Following up from my previous blog post about how I never have time to do everything I want to do:
Have you ever been there? There’s tons of stuff you really like doing. But you never actually do them? It is one of the most annoying feelings. You know you like doing it… so why aren’t you?!
In my last blog post I talked about that I needed to be more productive. This productivity will help me feel more accomplished and will also put me into a mindset of doing things I enjoy. But I feel even in my more productive state I am not doing the things I enjoy. So why is this?
Obviously there are priorities; taking out the bins the day before they are collected might be more prudent than painting your toenails. You have to do some things right at that moment; because you promised, because the weather is good for it, because it is a rush job. There are many reasons why a certain activity deserves to be prioritised. But sometimes it has nothing to do with priorities. I have done a bit of soul searching and noticed there are four reasons why I don’t do the things I enjoy. These reasons might not be your reasons, but they certainly are mine.
1. Too tired
I hate this reason. It sucks to feel too tired, it is an annoying reason to use as an excuse. And, most of all, somewhere in my head I know that doing what I enjoy doing will actually give me energy. It’s a catch-22 that I haven’t quite worked out how to avoid. There must be a balance somewhere between being too tired and having energy enough to do things you enjoy. It is a reason I think most of you will understand and identify with: everyday life, problems sleeping, work, other responsibilities; it all takes its toll.
2. The activity is “too big”
There are some activities I enjoy doing, but that I feel require a solid time investment. For instance, I feel I can’t do yoga or write for only five minutes. This is a bit of a paradox, as it might be better to do it for five minutes instead of not at all. And why is that I put these restraints and demands on my leisure activities? I am putting restraints and demands on something that I should be doing because I enjoy it! Granted, some activities are too big to start at 9pm. But instead of, for instance, painting an entire painting, I could start with just one corner. I am not sure whether I need to adjust my expectations of myself or whether I need to accept that smaller is okay too. Or maybe both?
3. The threshold
This is an odd one; an activity that I enjoy and am interested in, but I feel there is a threshold for me to actually start it. It seems, at times, that I only enjoy this particular interest when I am doing it or when I have finished it (exercise is a good example here). Starting it feels difficult. It’s as if there’s massive gap I need to cross before starting and I don’t really feel quite up to it. But when I am doing it, I really love it. I’ve tried to figure out what it is that makes me feel this way, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet.
4. Don’t deserve it
Ah, the last reason… I think this reason is another one that people will recognise. Basically you don’t do an activity you enjoy because you don’t feel like you’ve deserved to do something you enjoy yet. There are so many things that need to be done, you should focus on those things instead. There are a few problems with this reasoning. The first is that you DO deserve to do fun things. And also that doing fun things will make you feel happier which means you are more likely to enjoy other tasks as well – even if they are household tasks. And most people have a never-ending to-do list (whether on paper or in their head). This to-do list is endless and will never be completed. You might as well enjoy your life and worry less about all the outstanding tasks!