Hello everybody, welcome to Episode 11 of Optimal Living Advice, the podcast where we take any questions you might have about the many struggles of life and get them answered for you on the show. I’m your host, certified life coach Greg Audino.
We’ve got a good one on tap for you today, a question I wish more people asked as it pertains to the fun in life and how to make time for it. It’s a lost art, so let’s take a gander at the question and see what we can come up with…
QUESTION: “I’m having issues dealing with motivation and discipline. I get up in the morning, I feel tired. I go to work and I’m able to do a lot of good work and maintain a really strong work ethic while I’m there, but then I get home and I’m just tired and I can’t muster myself up to do anything I want to do — like getting better at drawing, I want to put together models and other things. But I just have no motivation and no energy to do that kind of thing, so what do you suggest for building up that discipline? I hear that discipline is like a muscle, where you keep working at it, and I seem to be doing really well with it at work, but at home I really don’t have it there.”
Work vs. Home Life
I think a great thing here, and something we’re going to exploit, is the fact that you know you can be driven and successful. You know you can be energized and perform at a high level. You have all these qualities when it comes to professional endeavors, but just not in personal endeavors. This is a much different situation than if you were not able to work well or work enthusiastically under any circumstances — and that situation would be harder for you to pull yourself out of.
But since you know you can accomplish what you need to accomplish at work, what’s important to get to the bottom to is what the main differences are between work and home, and why you’re so much more prone to succeed in one than you are in the other.
Let’s go over some of the differences in each place, and you can decide for yourself what might be the culprit.
Factors for Success
We’ll start small. Based on how you phrased the question, I’m assuming you work standard hours. Is it possible that you’re just more of a morning person, in which case you might be more motivated to make time for your hobbies before work if you woke up earlier? Could be a time of day thing.
Create a Dedicated Space
You more than likely have a set workspace at work, which you associate only with doing work and nothing else. Is it possible that making a similar space in your home, devoted only to hobbies, could help? A place that’s not obstructed by other duties? We’ve talked about that in a few episodes already.
Find Social Support
You might have coworkers that push you at work and a sense of social support you might not have at home. Not only people supporting you, but people doing the same thing as you. A lot of times there’s a lot to be said about doing things as a group and being alongside people with the same goals. So this could mean having family or friends to maybe participate in the same hobbies or at least encourage you to do so.
What other little things can you think of that might set you up for success at work that you could integrate into your home to make it easier for you to spend time with your hobbies? Maybe the idea of a uniform or dress code helps; I don’t know. Perhaps stepping into your artist’s apron the second you get in from work could really influence you.
Are You Working Too Hard?
It’s highly possible that you’re even just working too hard and expending all of the energy you have at work. This is true of so many people, and if it applies to you, should lead you to assess whether or not you can delegate certain tasks, take some time off, or whatever.
See, all of these little tidbits can have powerful effects on different people, so I’d encourage you to play around with these ideas in addition to others you can come up with respective to your workplace and see if any of them are influencing you more than you might have realized.
Look at Your Results
If they aren’t, however, my gut tells me…it might be the big momma. Not time of day, not your damn uniform, but your results.
See, you can be driven in bits and pieces based on external factors that we mentioned. And again, I can’t stress enough how impactful changes based on those kinds of things can be, but the main driving force behind anything we do is the result that we believe will come from it. Every single action you take is done in search of some kind of result, even if that result is something pure and intrinsic. Transaction exists everywhere — let’s just hope it’s harmless transaction. Transaction definitely exists at work. You might even like your job, but you likely still wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t come with money, or a sense of purpose maybe.
Think about the results you work towards each day at your job. Think about the beliefs you have on the other side of the tasks you perform there. Now think about the results you would be working towards with your hobbies. Chances are, at this point, they’re not as vivid or tangible.
Become More Certain
Sit down with yourself and become certain about what you want from your hobbies, because you’re less likely to take part in them if you’re not even sure what they’ll provide you with.
Maybe you can draw a picture for a loved one and give it to them as a birthday gift.
Maybe you can mold a sculpture and enter it into an art festival.
Maybe you can create a mural with a powerful message for all to see.
Maybe you can just be conscious of having better work-life balance. Just because you have a result and maybe even give yourself a little deadline does not make the hobbies work. You can still enjoy them and be flexible with them, but the clearer you are about the purpose they serve, the more rewarding it will be to take part in them.
The idea of discipline that you brought up won’t have to exist any more than you want it to, especially not with a negative connotation. What you’ll really find through being purposeful is momentum. Working a little bit more towards a task you’re excited about each day and seeing the progress you make will be enough to keep pushing you forward and having a great time while doing so.
Start with Baby Steps
If you find that a small, environmental alteration is not giving you the motivation you need, then get an idea of what you want to gain from your hobbies, how they serve you, and just work on them for 5 minutes tomorrow. Even 1 minute will give you a boost.
You’ll want to keep building upon that, and soon enough it will become a very joyful, thoughtless part of your routine.
And if it doesn’t, send in another question telling me how wrong I was and we’ll take it from there.
Another one in the books, my friends.
I hope this episode has left you with a new way of looking at your hobbies. Yes, hobbies are typically just fun and thoughtless but they can require a little more effort if the other aspects of life take over. I hope that was articulated well today.
I also hope everyone who has a question of their own that they’d like answered on the podcast will submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring em’ on folks. We’re loving the ones we’re getting in and we just thirst for more. So don’t be shy! Can’t wait to hear what you have to say, and I sure hope you’ll stop in next time.