Before i tell you the 'Hows', i feel there is a need to lay down the clear definition of passion and hobby.
- Passion: Something you do because you really like it. Whenever you do something you are passionate about, your body experience huge positivity and energy surge. You will do it constantly even if there is no money involved, or simply said, you can't live without it.
- Hobby: Something you do regularly during your free time or to pass time, or simply said, you do it for fun, you can live without it.
I have my regular day job as an office clerk from 8.30am to 6pm every weekday, then at night and weekends, i will juggle between my passion in music, hobbies which include jogging and cooking, and as well as other social activities. If you ask me whether i feel exhausted to keep working on something everyday, i would said on some days i felt like lying on a soft silky mattress and take a nap but most days, i feel a lot more happier and satisfied that i'm able to work on my stuff while still able to draw salary from my day job.
Some may wonder why i did not convert my passion into my career or an avenue where i can draw salary from, well i guess i'm not at the stage where the craft i'm passionate about, hit the special kind of expert level to earn any sort of income yet. However, i still keep doing music because i love it. It can also be a blessing in disguise because if i were to depend solely on music as my main source of income, that stress can really take away all the fun and joy, but maybe as my alternative/secondary stream of income is alright so i can have a mix of stress and joy to push myself to learn more and to greater potential.
If you are someone who has a boring day job but do have a few hobbies in mind and/or have something you are passionate about and wanted to work on it but couldn't allocate enough time and energy to do so after a long day work and other commitments, you have come to the right place because i'm here to guide you through.
Remove Unneccesary Distractions At Work And Focus
Your job is going take out most of your time in a day besides sleep, so you really have to make full use of the time at work to minimize the possibility of working overtime.
Forget about walking over to your colleague's desk for a chitchat or gossip because most likely the more you chat, the faster the time flies and those time you could have used for finishing your work assignments. I'm not saying don't socialize but small talks showing care and concern is ok but my advice is stay away from gossip talks, this can take out a lot of time once the conversation starts.
Don't use your phone unnecessarily like watching youtube videos, browsing through social media contents etc during work because this can distract you and can easily eat away your time fast. If you really want to, the best time probably would be your lunch break.
From my personal experience, gossip talks, browsing through social media contents or even playing video games during working hours will eat away your time fast and huge amount of time will be gone before you even notice it. Of course work is stressful and there is a need to relief those stress but do it sparingly because the main point is the more work you accomplished in a day means there is less reason to work overtime each day and so you will have more time after work to do the real things that you like.
Make Full Use Of Calendar App In Your Phone
Once you have less overtime from your work, your working schedule is more or less fix so it will be easier to schedule your other tasks, personal projects, dates or socialize events. And because your work, including commuting, takes up more a third of 24 hours each day, coupled with sleep which estimates 7 hours and the time spent on meals, you only have about 3 hours left. That's when your calendar app in your mobile came in handy to make sure the limited me-time you have is fully utilised.
For example, on a particular tight weekday where i have to work at my day job, i also want to practice my guitar on a number of songs, i want to learn a few cook recipes and i also want to do blogging, so on my calendar, i would set up something like this:
- 5.45am: Please wake up, make bed, brush up and meditate, exercise and breakfast.
- 7am: Prepare to go to work.
- 7.15am: Estimate time to start commute by train, do whatever blogging i want until i alight at my stop.
- 6.15pm: Estimate time, after i ended work, to reach train station to commute home, then do whatever blogging i want till i reach my stop
- 8.20pm: Estimate time to finish up my dinner and a bit of rest, then proceed to do whatever laundry i have.
- 9pm: Practice guitar on song 1 for 30 minutes and take a 5 mins break.
- 9.35pm: Practice guitar on second song for another 30 minutes and then stop for the day.
- 10.10pm: Watch a few videos on Youtube to learn one or two cooking recipes
- 10.40pm: Stop for the day, brush up, meditate and go sleep!
After i wrote down, i begin to set alarm for every timestamp i had indicated and put a small note in each alarm of what i need to do.
Weekends are even more precious to me if i have little to no social events and i will definitely plan out in my calendar and alarms in advance! So for my typical weekends with absolutely no social activities or family plans, it will be like:
- 6.30am: Please wake up, make bed, brush up and meditate.
- 7.20am: Warm-up and go for a run
- 8.30am: Estimate time i will complete my run, rest up and prepare for bath and breakfast thereafter.
- 9.30am: Estimate time i will finish breakfast, then do whatever blogging i want for 30 minutes.
- 10am: Prepare whatever cooking ingredients i need to prepare in advance then proceed to keyboard/guitar practice.
- 11.30am: Estimate time i will finish my keyboard/guitar practice in the morning. Take a break and start to prepare my homecook lunch.
- 11.45am: Start preparing ingredients and cook for lunch. Treat myself to a hearty and healthy meal.
- 2pm: Estimate time i will finish my lunch and clearing up the backend. Pamper myself a little by watching some informative Youtube videos like Brightside, Riddle or Inforgraphic Show etc.
- 2.30pm: Switch off my wifi for less distraction and start vocal-only practice by singing a number of songs which i will do a cover on eventually with me singing and playing guitar/keyboard at the same time. Remember to take 5 minutes break for around every 30 minutes.
- 3.45pm: Practice guitar on those songs i want to do cover on.
- 5pm: Practice combine singing with guitar/keyboard for 1 hour.
- 6pm: Do some static exercises, then free-and-easy, then prepare bathing and wait for dinner homecooked by mum. Then just relax choya!
- 8.30pm: Allocate a small 30 minutes to listen through my practice recordings and make note of what to improve on.
- 9pm: Free-and-easy till bedtime at 11pm.
As you can see, even my weekends are structured to a certain extent so i can accomplish my weekend goals of taking care of physical and mental health, and also work on my passion and hobbies at the same time.
How i manage my day job, passion and hobbies are based on two simple points which are discipline yourself to focus and time management. I have to reduce spending time on unnecessary distractions as much as possible so i have more time, then properly lay out the plans with all the available time i have each day to maximise my day and accomplish as much as possible. And of course you will need social life, family life or just taking a break to recharge, just make sure when it's time to get back to your personal work, better be focus and use time wisely.
I know this is tough because it requires enormous amount of self-discipline to do so on a regular basis but trust me, it's worth the effort because if you don't, you will end up procrastinate more in your later stage of your life.