music at a moments notice and continue to add to your collection for years to come.

12. Learn to debate

We’re currently in an age where it’s more prudent than ever to educate yourself with actual facts rather than trusting biased-media outlets or agenda-driven companies.

Practicing the art of debates can be done basically anywhere and is best done with a friend to prevent starting an argument or conflict.

People take politics and their opinions seriously which means you don’t know how they’ll react to hearing certain things, however, if you can defend yourself with facts based on the evidence then they’ll find it harder to refute.

Debating is most definitely a skill and can become a hobby for some whereby you’ll practice a variety of things such as staying up to date with current affairs, finding non-biased sources of information, and getting into discussions with a mixture of people from different backgrounds.

13. Stretching

Stretching is an underrated hobby as the purpose is often misunderstood or confused as being some sort of spiritual unmanly pastime.

Rest assured, stretching has many benefits and can be done at a moments notice for as much or as little time as you like.

If you find you’re regularly achy or not quite as limber as you once were then we highly recommend starting with a basic stretching routine to get you moving more freely again.

Stretching can help power your workouts because it means your joints have a greater range of motion and aren’t being restricted by your tight muscles from extending out as far as they need to.

If you’re not sure where to start then we highly recommend grabbing a book on stretches that will give you all the necessary movements to try for each muscle.

14. Streamlining

Streamlining your days, weeks, and even years in advance can help you to maximize the time you have available and even save you money.

This hobby involves analyzing what you usually do in your week to help spot areas that you can cut down on or can remove if they aren’t necessary.

It could be something as simple as pacing around while you’re waiting for a meal to heat up which across the year could be an extra two days being lost to unproductiveness.

We recommend starting this hobby by recording what you do in a journal for a few weeks as this will give you a better overview of what you need to trim down on.

This also goes for observing what payments come out of your bank account meaning you’ll need to cancel unnecessary extras and ring your utility companies to get a better deal.


There are tons of hobbies out there that don’t require a lot of time, however, we wanted to include some ones that you could do at work or whilst on short commutes too.

Hopefully, this will give you an idea of how you can fill those little moments with a little bit of pleasure or something to make yourself a little more productive.

If you didn’t find enough here then make sure to hop on over to our list of hobbies as it includes over 300 different hobbies to help inspire the flame within you.

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