Following the example of Derek Sivers, I want to list what is currently going on in my life and what are my main priorities right now. This is not meant as a show-off but as a reminder to myself as well as to be publicly accountable.
What This Page Is About
There are so many enjoyable hobbies and not nearly enough time to explore them all. Also, if you want to become really good at something, you can’t afford to diversify your attention across too many interests. Having (too) many hobbies does come at a cost. I want to use this site to hold myself accountable regarding how I spend my spare time.
In a popular story about the legendary investor Warren Buffett teaching his friend how to prioritize and use his free time, it is suggested to make two lists. One list contains every activity you find interesting and might want to try out someday. From that list you pick the five hobbies that are most important to you right now. Move this top 5 to a second list. Now comes the crucial (and maybe surprising) part: the hobbies in the first list are to be avoided under all circumstances. Treat them as distractions that pull you away from spending your spare time on those five things you said are most important to you. The idea is: you’ll want to spend your precious free time on the hobbies you care about the most, not on something that ranks, say, 23rd or 37th on your list. Personally, I’ll allow myself to spend time on a hobby on the longer (first) list only after I’ve crossed off one of the five options on the shorter (second) list.
My Main Priorities Right Now
These are the five things I want to devote my spare time to:
- Reading books
- Practicing the guitar
- Working out
- Learning foreign languages
Hopefully, I am doing one of these five things whenever I have some free time. I am not perfect in any way and often slide back into old habits. Of course I will still occasionally binge watch my favorite TV show, but the plan is that whenever I catch myself wasting my time, I want to ask myself whether what I’m doing really is how I want to spend my time.
To be more specific, I want to:
- Read more books (for a minimum of 30 minutes a day) and spend less time on social media (more information here)
- Practice playing the guitar with JustinGuitar’s free Intermediate Course
- Practice Yoga, lift weights, go for a run, work toward the splits, or do some other form of physical exercise
- Become fluent in Swedish, then maybe learn Japanese (more information here)
- Review my Anki flashcards which I create while reading text books or doing courses on Udacity, Coursera and similar sites
Although I aim to do every one of these tasks on a given day, it is not at all the case that I get all of them done every single day. I’d already be more than happy if, on the majority of my days, I crossed off just three of those things … or even just one, depending on the day and my mood. My goal is to go to bed a better man than I was when I woke up rather than succumbing to mindless activities that only steal my time.
I also plan to get better at the 3D modeling software Blender, using the excellent video tutorials by Blender Guru, and to properly learn chess, among other things, but one hobby at a time. First, I’ll have to cross off one of the other hobbies.
As I said, this site mainly serves as a public reminder to myself, but maybe you could get something out of it for yourself. In any case, be well.