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Old 04-18-2019, 04:45 AM #1
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Default Making hobbies into chores

I've realised something I keep doing and I'm not sure why. All of the "hobbies" I've had, everything I've done that's supposed to be for "fun" and "enjoyment", I've managed to make into a chore. Obviously these things come last after I've done he million other chores I have to do. For some reason I feel the need to organise them, restrict them, make lists, and generally turn them into work. This is probably why I loose interest in "hobbies" so easily.

I've been doing it since my teens. Back then I used to play a lot of video games, and I'd make a list in a book, of the ones I was playing, and the ones I wanted to play. When I finished one, I'd scratch it off the list. This eventually changed to a spreadsheet, where I could delete them when I finished. This kept it tidier and easier to see what was left.

Well I stopped playing games in my early 20s but now I do the same thing with the 100s of books I want to read. I have a big "backlog" which I keep adding to. I probably add more than I finish and delete. Same with drawing.

Now there's nothing wrong with being organised, making lists and keeping track of things, but I do it to a point that sucks the fun out of it. So then it feels like a chore. Sometimes I put a date beside it on the spreadsheet, when I want to finish it by. I never do "fun" things spontaneously. They always have to be scheduled in, and in a certain order (sometimes).

This wasn't so much of a problem until about 4 years ago, and now it just keeps getting worse. It's getting annoying, I have enough chores and work to do. I don't want my "fun" activities to also be more chores on top of that. I need to find a way to stop doing that. Yes I need the lists so I know what I have to do, but I need to loosen up (?).

For instance I started drawing (again) for creative expression. If I suddenly get an idea for a picture, I add it to the list. And I have to do the other older ideas first. This totally defeats the purpose, because that idea came to me now and needs to be drawn now. I understand if I'm busy or out then it will have to wait, but should do it when I get a chance. But no I have to organise it. Sometimes I even delete things off the list, because by the time I come to draw them, they feel meaningless. This is not how "creative expression" works, it's not a todo list of chores I have to get done.

It's making me not enjoy these things, and also causes frustration. I feel even more frustration when I realise what I'm doing. So now that I've broken that obsession problem, this is the next one to work on. I found that the obsession problem was fueled by the ego, but I don't think that's what's under this problem. I will look for that first, but I don't expect such an easy answer, and will have to dig deeper.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:37 AM #2
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Default Re: Making hobbies into chores

Sounds kind of ocd to me. I'd mention to your psychiatrist and therapist and possibly get started on treatment for it.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:09 PM #3
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Default Re: Making hobbies into chores

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Originally Posted by Aviza View Post
Sounds kind of ocd to me. I'd mention to your psychiatrist and therapist and possibly get started on treatment for it.
I don't have a therapist and don't want medication. I know I can sort this out eventually.

I've been thinking about this and something I've realised is that I have so much to do (housework, chores etc) that I don't have much time for hobbies. I don't make time for them, and if I do that means they have to be scheduled in as tasks in my todo list. Todo lists should only contain things that are chores. My housework and all them other little tasks, things that I need to do. Then I need to get as much as possible done and out the way with in the morning, so then I should have time to do hobbies. This means I need to get up early every morning, which I've done today and yesterday. Got up before 7 both days and I've felt so much better and more organised.

But there is so much I need to do right now that the days are full of that. A lot of it is stuff that wont need doing again (not general housework) so if I can get all that done, then I'll only have recurring housework and other things that come up. Then I should have the time after/around those to do what I want.

Today I did quite a bit of reading and some drawing, and will do a bit more of both later. But tomorrow and Sunday I'll be busy (and out on Sunday). But I need to remember that I can do hobbies on Monday, no big deal and no rush! I definitely need the lists to stay organised and so I don't have to remember them. And at least I don't put due dates on them anymore (unless, of course, it's a library book).
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:20 PM #4
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Default Re: Making hobbies into chores

Read a bit about this problem, and realised it's caused by:
- Having too much to do in too little time
- Organising things too strictly
- Not being spontaneous

So these are the things I need to do now:
- Get up earlier to make more time
- Get some one off tasks done so I can forget about them
- Organise tasks so they are more spread out over more days instead of loads in one day
- Be more flexible with the organising
- Get the main/biggest task/s done first and out the way with
- Leave "free" time between where I can choose to do whatever "hobby" things I feel like at the time

I think I can do this, just might take some time. But I never used to be so strict with myself like this, it's only been in the last few years, I just need to get out of this pattern I've let myself get into and go back to how I was back then.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:38 AM #5
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Default Re: Making hobbies into chores

I'm struggling to deal with this problem because the fact is, I am always busy and have a lot to do. I am on my own and have to do everything myself. Obviously I'm going to be very busy! I know I originally said that it didn't seem to be the ego at the root of this? Well I think it might be, or at least part of the problem. Because a lot of this organising has to do with how it looks to others. People who don't care or even look! And even if they did, it's none of their business anyway.

I think I'm going to just leave this problem for a while and work on the ego, as I was doing and hopefully if I can break that down, most of the things it was holding up will come down too. Like this. If not completely then it should make it easier to deal with. I'm going to deal with the other problems first as they are smaller and I've already started. Then come back to this and see what I can do. Though I did get up at 6.30 today and had more time, and I did more reading when I felt like it. So that's a start!
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:55 AM #6
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Default Re: Making hobbies into chores

I make similar lists (and have a physical backlog of books). For me, I think it is related to procrastination and perfectionism. I know that I do not have enough time to do all the things I want to do, but I struggle to choose my priorities. Lately I am experimenting with 'doing' vs. 'planning' and feel like that is helping me move forward.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:11 PM #7
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Default Re: Making hobbies into chores

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvert View Post
I make similar lists (and have a physical backlog of books). For me, I think it is related to procrastination and perfectionism. I know that I do not have enough time to do all the things I want to do, but I struggle to choose my priorities. Lately I am experimenting with 'doing' vs. 'planning' and feel like that is helping me move forward.
This is exactly how I feel, not enough time to fit things in and choosing what is most important to do. Of course I want to do them all, so it's frustrating. I'm also trying to do things and less thinking and planning.

Yesterday I looked at my list of housework/chores and did most of them then. I did some more this morning and got all that done and out of the way. All that's left is recurring tasks and things I can't do just yet.

I got up early today to get a good early start on things, and had everything done in the morning. This afternoon I had nothing I had to do, so I read a lot and did some other things. I felt so much better and they didn't feel like a chore. I didn't have to plan anything, just did things. I'm hoping I can keep doing that.

The lists, I suppose aren't that bad. I have one for books and one for drawing. I need both. The book list I keep track of which ones I have and which ones I still need to get. I also have the year beside them so I have an idea how old/new they are. And if they are in a series I have that listed in another column so I can easily see what order they need to be read in. I keep them sorted in order of date to help with that.

The drawing list, well sometimes I get inspiration for a drawing when I can't just drop what I'm doing and start drawing. So I need to write those down. That list is very short. The problem was, that I was trying to do them in the order they were added to the list. Now I'm going to do them in the order I want.

I just need to stop restricting myself so much. I never used to be like that and I don't know why it started in the first place. But I can end it as easily as it started. Can't wait to get back to the way I was. Today feels good, I want to be like this every day.
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