Humans are not machines, we cannot work 24 hours per day and we have a very limited supply of time. A lot of us work 8 to 9 hours per day (if not more) and are having a commute of up to two hours per day. Adding on top of it a healthy amount of 8 hours of sleep and we are left with approximately of 4 hours per day. So what can we do with this time?
Over the years I have tried many different things including going to the gym, having a second job, studying, playing video games, watching countless amount of TV shows, spending time on social media, etc. So much of it was such a waste of time! I do think that having a hobby is crucial, but over time I dismissed some of the hobbies as being disruptive to my lifestyle, so I think it’s time to share my experience.
Everybody keeps on stressing how important exercising is and it is for a good reason! At some point of my life I have filled in every minute of my time with “stuff”, so I didn’t have any time to exercise (at least I kept on telling it to myself). I was working remotely in the morning, taking my motorbike to work, working for the whole day, taking my motorbike back home and studying until I fall asleep in the evening. That was a complete disaster for my health and the energy level! In just three months of this routine I have gained 5 kilograms of weight, became insanely addicted to coffee and other energy drinks and still felt like a zombie until I decided that enough is enough. I’ve tried many different sports to keep healthy including running, going to the gym, swimming, rock climbing, etc, and I hated most of it. Here are the things which did work for me though:
Going to the gym with a friend
I used to go to the gym on my own. I started a few times, I tried multiple different programs, I tried classes and free weights, I had a personal trainer at some point of time, but no matter what I’ve tried, I secretly hated all of it. Until one day I have started going to the gym during the lunch break with my ex-coworker and a good friend. All of a sudden from boring routine it became a nice adventure and something I was actually looking forward to every day. We’ve been doing this for over a year and it was absolutely incredible experience.
I’ve started playing a few months ago. I’m pretty bad at the game, but I do enjoy the social factor and getting better over time.
Riding a motorbike to work is incredible. I get to work within 20 minutes, it costs me $10 per week and I don’t need to pay for parking. When I started doing this I thought I would never go to any other way of commuting. But then I have realised that I can walk to the train (20 minutes), walk from the train (another 20 minutes) and do the same route on the way back. That’s just under an hour and a half of walking each day. And it really changed the way I feel. My level of energy increased, I got a chance to listen to a few audiobooks I would’ve not listened to otherwise and my overall health improved. Walking proved to be simple and effective. And the fact that I’m going to/from work gives me purpose which made it a lot easier than just walking for the health benefits.
Hanging out with people
It’s crazy how easy it may get to lose contact with people. They say that we make our best friends in school and we really struggle making friends after the university. Nowadays I try hard to keep in touch with people. That can mean anything from having a coffee with an ex-coworker, organising a BBQ for a group of people, getting away for a weekend camping, etc.
Having a hobby which does not involve me staring at my computer and solving problems gives me real relaxation. And I do love music. Yousician and Rocksmith are making this experience even more fun!
Reading books and listening to audiobooks
There is so much to learn in this incredible world. I often ask people what books inspire them and add them to my “to read” list. I have a subscription to Audible and I listen to Audiobooks while walking. I also use Amazon’s Word Runner to read books while I’m on the train.
Watching TV shows
People create incredible TV shows all the time. The trouble is that I find this type of activity a waste of time, so I found a little “hack” which really works for me. I started watching my TV Shows on a tablet with wireless headset while doing other routine tasks. I watch TV shows while ironing my clothes, cleaning the apartment, doing dishes and other types of activities which do not involve active brain activities.
How about you?
I would be keen to hear what other professionals do to keep sane. Please share your hobbies in the comment section below!
Interesting Reading Vlad. What you are talking about appears to be about life balance and determining what is important. Everyone goes through phases in their life as to which may be more important and at what point in their life is this emphasised. I myself am a very private person, I don’t have many friends, I keep very much to myself and socialise mainly with my family. Not that I wouldn’t want to socialise with other people, especially my old co-workers but I found that if I didn’t make an effort, they didn’t. I guess their lives were filled with other factors that appeared to be more important and time just escaped. Being a single working mother has its limits, you can’t stretch yourself to where there is nothing left. Yes I agree balance of gym and exercise and socialising is important, but sitting in front of a television can be just as good for you than trying to keep it active, by playing an instrument or reading books. I study through distance learning on top of it all and so time management to me is very important. Sometimes however, I just need those quiet moments watching a pointless movie for any other reason but to charge my depleted battery without putting in too much effort.
Everyone has to determine what works for them and the self-interest they have that motivates them. Pulling in the extra hours at work in the hopes you will get the recognition from management maybe more important to others than it is to yourself. Ultimately it is all about ‘self-interest’ and this can not be a bad thing if that self-interest is not detriment to other people I guess (but this is just my opinion).
Good on you though, you have found a plan that works for you and I encourage you to continue to measure those beliefs by whether they benefit your life and if the results are positive for you. But remember, we as humans are all different, what motivates us can be totally different but its not up to anyone else to determine if this is a good thing or a bad thing, just that it is different.
Your ex co-worker buddy, Kaz xx