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hobby paradox problem

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  • hobby paradox problem

    I keep up with my workload, but
    I would need some recreational time.

    Normally, one spends this on some "hobby".
    A hobby in my definition is something without direct purpose.

    But
    I have (psychological) difficulties in doing something (blocking time for something) which has no goal / sense / meaning / result beneath the doing itself.
    It makes me feel guilty about what I am not doing from my n/a-lists.
    So a normal "hobby", which would an arbitrary choice from "per se meaningless activities" doesn´t make me relax.
    Ergo, I don´t relax.

    On the other hand, something with a purpose, e.g. charity work, seems like another obligation which only adds up to the "serious" workload and therefore isn´t truly relaxing.

    Seems a vicious circle in which I´m trapped for quite a time.
    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Change your definition of "Hobby"

    Originally posted by Tom.9 View Post
    ....A hobby in my definition is something without direct purpose.....
    Any suggestions?
    Change the definition of hobby to be something you do to relax and enjoy yourself or to expand your experience in a way that seems interesting to you. This can then include things like knitting, doing scrapbooks, learning a new language, drawing, weaving, spinning yarn, reading fiction books, studying a period in history that interests you, weight lifting, doing yoga, etc. etc. etc. Just to pick a few from my own lists.

    Hobbies may have very specific direct purposes, a woodworker may be building a chest of drawers or a bowl, a spinner may be making yarn for a specific item, a knitter almost always has a project in mind or else you can't knit it, so no direct purpose doesn't seem to me to be a good definition.

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    • #3
      Do you really want to have a hobby?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by alenabakai View Post
        Do you really want to have a hobby?
        I think so, as

        Originally posted by Tom.9 View Post
        I would need some recreational time.
        How else you would call what you do in order to get off the treadmill?

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        • #5
          Start small

          Start small - just five minutes a day or every few days doing something new.It'll eventually become easier to do more.


          And if you don't have a hobby yet, start by brainstorming a bunch and trying them one at a time. Give them a chance. If you are that unsure about what you'd like to do as a hobby , then just try a bunch of hobbies Even if you try a bunch and one isn't sticking out as a favorite at least you'll be doing something new on a regular basis.

          Or, try 30-day challenges if the laissez-faire approach is too much.
          Last edited by enyonam; 01-10-2012, 11:25 PM.

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          • #6
            Aimless windsurfing.

            Originally posted by Tom.9 View Post
            I have (psychological) difficulties in doing something (blocking time for something) which has no goal / sense / meaning / result beneath the doing itself.
            I have no problem with aimless windsurfing back and forth at the Zegrze Lake near Warsaw. I just love to feel the wind on my face. It makes me happy and relaxed.

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            • #7
              Happy people who found their passion!

              Comment


              • #8
                At first I'd like to apologize because this came out much longer and winding text as it was meant to.

                Other have some good thoughs about this issue. I'd just have few questions to you.

                How much do you have time? I mean, if from tommorrow on, your days would contain only 23 hours, would you have to take the missing hour from your sleeping time to stay on top of things? What I mean by this question is, how much of your time you are currently using? Are you scheduling every minute of your waking time? (I sure hope not.)

                GTD is giving me a sense of clarity so I know today (let's pretend for a moment today is normal weekday) 18:00 (6 pm) I don't have anything super important to do, so at evening I can do anything I want and nothing dies on me. From my hobbies many are things I can do ad-hoc without much preplanning just as some condition is fulfilled (reading, watching movies, photographing).

                Although I also have long term hobbies (which are connected to some larger goal, usually health and vitality or something similar) which are tied to specific days and times (e.g. I have capoeira practices every monday and thursday, and I have portugues lessons every wednesday). These are just calendar items like any meetings.

                Originally posted by Tom.9 View Post
                But
                I have (psychological) difficulties in doing something (blocking time for something) which has no goal / sense / meaning / result beneath the doing itself.
                As already said, rest and recreation is good goal itself. "All work no play makes jack a dull boy".

                By the way, think this from 50000 feet perspective. Also, think about 20k feet horizon.

                Probably one of your major area of responsibility, to yourself and your family (and your job), is your health. So if you are having problems to blocking time to R&R activities, think it as preventive and precautionary measure before your body or mind brokes. If you end up to hospital, it will be a major setback to your job and life.

                Originally posted by Tom.9 View Post
                It makes me feel guilty about what I am not doing from my n/a-lists.
                So a normal "hobby", which would an arbitrary choice from "per se meaningless activities" doesn´t make me relax.
                Ergo, I don´t relax.
                By the way, we have different meaning for hobby. For me hobby is something I do because I enjoy doing it, not because results I get. Or atleast that's the way I try to keep it. I have destroyed few good hobbies because I have concentrated to results more than doing.

                I say you should think about what you enjoy doing. Do you want to do something which gives you pleasure but no other direct benefits? That may be your hobby. And no formal hobby is needed if you can reload your internal batteries with some activity. So watching tv before going to sleep every night is enough to you then let it be.

                Originally posted by Tom.9 View Post
                On the other hand, something with a purpose, e.g. charity work, seems like another obligation which only adds up to the "serious" workload and therefore isn´t truly relaxing.

                Seems a vicious circle in which I´m trapped for quite a time.
                Any suggestions?
                Wikipedia definition about hobby: "A hobby is a regular activity or interest that is undertaken for pleasure, typically done during one's leisure time."

                Comment


                • #9
                  How about using your leisure time to learn a new skill? My day job is a paediatrician; I am now studying for a degree in computing by distance learning, just because I want to be able to program a computer. I'm already 57 yrs old so the new skill isn't going to advance my career.

                  I also attend evening classes to learn to make bobbin lace. There is something very satisfying about making beautiful objects, and there is always something new to learn.

                  Ruth

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                  • #10
                    I think you should re-think your definition of hobby, I think most hobbies do have a purpose, but what makes it a hobby is that the purpose is unrelated to your work purpose.

                    For example, part of my work involves nature conservation, so I have taken up an activity outside of work which is a program called Waterwatch, and involves monitoring creeks and rivers. Since this is related to my work purpose, I consider it to be a work related activity not a hobby even though I am not getting paid for it.

                    Quilting and craft however, is something totally unrelated to my work purpose and therefore a hobby, and is something I do for pleasure and enjoyment. There are many projects I do, each with a specific purpose, and the hobby as a whole has the purpose of increasing and expressing my creativity. I think this purpose is different to my work, and helps balance me as a person, and developing creativity has benefits in other areas of my life too. I think all hobbies have a purpose, you just need to figure out what that is. Once you find a hobby that aligns with your horizons of focus you will see the benefit of it. If you look at your HOF and see your life as mainly left brained focussed, with mostly analytical type work, why not see adding a creative hobby as a way of balancing your personality. Also if your life is very sedentary and indoors, an active hobby like sports or bushwalking could be an opportunity to get you more active and outdoors.

                    I see hobbies as an important way to create balance in life, as usually work focusses on our strengths, but we need to improve our weaknesses to be a whole, complete person.

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                    • #11
                      I'd suggest a combination of two things:
                      - First, as some of the prior posts have noted, hobbies can certainly have purposes/end points. For example for me, I've started jogging in the last few years to keep healthy. To help me stay focused, I make sure I sign up for half marathons a couple of times a year - it motivates me to keep it up, to push myself to improve, etc
                      - Second, do you use repeating actions at all? Assuming you have at least some of these (eg pay your rent), then you can treat spending time on a hobby in the same way

                      For me, the goal of GTD is to help me ultimately have a more meaningful, purposeful, well rounded life. This necessarily includes a wide range of interests - some of which I'm doing now, some of which I plan to do, some of which I may not have the opportunity to ever do. But hobbies are a big part of that.

                      Good luck!

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                      • #12
                        Vision and the natural planning model

                        It might help to make "decide on a hobby" a project, and go through the natural planning model for that. (e.g., https://secure.davidco.com/connect/a...55&trackid=235) I think Wayne Pepper also has some coaching materials on this that emphasizes visualizing what "wild success" would look like -- probably in his webinar with Kelly (https://secure.davidco.com/connect/v...15&trackid=889).

                        It will be interesting to see how you continue to think about this hobby or, perhaps, "avocation" might be a word with different connotations. Joseph Campbell often uses the phrase "follow your bliss" to guide people toward their deeper calling.

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                        • #14
                          A hobby can be useful, but should be low-stress or no-stress or provide whatever
                          you need for balance, such as using parts of your brain you don't use in your work.

                          There are things that are useful but that don't require commitment or ongoing
                          responsibility.

                          Consider editing Wikipedia, for example. It can be very useful (to the people who
                          will read the articles), but usually doesn't involve any commitment: you can do a
                          bunch of little edits one after another and stop whenever you want, and if you've
                          written half an article, you can just leave it and someone else will probably
                          eventually write the other half, and meanwhile half an article is more useful to
                          readers than no article on the topic. There's little or no pressure of responsibility
                          to spend more time on it than you feel like. (Unless you become a Wikipediholic.)

                          I'm solving French crossword puzzles to learn French; but even crossword
                          puzzles in one's native language exercise the brain and might help you prevent
                          Alzheimer's and maybe even live longer.
                          Especially, I think, Cryptic crossword puzzles: they help you develop
                          a different way of thinking, not step-by-step but more like intuitive leaps.
                          I started trying to solve cryptics in a step-by-step way, and after much practice
                          I can now sometimes put my mind into a state where it's searching a different way,
                          more like an analog computer I think. Again, no responsibility: you can put
                          down a half-finished puzzle and not pick it up again, or pick it up when
                          you feel like it.

                          Sometimes a certain amount or type of stress is enjoyable:
                          as in skydiving, mountain climbing etc.

                          Or you can stop looking for a hobby and just do a variety of purposeful
                          activities that involve different kinds of stress so that each one is a
                          break from the others. You might think about maximizing both
                          utility and enjoyment. Work should be enjoyable, too.

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                          • #15
                            clarification

                            I´ve read Neil Fiore´s "The now habit", but I don´t succeed in really blocking time slots for "leisure" activities.
                            I always feel I could / should be productive.

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