I think that because I am already quite busy, involving myself in a few other projects or putting time into reading, writing and other passions of mine does not seem such a crazy idea, I mean, I am already busy so… what’s the big deal?
Truth being told, I do think you need to prioritize certain pursuits depending on your current obligations, doing everything is in many cases either harmful (physically, mentally) or ineffective, because as we say in Spanish: “El que mucho abarca, poco aprieta” to better understand in English, you should not bite off more than you can chew.
I will point out that I am not talking about half-hearted “hobbies” sort of passions, but more the passions that you would daily put in time and effort to develop either for your own pleasure, to get better at it, or as a step to attain another goal —moving to another country, learning a new language, starting your own web comics, preparing for some exams to continue developing professionally, studying a topic you are passionate about and maybe at some point share that knowledge in some way with other people, etc. That being said, let’s continue with the steps!
1. Long and short term goals.
Deciding what you would like to concentrate on gives you an intention and forms a path to walk on. One of my biggest passions is the Japanese language, consequently, my long term goal is to speak it as close to a native speaker as I can.
Thus, my short term goal is the daily effort I put into attaining that purpose. For example, watching an episode of a series everyday before bed, writing in my diary a few sentences in Japanese or downloading an app to learn vocabulary and use it every time I commute on the public transport going to school or to work. Most things take time, you have to go little by little and carry on no matter what.
2. You do have time.
Well, maybe there are a few people that do not have time to also put energy into other interests, but most of us do. I am living proof of how sometimes the whole “I do not have time for X” is just because of using my time unwisely rather than actually not having the time for it.
My advice is to, one, organize yourself with an agenda so you get your things done on time and have a certain structure in your studies/work and two, see where you are spending your time on trifle and useless matters. For example, I wished I could read more and always thought that I had no time for it, but then I saw that many times I pick up my phone to entertain myself and keep my brain busy when I could well change the mobile for a book. Once I did that change, I was actually having time to read, even if slowly.
There are days or even certain periods in which one is lazy or tired and getting to do your short term goal is too big of a bother, careful with that, you might end up putting it on “pause” for a long time or forever, nobody pressures you but yourself, so you have to have a motor to keep you going.
Once again I shall give an example: For a very long time I wished I could learn more about Washoku (literally, “food of Japan”), try out recipes and make it my main way of cooking and eating, but time wise and ingredients wise it was not that easy so I never truly went through with it, I needed something that would keep me engaged to put that daily effort. My motivation to finally do this was my fiancé, our health and our dreams. My beloved and I both enjoy Japanese cuisine, that was the first kick of motivation, I also specially like taking care of our bodies and strive to learn more about nutrition and cook as naturally and healthily as possible, that was the second kick and the third was our shared passion for Japan from many points of view.
4. Challenge yourself.
Lastly, but as important as the rest, dare to do things that will keep you motivated! This can be many different things, from applying to a contest to do a project with a certain deadline to it.
Because of my studies I have not continued that actively my learning of Japanese, however I am still as interested as ever in it, so I decided to organize a Japanese concert, it puts a bit of pressure for me to learn pieces, translate texts for myself and the other people involved in the project, etc. This gives me an extra reason to continue doing something I love.
In the end you are the only one that has the power to start doing something and develop a certain habit of it, but do not stress over it, if it causes more pain than joy you should organize yourself once again, see what your body and mind needs.
I hope you all continue working on your passions and dreams no matter what they are.