If we all had a log sheet to track the time we spend doing various activities in our lives, I think the results would surprise us. Most of us like to think that we are good at making time for everything that we need to get done; and this might be true. But how good are we at making time for the things that don’t necessarily need to be done?
It can be difficult to make time for the things we love to do, because we live in a society that, for the most part, does not see the value in doing things that don’t make money. Not only is our society largely driven by money, but it is obsessed with busyness. More and more, it seems that people are praised for being busy and that people who take time to relax and pursue their passions are frowned upon.
It’s a shame that more people aren’t spending time doing the things they love – because following our passions can bring huge benefits into our lives. Passions can blossom into careers, or at least provide a way to make some money in addition to a typical job; but most importantly, pursuing passions makes people happy. We feel happy when we do what we love. It’s as simple as that.
As a student, I have to explicitly schedule time for my passions. I love blogging, and I wish I was able to blog and write whenever I want; but my education has to be my priority, and I need to pencil in “Write a blog post!” in my planner for it to actually happen.
The best advice I can give about making time for your passions is to ensure that you are truly passionate about the activity or cause that you are trying to make time for. If you want to cook more, but you hate cooking, chances are it’s going to be difficult for you to set aside time to cook. However, if you want to spend more time reading because you truly love it, setting aside time will be easier. Passion can serve as motivation to make time, so long as you truly enjoy what you are doing.
You can find added motivation to make time for your passions by considering your personality. In her new novel Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin outlines four tendencies that people fall into regarding their approaches to habits. She has a quiz on her blog where you can find out which tendency you are; or, you can take a look at the image below and figure it out for yourself.
When I read Better Than Before, I immediately identified myself as an Upholder (and I got the same result on the quiz). This means that I place the same value on the expectations I have for myself and the expectations that others have for me. In terms of making a habit of pursuing my passions, being an Upholder means I am motivated to do things I am passionate about because it is an inner expectation.
If you are an Obliger, it might make sense for you to tie your desire to make time for your passions to an external source. For example, if you are passionate about playing the guitar but have a difficult time making time for it you could try taking guitar lessons or playing in a musical group. That way, you have outer expectations to meet and you are less likely to break them.
If you’re a Questioner, you should take some time to carefully consider why you want to make more time for your passion. By doing this, you are making your commitment to this habit an inner expectation, which you are likely to meet so long as it makes sense to you.
Finally, if you are a Rebel, you can make time for your passions by not forcing yourself to make time for them. It seems ironic, I know – but Rebels resist both inner and outer expectations. In Gretchen Rubin’s words, Rebels “do what they want to do” – just not necessarily when they know they want to do it.
Of course, you don’t have to take a quiz and give yourself a label in order to make time for your passions. I find that having a deeper understanding of your personality is helpful, and another helpful tool is organization. If you really struggle with making time for your passions, write them into your calendar or planner. Or, try scheduling a reminder on your phone that will pop up and remind you to take a break from whatever you’re doing and spend some time doing something you’re passionate about.
Sometimes, especially where activities involving creativity (like writing or painting) are concerned, we don’t make time for our passions because we think we need to wait until we’re inspired. Personally, if I only wrote when I was inspired and not when I scheduled time for it, I would barely write at all.
If you take the Four Tendencies quiz, comment and let me know if you agree with your result, and if you think it will help you make time for your passion!