With Hobbies, It’s All About Quality, Not Quantity
Hobbies are great for relaxing and enjoying some me-time while doing something different. Some hobbies are very social too. Learning new skills with a hobby will open up the world around you.
So, it is no surprise, of course, if you want to take on another and another and another…
If you are one of life’s ultimate multi-taskers, the chances are that you will be inclined to cultivate and enjoy a variety of interests.
And while the plate-spinning and juggling can work in some ways, you may be asking yourself if you need to limit the number of hobbies you are participating in.
Do I Have Too Many Hobbies?
There is no fixed number of hobbies that any single individual can maintain, but consideration of these 5 key points may help you evaluate if your hobby schedule is excessively packed.
How am I doing with managing my time?
Alongside maintenance of your roster of hobbies, you will need to find time to at least work, eat and sleep. When we have pastimes that we are passionate about we can find ourselves devoting more and more time to working on them.
With multiple endeavors, you may find that you are constantly running out of the time needed to work on each hobby satisfactorily. US Census data suggests that Americans spend around 5 hours per day on leisure activities like hobbies, but if you find yourself spending more time, your day may become more than a little overcrowded.
With hobbies that involve group sessions, classes, or meetups, having multiple obligations may mean you are constantly running late or unable to fully contribute to the group effort.
Am I productive in these hobbies?
If you can open a cupboard or look under your bed to find the discarded remnants of a multitude of projects that were never completed, you may need to reevaluate your relationship with the multiplicity of hobbies that you have.
One of the best things about pursuing a hobby to its fullest is the sense of satisfaction you will gain from completing a project or mastering a skill.
For some hobbies learning the basics is superseded by a prolonged period of work to create something worthwhile. Knitting is an example of a skill that can be learned in an afternoon but the creation of something substantial like a jumper may take weeks.
If taking on additional new hobbies is due to an aversion to the deferred gratification needed to make a hobby successful, you may need to be honest with yourself and look for a pastime that you will find easier to stick to.
Am I able to focus or concentrate on what I am doing?
When you are mentally juggling multiple plans and obligations associated with your many hobbies you may find it hard to concentrate on and enjoy the hobby you are doing. Part of the pleasure of doing a hobby is the escape it offers from the pressures of daily activities and the opportunity to focus on something different.
If you find that your focus is suffering, there is no harm in reducing the number of hobbies and potentially experiencing the benefit of a clearer mind to tackle the task in front of you.
Is maintaining all these hobbies getting expensive?
Depending on the hobby, tools, equipment, clothing, and consumables can add up to a significant outlay. Multiplied across multiple hobbies, costs can add up to a significant chunk out of your income.
Americans spend just under 6% of their income on the hobbies they love, comparable to their outlay on health insurance.
If you need to budget, save, or repay debt, you may want to consider scaling back your hobbies and freeing up cash for other purposes.
Are other areas of my life suffering?
Sometimes we can become so engrossed in our activities and endeavors that we become less responsive to the needs of others around us. If you have good friends, a spouse, or kids, multiple hobbies may be eating into quality time you could be investing in them.
If you are finding yourself with less time for strengthening relationships or spending time with the people you care about, it is well worth jettisoning a hobby or two.
Is this all still fun?
At the end of the day, you started these hobbies with a pleasurable experience in mind.
If maintaining a shed load of hobbies is making you tired, miserable, and broke, you will probably be better off giving some of them the heave-ho and entertaining yourself with a more manageable number.
Consider the Benefits of Focusing on One Hobby.
By whittling down the number of hobbies you do you are likely to enjoy greater traction with one or two hobbies of choice. As you devote more time and focus to a single activity you will make more progress and enjoy a greater sense of satisfaction, achievement, and purpose.
By having a single hobby, you are more likely to achieve mastery of the involved skills, something that usually takes many hours and even years of sustained practice to achieve.
If you love the sense of having a full-diary or packed schedule, you can still organize activities related to your single hobby, like visits to events, expos, and classes.
You also will have more budget available to buy better quality gear or money to save up for trips related to your hobby.
By doing a single hobby you will have greater flexibility and control over what you do with your time. Taking some time away from your industry to spend time with others, rest or simply do nothing is healthy and will leave you refreshed and ready to return to your hobby with renewed vigor!
Some Last-Minute Tips for Authentic Hobby Success, However Many You Choose!
- Staying organized is key to keeping on top of things.
Give your brain a rest from juggling your schedule and grab a calendar or diary to jot down, events, and the time you allocate to your pastime.
When you plan your time visually you will be able to work out how to use your time more efficiently, prioritize, and scale back activities when necessary.
If you are digitally inclined, scheduling apps like Google Calendar can deliver alerts that will keep you on track.
- Be able to say ‘no’.
If your hobbies are very social with memberships of clubs and teams vying for your attention, it is best to get familiar with the word “no” early on.
Agreeing to be part of every match, event and meet-up can be a real drain on your time and while you want to be a contributing participant, it is ok to opt-out of obligations that cannot be accommodated by your schedule.
- Be able to let go.
Sometimes we are just trying to carry too much!
If you need to lighten the load, scaling back your hobby commitments does not make you a failure, it means instead that you are getting ready to succeed in other areas!
At the end of the day, the number of hobbies you choose to pursue is really up to you.
For many people, focusing on a single hobby will help them get better results, but this is not a one size fits all approach.
If you are an ardent multipotentialite, we would love to learn more about how you have developed and maintained lots of hobbies and interests.
Feel free to reach out with your thoughts in the comments section below.