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5 New Hobbies For the Creatively Restless

5 New Hobbies For the Creatively Restless

There is no escaping the fact that a lot of us are sleep-walking through many of our days like zombies. Work has become a grind that no longer inspires us quite like it used to and we have taken to falling into the refuge of the online versions of ourselves more and more often. This disconnection from our real self is simply not healthy.

The internet and social media offer us wonderful opportunities to grow and develop every day, but we cannot allow the virtual world to subsume who we really are. I know all of this is to be true because I feel it intensely myself. I think it’s time for us to all wake up a little and get back to who we really are. One of the easiest ways to start this transformation is by taking up some new hobbies.

There are a multitude of interesting new hobbies that you can try out. The following options will resonate with almost everybody. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, or simply somebody who feels at a loose end, taking up one of these new hobbies will bring back some creativity to your life.

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1. Writing

In my experience this is one of the new hobbies that many people often dream of doing, but for some reason never get around to. Friends who have told me they would love to write leave me perplexed, as surely this is one of the easiest things anybody could do. Perhaps the very process of writing is just such a personal one that some people find it daunting to take on. Others may dream of writing a beautiful poem, or an epic novel, but are blocked from doing so by the sheer fear of not being able to pull it off.

As a writer myself, I can promise you that it is one of the most rewarding and challenging hobbies that you could ever take up. The ability to relay your experiences into words is a wonderful feeling. It helps you better process and understand the world around you.

Writing is unique in that all you need to get started is a pen and some paper. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you need to know the rules of grammar, or to have read all of the classics, before you have a go at it for yourself. The best writing is always that which is the most honest. Whether you write a diary or a journal just for you, or you’re interested in getting into poetry or fiction, as long as you believe in what you are doing, you simply cannot go wrong.

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2. Meditation

Meditation is an interesting and perhaps controversial addition to this list as some would suggest it is not really a hobby. These people may be right, meditation is more than just a hobby, but one of the secrets of meditation is that it is really nothing more than about you learning to be happy and at one with yourself. In the context of why we’re looking for new hobbies in the first place, I believe this fact warrants its place on this list.

For those new to meditation, it can be a practice that can at first feel a little unusual. This is fine, meditation is indeed a little bit unusual, but that is also part of its beauty. You can approach meditation from a certain spiritual perspective and delve into the religion behind it. It is also something that you can just impulsively decide to introduce into your life all of a sudden. Just sitting alone in a quiet place is enough for you to get started. Just this very simple intention of dedicating a tiny part of your day to silence and contemplation can have a huge impact on your life.

3. Flower Arranging

Flower arranging is a great new hobby for the creatively restless. Not only does it allow you to employ your creative talents to make something beautiful, but it also lets you interact with nature at the same time. Most people love plants and flowers anyway, but these are usually one of those things that we often let drift by at the edge of our lives.

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Flower arranging might sound like one of those new hobbies that could end up hurting your pocket, but it does not need to be expensive. Over time you will learn more on how to get the most out of your favourite flowers and use them in ways you would have never thought possible before. Not only will flower arranging automatically brighten up your home, it will also help put a spring in your step as this practice is said to be highly therapeutic.

4. Calligraphy

If like me, you have a terrible handwriting, taking calligraphy up as one of your new hobbies could have more practical benefits than just passing time creatively. This may seem like one of the more complicated new hobbies to try your hand at, but it really isn’t all that different from writing. The main difference being that you are going to need to invest in a fancy nib, a nice pot of ink, and some higher quality paper.

Learning calligraphy may also sound a little bit more technical than the more usual hobbies, but a few quick web searches will soon have you directed towards a multitude of really useful instructional blogs and videos.

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5. Get Out Into Nature

Okay this one will probably apply mainly to city-dwellers, but it’s amazing just how much a lot of us insist on remaining confined to a very narrow physical space. Home, work, eat, drink, home, repeat. This is probably a pretty accurate picture of the majority, even those that actually live quite close to nature.

Getting out into nature is one of the most healthy new hobbies you can do and I guarantee you that no matter where you live, you will be amazed at just how much amazing nature there is within not much more than an hour’s journey time from your home. Taking advantage of the nature around is not just a physically healthy exercise. The complete disconnect that you feel once you’ve left your town or city behind will really give your emotions a boost and leave you feeling a lot more motivated to take on the week ahead.

Featured photo credit: Moyan Brenn via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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