Is work your default? Are you realizing you don't really have a lot of free time or you're not prioritizing it?
In this blog, we’ll talk about how you can spend time doing the things you love.
When you can’t do what you love
I love playing soccer. I have played soccer since my parents put me in as a little kid. I'm 43 now, and I still play. However, there have been times over the past couple of years when I haven't been able to play. On separate occasions, I…
The pain from those injuries also came back a few times which hindered me from playing. It wasn't until I wasn't able to do it that I realized how much I love playing soccer. There are times I can't play because I'm away or I'm doing work stuff, but that's understandable. But it's when I want to play and I can't play that I realize the sadness of not doing what I love.
Why doing what you love matters
Doing what you love gives you energy. It puts you in a resonant state where you're driven, you're pulled forward, and you're excited. It also gives you joy. But when we just work all the time we miss out on these benefits. Even if your work gives you joy, that's not the only area of life meant to satisfy you - there are nine others!
What I see so often in successful, high-achieving, driven women is we give up or we reduce the amount of attention certain areas of life get because we are working so much and we are driven by our work. The top areas I see get dropped are health, fun and recreation, and friends.
The Hardest Questions to Bring Clarity
The hardest question sometimes to answer is, “What do you like to do?"
When I used to be an ESL teacher and I was living and working in Japan, one of the first questions my students learned and the 1st question when socializing was, “What are your hobbies?”
It was so weird to hear because I thought native English speakers never ask each other that question. Instead, we might say, “What do you like to do?”
So what do you like to do? You might answer, “I like to clean”. Definitely not true about me. You might say, “I like to help my clients”, but I'm encouraging you to go to something else that will bring you joy from other areas.
Something that grows you and brings you energy. It might be:
Now we're getting into the realm of hobbies and personal activities that bring us joy. Then think about what are the things you LOVE to do:
Those are the things I love to do.
But so often our time gets put into the things we don't love or the things we don't even realize we're choosing to spend our time doing. By “spend”, I mean, it's gone.
I remember complaining to myself, “I just don't have time to read.” Then I thought, if I added up all the minutes of scrolling on my phone or how many TV shows I watched, I could have read many books. I do love reading. I'm currently listening to Les Brown, Simon Sinek, and Power of Why. I love these different types of books. I yearn for more of it. But the problem is, when we're away from it, we forget what it's like. We forget what we love to do.
Another question is “What is something you’d like to do?” Something you haven’t done before. When I asked myself this question a couple of years ago before COVID, I answered African drumming. I also answered dancing. I also answered pottery. These are the things I'd like to do. And the most recent is a Stand Up Comedy Class.
Now, get a pen and paper or use your notes app on your phone. Answer the following:
The 3 Ways to Spend More Time Doing What You Love
Now how do you find time to do these things? answer these questions:
#1: Plan these things into your schedule
If it's not already innate for you to read every day, and you like reading and work is your default or watching TV or scrolling or whatever it may be, then you actually need to write it into your schedule between 7:30 and 8AM or between 8 and 9PM I will read.
If you don't, it just gets pushed and pushed and pushed and forgotten. For myself, when I see that plan in my schedule book at a specific time and I’m busy with other things, I then have to make a conscious decision to skip it.
But how many times do we write in our schedule or have our calendar:
Now, I'm not saying these are bad things. I'm just saying if you're not doing the things you love because you're doing these other things, maybe it's time to put a plan in your schedule.
#2: Make it special
Think about how you can make it special and how you can elevate what you're doing so you start to look forward to it.
If you were to write that in your planner it makes it more enticing. You shouldn't have to make it enticing, but the problem is we've moved so far away from fun that it feels foreign or like a guilty pleasure, and we shouldn't do it. But if we plan it, and we make it special, then maybe we will be more persuaded to do it.
#3: Commit to others.
You will not find me practicing my soccer skills at the local park. However, you will find me training at practice with the team in order to get better at the thing I love. When I did the drumming class, sometimes I didn't want to go because, in the beginning, it was hard. I thought it would be easy and super cool. It was cool, but it was not easy. So I had to commit to being there by paying and also saying I would show up so that I would actually go to get through that first learning hump.
Have you heard your inner voice say:
When you commit to others, you won't back out. When you commit to others, you commit to yourself too.
Now it doesn't mean you have to do it with others, just tell people what you're going to do. Maybe you commit to an accountability buddy or to your coach.
Again, it seems funny you need to commit to something that you love. But time and time again, work is the default for people. They're not spending their downtime doing what they love which will also bring the passion back and refill their bucket.
There are so many holes in our buckets that we can be constantly depleted. Self-care, resting and vacation time can help. But doing things you love is an investment in yourself in really building that foundation of joy and excitement. It's a way for you to stretch and grow yourself as well.
In saying this, I'm probably also speaking to myself, right? I need to put the clicker down and not watch so much TV. I need to be more intentional with what I am spending my time on so that I can be investing my time in the things I love.
I encourage you to do the same thing. Let me know which of these three steps is going to be the piece that really helps you to invest more time in doing the things you love.
Also, let me know in the comments, what are the things you love to do? Because maybe in you sharing it will inspire me or someone else to take up the hobby you have or your favorite activity.
Over the past few years, I have lost a few close connections way too early. It just breaks my heart to think of how they or someone else you know worked really really hard and didn't have enough time to enjoy life. Be present, take care of others, and go out and do those things you love.
Read my other blogs here:
1. The Six Levels of Shining
2. How You Can Prepare to Make Better Decisions
3. What if We Didn’t Need International Women’s Day? 5 Ways to Raise Women Up
Get Goaled! Coaching Mastermind
Connect with me