Making time to do the things you enjoy when you have a busy schedule

Doing things that we enjoy is a key source of happiness. It can include hobbies such as reading or watching movies, self-care activities such as having a bubble bath or treating yourself, as well as other things. Unfortunately, the fact that it is easy to get consumed in the busyness of life, and our daily responsibilities mean that it can be difficult to spend time doing the things we love. I have recently been able to spend a good amount of time doing the things I enjoy even though I have a full-time job, but I appreciate that it is not always easy to. Therefore, I want to use this blog post to talk about 4 things you can do to make time for the things you enjoy when you have a busy schedule. These are by no means suggestions guaranteed to work for you, as I know everyone has different situations, but I hope they can help nonetheless.

Make it a priority

In my opinion, one of the main reasons why we don’t spend a lot of time doing the things we enjoy is because it can be near the bottom of our priority list. When something is not a priority, it tends to get pushed away without you necessarily noticing. Furthermore, when we are consumed with a busy schedule, the importance of doing things you enjoy can sometimes be forgotten. I am not saying that it should be the top priority of your life, as we all have daily responsibilities that need to get done. However, we should remember that spending time doing things we enjoy is an important part of dealing with a busy schedule. If we give higher priority to doing the things we love, we are more likely to make time for it, which will help boost our wellbeing.

Schedule it in

For hobbies such as reading, blogging or sudoku, I put it on my to do list for things I need to get done that day. When it comes to zoom calling or having a face to face catch up with friends, I try to schedule these in advance. You may think that putting hobbies on a to do list makes it feel like a task that you have to tick off. Moreover, scheduling in catch ups with friends is the opposite of going with the flow. However, I feel this approach works really effectively for me. Putting hobbies on a to do list gives me the feeling that it is important, which means that I am much more likely to commit to doing it than if I hadn’t put it on my to do list. Furthermore, if I schedule a time to catch up with friends, say 11am on a Saturday then I plan my day around it rather than the other way round. Scheduling in time to do things you enjoy means that you are being proactive in finding the time, and also means that you feel less guilty when it comes to setting aside time for fun things. I want to note that this approach doesn’t always work 100% of the time, as some things such as watching Netflix is usually done spontaneously. However, I think scheduling time in helps a lot overall.

Tell yourself that you deserve it

One thing that I have found for me is that I sometimes feel guilty for taking time to do things that I enjoy. I feel that I don’t deserve the time to do the things I love, and that there is more important stuff that I should be doing instead. However, that guilt has meant that in the past I haven’t spent nearly as enough time as I should have doing fun things. It’s important to realise that every day we are doing our best to overcome the challenges presented to us, whether that is work challenges, personal challenges or anything else. Therefore, not only is doing the things you enjoy a good way to destress and take a break, it is also something that you would have earnt after dealing with the everyday challenges of life. Doing fun things can be used as a reward when it comes to dealing with everyday life, and if you tell yourself that you deserve to do fun things, you will have extra incentive to find the time for it.

Set goals related to the things you enjoy

One thing I love about setting goals for myself is the sense of accomplishment I get when I achieve the goal. This tends to be often overlooked, but setting goals related to the things you enjoy can work really well. For example, if you enjoy reading, then your goal may be to read 2 books in the next 4 weeks. If you enjoy running, then your goal may be to run 10 miles every week. Goal setting can give you something to aim for and also help provide a sense of structure and routine. Furthermore, goals can be seen as personal targets. With personal targets, you are much more likely to set aside time to work on them as you will be determined to meet them. It is worth noting that when you set goals related to the things you enjoy, then you should think it through and make sure the goal is realistic, achievable and something that doesn’t give you additional stress. There is no point setting unrealistic goals that give you stress, as then you won’t enjoy the things that you should enjoy.

How do you make the time to do the things you enjoy?

23 thoughts on “Making time to do the things you enjoy when you have a busy schedule

  1. You can’t see me but I’m clapping from this side of the screen. That is exactly what I try to do with the things I love, like writing and exercise! Great read 🙂

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  2. I always try to keep time for my favourite things. It may be as simple as watching Netflix or self care. I prioritise things based on their urgency so I keep some time in hand to do my favourite things👍

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  3. Lately I’ve been scheduling in time to do the things i love or interested in doing. Like reading, or writing and ive used this month to set goals centred around things i enjoy doing so it should help. Great post Niraj

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  4. Perhaps activity itself is an essential component of happiness. But activity comes hard when the blackness descends. At such times a tin hat and hibernation may be called for.

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  5. Great post
    What I love is the part about telling yourself that you deserve it. We often just work and work, not really focusing on what we need or what we deserve. It’s important to take time and choose things that we want or need to do for our own health

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