May 15, 2010

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Picking hobbies that fit together

Some people have one hobby at a time. I tend to have several that shift over time, and I’ve gone through a lot of interests.

I started sketching my current hobbies to get a sense of how woodworking might fit in, and how it interacts with my other interests. I wanted to figure out if I could explore that interest enough to reach the point of being able to comfortably do it. In particular, woodworking tends to require blocks of unstructured time, which means it competes with sewing and cooking for those precious weekend blocks.

hobbies

I got interested in woodworking  because of gardening, and there are a number of items we can build to make gardening easier. Now that we’ve set the garden up, it doesn’t take that much more time: ten minutes each day, and maybe an hour during weekends to turn the compost and take care of additional tasks.

Woodworking conflicts with cooking, though, because we use the kitchen and there’s no point in cooking when sawdust is floating around. That’s okay. We’re at a “good enough” level in cooking, and batch-cooking lets us free up weekends.

Drawing helps a lot with woodworking, and woodworking helps me develop spatial intelligence for better drawing.

Looking at my other hobbies, you can see that writing, drawing, and presentations all feed each other. I’m not making as good a use of photography as I could, so that’s something to develop. All the hobbies that I actively work on are well-connected. In contrast, something like music doesn’t connect well with my other interests, so I rarely end up practising on the piano.

Picking hobbies that fit together means that you get more value for the time and energy you put in. The more you develop skills in one area, the more effectively you can do connected areas.

Another related post: How to do a lot