012: Build Hobbies, Not Side Projects
3 min read

012: Build Hobbies, Not Side Projects

Leisure is a key practice to avoid burnout, but we're hustling instead.
012: Build Hobbies, Not Side Projects
Photo by Garrhet Sampson / Unsplash

Welcome to Toolbox Tips, Effective’s weekly newsletter aimed at putting more tools in your productivity toolbox.

In starting a new venture in the last few weeks, I’ve been finding less time for fun. So I decided to search for hobby ideas for people who have full time jobs or have little time. To my surprise, I found a number of articles touting hobbies that can turn into businesses.

Wait a minute here — isn’t a hobby something you do simply for the enjoyment of it? Wouldn’t that mean when you tie an income to a hobby, it’s now a business?

This got me thinking. A big problem creeping up on us is the hustle. Millenials like myself tend to want for the freedom that comes from doing your own thing. What’s the fastest way to get there? Take on side gigs until they blow up enough to become a full-time income.

But what this has done is create a culture where we’re constantly searching for ways to make a buck from things we love.

In some respects, there’s nothing wrong with being entrepreneurial and pursuing a business idea on the side. However, there are costs to this hustle culture.

Leisure is something essential to living a healthy holistic life. Hobbies are one such form of leisure. When we eliminate hobbies (and therefore leisure) from our lives in pursuit of the side hustle, we leave very little room for rest and recovery.

And it is rest and recovery that allows us to be productive in the big picture of life at our highest level possible. This rejection of leisure in an attempt to attain freedom through self-employment may have consequences that you and I haven't fully accounted for.

So if you're like me from a few years ago and have latched onto hustle culture, take a step back. Assess if you really need that side project. If not, let it just be a hobby.

It's totally OK to do something solely for the enjoyment of it. Your future self will appreciate the fact that you've invested in leisure now because the chances of you burning out in the future will be a lot lower.

ACT: Pick something you enjoy doing. And just do it because you love it - no strings attached.

Notent Notables

Fifteen new members in the last week! Thanks for joining and I hope you’re finding what we have useful.

Here’s a blast from the past — ever struggled with building a “good enough” productivity system? In a previous podcast episode, I discuss just this.

Building a “Good Enough” System
In search of a perfect system? It doesn’t exist! In this episode, Justin discusses why searching for a perfect system is futile and that building a “good enough” system is... well... good enough.

Here to Help

I can help you in three ways on your productivity journey when you’re ready:

  1. Have a question about your system or productivity concept and need help? Ask it here.
  2. Wanting to level up your Obsidian skills? Check out Obsidian Made Simple.
  3. Looking to streamline your PKM workflow? Get a 60 day free trial of Readwise.

That’s all for this week. Until next time, stay effective!

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