Most of us have something that we absolutely love to do — and it’s usually a passion that allows us to express ourselves and our creative sides. Whether it’s music, art, writing, volunteering, or consistently picking up something novel and learning something new, we all have a passion or two that’s important to us.
But as you’ve probably noticed, life often gets in the way of that passion.
Why don’t we do what we love more often? In most cases, there are two major roadblocks that get in the way of pursuing your passion: time and money
If you want to overcome both these obstacles, these 4 tips will help you make room for what’s important to you both on your schedule and with your budget.
Evaluate How You Spend Your Time Now
It’s hard to make time for something if you don’t know where your time goes right now. Try tracking your time for a few days to a week and find out exactly how many hours you spend:
- Doing chores or running errands
- Having free time
…and so on. That last one is really important. How do you currently spend your free time when you don’t need to work or complete tasks?
If you’re anything like the average American — who spends 3 hours per day watching TV — you likely have more time for leisure than you initially thought. It’s just that you pack it full of activities and feel constantly busy.
But look at what those activities break down to be. If you simply stopped watching TV on weekdays, you could have 15 hours per week to devote to a hobby or passion project.
Evaluate how you spend your time right now. Get really granular with it. And then cut out what’s unimportant or not valuable. It’s all about getting intentional with how you spend the time you have.
Cut Out What’s Not Essential
This idea applies to your budget, too. If you struggle to come up with money to spend on your passion, take a look at your current spending. Do you make purchases that align with your values? Or do you find you often suffer from buyer’s remorse?
It’s always easier to spend money than it is to save it. But cutting back doesn’t need to be painful if you start by identifying where you spend money on things that are not important to you.
Carefully track your spending for a month. Then, look back at your purchases. Moving forward, eliminate anything that you didn’t get a lot of value out of, made you regret your purchase, or did not enjoy as much as you would enjoy pursuing your hobby.
If you still need to cut back, you may need to make a few sacrifices or tradeoffs. Would you prefer to go out to eat three times per week, or cut back to once so you can spend that money on your passion instead?
It doesn’t need to be about depriving yourself or eliminating things from your life entirely. What’s more effective is to recognize what’s essential and invest your time and money in whatever that is for you.
Once you make room in your calendar, schedule in time to spend pursuing your passion! If you don’t fill in that extra time intentionally, other nonessentials are sure to start slowly creeping in and stealing your time away again.
Even if you can’t free up large blocks of time, organizing your current schedule to spend your time more efficiently may help make room for a hobby or pursuit that interests you. Can you bundle tasks together? How can you structure your days so you’re more productive, and therefore necessary tasks get done faster?
Explore different ways of organizing your time, tasks, meetings, and other priorities.
Monetize Your Hobby
These ideas can help you reallocate the resources you already have. But sometimes, you don’t simply need to reorganize. You need to make more.
If pursuing your passion would be easier if you had more money to devote to it, consider how you can monetize that hobby.
Musicians can look for small, weekly gigs that pay a few bucks. It may not be enough to live off of, but it’s a nice bonus to in addition to spending time doing what you love.
The same can be said for any kind of artist or skilled worker. You can sell what you produce or even spend some time using your abilities to freelance. You could also get paid to teach others something you love and feel passionate about.
There’s no need to feel limited when it comes to engaging in activities that light you up and allow you to express who you are. When you take the time to look at your what’s essential to you, the way often becomes clear.
Put those things first and make them a priority. Cut out what doesn’t contribute to your values, and allocate those resources — be they time or money — to what does.