133. How Hobbies Help Us to Be More Productive

by | Feb 2, 2023

For a long time, I felt like I didn’t have time for anything “extra” – especially hobbies! I feel like this was definitely to my mental and emotional detriment (I share why I feel that way now in the show.)

Inside today’s podcast, I make a case for hobbies – that they actually help us on our journey to become peacefully productive in our lives.

They help us to relax, have fun, be interested in life, and prioritize our time.

Join me inside today’s episode to find out all the details!

I’ll see you there. xo, Janeen

>> CLICK to WATCH on YouTube



[00:00:00] Janeen: Well, hello, they’re my friends. Welcome back to another episode of the podcast. I hope you’re warm. I hope you are cozy, , wherever you’re listening to this podcast. It is freezing here in Colorado. My son’s school was actually closed today cuz the HVAC unit went out.

[00:00:18] So here we are, nice and toasty and staying warm. And I’m doing this podcast for you today. I do have to tell you before I dive into the content that I’ve had a little bit of laryngitis. And I’m really fortunate because I don’t have any other symptoms except I have kind of a scratchy voice, and a little bit of a dry throat.

[00:00:39] So I probably will be coughing here and there in the podcast. Of course, I’ll edit that out. But I am sounding a little bit froggy today, and that is why. I do have to tell you real quick that I’ve been having some fun with my laryngitis. I have a 15 year old son, Isaac, who a couple [00:01:00] years ago when his voice changed, he went around the house for a long time just telling me, mom, mom, my voice is so deep and so now I can play that game with him.

[00:01:11] I’m like, Isaac. Isaac, my voice is so deep and I think, I think I’m winning actually. I think I’m winning the Voices Deep game, which I’m kind of proud of this week, . So it’s kinda like I’ve got a helium balloon, but it’s just my voice. It’s kinda like that. So I’ve been having fun with that.

[00:01:31] Okay, so today we’re talking about hobbies and how they help you to be more productive and so.

[00:01:39] I love the things that I have going on in my life, and I will tell you that probably the two biggest things that take up the most time in my life are being a mom and running my business.

[00:01:53] They take up a good chunk of my time. but I love to make time for other things, and I’m calling these things [00:02:00] hobbies, today. I know that we have lots of different definitions of what words mean, but for me, hobbies are things that I do in my leisurely time for pleasure for my growth and development.

[00:02:13] That’s kind of the way that I’m thinking about hobbies. So hanging out with my friends is fun for me, but I wouldn’t consider that a hobby. I’ve always had these interests, these hobbies in my life and over the course of the years, these hobbies have changed. Of course, what it is that I’m interested in, but also why I have hobbies. So when I was a younger mom, I had hobbies just to get me out of my house and away from the things that were going on inside of my house. Not that it was terrible, but I just needed a break. And I remember when my husband was in dental school and we had this tiny little apartment, and we live kind of on the suburbs of Philadelphia I actually drove into town. I actually drove into Philadelphia to take watercolor classes for a little while. My husband and I [00:03:00] also started cycling when we lived in Philly. I think we started out cycling to raise money for cancer. We did like a hundred mile bike ride or something for cancer research, and that was really fun. But all of those things kind of were a space for me to just have a break from being a mom, because being a mom at that time was so physically demanding with my kids.

[00:03:21] and I’m getting to the point now where I have hobbies because my kids will be leaving the house in a few short years, and I want to continue to find purpose and meaning in my life no matter what phase of life I’m in. And I think hobbies can do this for us in a really beautiful way. I’ve always been somebody who has had outside interests.

[00:03:42] I have always loved to learn. I have always been really fascinated by life. In fact, it took me five years to get my bachelor’s degree because I kept changing my major. I just couldn’t make up my mind on what it is that I wanted to settle in on with my degree. I was [00:04:00] kind of all over the map too. I wanted to teach elementary school. I wanted to teach high school. I wanted to go to medical school. I wanted to be an archeologist for a moment. I wanted to get a violin performance degree. I mean, I was all over the place with my interests, and I don’t know if any of you can relate to that. I know some of you can because you have taken my productivity quiz, and one of the things that you get hung up on is being a multi-passionate mom as well, and feeling like you have so many interests and not enough time to get all these things done. So I’ve really had to work on reigning myself in, and I’ve done other podcasts on that topic of reigning myself in.

[00:04:40] But today I want to just specifically talk about why it’s so important for us to have our own interests and to spend a little bit of time each week pursuing these interests. And what’s so sad to me is a lot of people don’t pursue these interests because they don’t feel like they have any [00:05:00] extra time, but I want to offer to you today that having these interests actually helps us to be more productive. And they do that because they help us to prioritize our time.

[00:05:14] They help us to get really focused on what really matters. . And also I think having these extra interests help us to be a little bit more well-rounded, helps us to slow ourselves down. So I’m gonna be talking about that more on the podcast today. But what I wanna say here is we might not have time for all of the extras or all of the things that we wanna learn and do in this life for sure right now. But we do have time for something. We do have time for at least one thing. Maybe two things. Maybe two things if you’re lucky, . But I’ve been thinking about, particularly in planning this episode, why hobbies are so important.

[00:05:58] And I think one [00:06:00] reason for sure that hobbies are important is because they help us to relax. They help us to not take ourselves too seriously. Hobbies for sure help us to have fun for sure. But if we, for example, sit down to do a puzzle, maybe we love to do puzzles and I love to do puzzles for fun, but I wouldn’t say that it’s a hobby of mine. I would say that I love to do puzzles because I love to connect with people and I do love to relax, but it’s not something that I’m actively pursuing all year round. I do like one or two puzzles at Christmas time, but I think sometimes when we sit down to do something leisurely like that, We feel guilty about all the things that we could be doing with our time or that we should be doing with our time.

[00:06:45] And when we’re approaching it like that, we’re not able to actually relax and enjoy doing the puzzle, for example, right, we’re not present with that experience, and so I think that there are ways that we can learn how to relax [00:07:00] by doing our hobbies. And I think one of the ways that we do it is just to give ourselves permission to relax and enjoy ourselves.

[00:07:06] And I think we can set ourselves up for success, I think for sure. when we do this, like for example, if I’m sitting down to do a puzzle and my sink is full of dishes, I’m gonna be thinking about those dishes. I mean, even if I tell myself, don’t think about those dishes, I am going to be thinking about those dishes, , and so I can set myself up for success by getting the dishes done first and then doing the really fun thing with my kids or whatever.

[00:07:32] So I think that hobbies helps us to not be in a hurry. We really are able to enjoy the moment and stay present with what it is that we’re doing. We really take to heart that life is not a destination; it is a journey. And I know that’s kind of a cliche thing to say, but it really is true. Life is not about getting somewhere,

[00:07:54] It’s about being present with yourself and understanding that [00:08:00] there isn’t any better than here. Your life is still going to be 50 50 when you get there. And I think learning how to have these extra things in life that are just for leisure, help us to enjoy that process more. And I used to be somebody that told myself, you don’t have time to do those kinds of things.

[00:08:21] And I really robbed myself of the pleasure that I could have been having in life by having more hobbies. Now I say that because there was a period of time between dental school and now I did not give myself permission to enjoy those kinds of things. That was kind of the Germany, Japan time period. If you’ve listened to the podcast, you know what I’m talking about. But I just didn’t give myself permission to sit down and relax and do anything like that. So hobbies, help us to stop and smell the roses for sure. And like I said before, they help us to not take ourselves or our lives too seriously. [00:09:00] Hobbies, help us to have fun. So let me talk a little bit more about what I mean by that.

[00:09:05] I took a pottery class as an elective when I was in high school, and I loved it, but the very first assignment was a struggle for me because the assignment was to make a whistle and I made a little turtle. It was hollow on the inside, and I could blow through the turtle’s mouth and make a noise, like to make a whistle.

[00:09:24] And after I, after we made the project, our teacher wanted us to throw it. and I was mortified. I’m like, what? What are you talking about? ? I can’t just throw this away. I worked really hard on this. but that was part of the process because just like so many things, art isn’t sacred. Our hobbies aren’t sacred. It’s just an outlet for us to be creative and for relationship building with you and with other people, and for the growth opportunity regardless of the outcome.

[00:09:52] And I think it’s a powerful practice to keep that in mind as we are creating and as we are [00:10:00] working on a hobby, something that brings us joy, you have to kinda let go of the outcomes sometimes because, truth be told, Sometimes we start working on something and things go south with a project, right?

[00:10:14] It gets deleted or something happens, so the computer crashes and we lose all the work or whatever it is that we’re doing. We have to realize like, Hey, this is just for fun. We’re just here for fun. So I think there is an art of playing for the sake of playing. and hobbies help bring that out in us. They help us to be creative.

[00:10:35] They help us to have fun. There’s a lightness and a lightheartedness that hobbies bring to our life. When we’re doing something just for the sake of doing something without there being a focus on the end result, which we don’t get in a lot of other arenas of our lives. So hobbies help us to embrace that a little bit more.

[00:10:58] I think hobbies also [00:11:00] help us to have a greater depth and a greater breadth for life. Where we can spend time intentionally exploring and learning and growing. And I know for me, this makes life so much fun. If you think about all the things to learn about life, whether it’s history or archeology or anatomy, there’s just so many neat things that we can learn, we give ourselves space to do that,

[00:11:25] it just brings a different element. It just kind of brings a little bit of fire or a spark to our lives that we don’t have in other things that we’re doing. So currently I am homeschooling my daughter. She’s 13. She’ll be 14 this year. And I am teaching US History.

[00:11:42] So last semester we did Civil War history, and this semester we’re doing World War I and World War II history, and I love it. I love sharing this material, I love researching this material. It is just so fun for me to be able to share with the kids my passion for freedom and liberty [00:12:00] and what makes great governments and what does not make great governments. Like all those things I just think are so fascinating to learn about. And learning about these kinds of things, whether it’s history or whatever it is that you’re learning about, whatever hobby that you have gets me so excited to get out of bed in the morning. Another thing that. is so great about having a hobby is it teaches us to intentionally tackle challenges, right?

[00:12:26] We can do hard things. Most of this when it’s a hobby, is by choice, right? In life, sometimes we don’t get that choice, but when it’s our hobbies and we are excited about it, it feels so fun to tackle some of these challenges and they’re challenges, like I said, that we choose. And they make us stronger for the challenges that we don’t choose.

[00:12:46] There’s been so many challenges in my business that I’ve overcome because I’ve built this kind of stamina, this kind of muscle in my life to have self-discipline and to show up when it was hard, and I think my hobbies have [00:13:00] really helped me out a lot with that. Hobbies also help us to create connections with people.

[00:13:05] We can do hobbies, of course, with other people. . But there are of course lots of things that we do with other people that I wouldn’t consider a hobby for me. I wouldn’t consider Bunco a hobby, for example, for me, that’s more of a social event. It’s not something that’s really stretching me, and it’s creating that growth and personal development that I was talking about a little bit earlier.

[00:13:24] But hobbies can involve other people and that can bring a whole new element of fun to what it is that we’re doing, particularly if you really enjoy being with other people and being with the people that are doing the same thing that you’re doing.

[00:13:38] But most importantly, I think hobbies create a connection with ourselves. . I think it’s so important and so valuable for us to be able to enjoy the company that we keep with ourselves. And I don’t think there’s a better relationship except with God, to invest in than with you. One that is guaranteed. [00:14:00] Because you will always have you.

[00:14:03] Right? So the thing that I love is I can be alone and I can still enjoy my life. A hundred percent. Because I have these things going on. I have things that light my fire and I know that I can have a really good time with me. Not only that, but I know that I can keep my work to myself. I think about how many people are just miserable and lonely because they don’t have a relationship with themselves, or they just flat out hate themselves.

[00:14:30] And if you’re not sure where you stand on your relationship with you, I want you to just think about how you talk to yourself. Think about what that voice sounds like in your head. And I think being able to spend time doing something that’s just for you helps you to develop a positive relationship with yourself.

[00:14:48] And of course, that lends itself to productivity because when we are trying to get something done and it doesn’t go well, we don’t end up beating ourselves up about it. We’re just [00:15:00] like, okay, well that didn’t go well, so now what are we gonna do? And that comes from having a really good relationship with you.

[00:15:09] Another thing that I think is so fun about hobbies is it makes you interesting. I love to learn, not just for myself, but I also love to learn from fascinating people. I love to talk to people. I love to learn about their lives, and I love to learn about what they love. If you don’t have very many things that you love in your life, you don’t have a lot of things to talk about.

[00:15:37] Just think about that for a second? We can only talk about how amazing our family is for so long before somebody else gets bored, and nobody is gonna love your kids, or maybe even your grandkids, as much as you do, for sure. And so after about five minutes of that, we’re like, okay, they’re amazing, but what about you? What makes you fascinating? what makes you [00:16:00] interesting? It’s the things that you love to do. It’s the things that you love to learn about. Let me just give you an example of this. My kids take TaeKwonDo in town from Master Cam and he is a fascinating person. So here’s some of the things that I just would love to talk to him more about.

[00:16:19] These are just things that I’ve gleaned from different conversations that we’ve had over time, but I would just love to be able to sit with him and just ask him questions about these things. So he is a mountain unicyclist. what? I don’t know anyone else who goes mountain biking on one wheel, and he goes all over the place.

[00:16:40] Like when he and his wife went to Europe, he took his unicycle so that he could mountain unicycle in the Alps. I saw videos of him doing this and I’m like, what in the world? It’s crazy cuz you don’t have any hands to balance your weight.

[00:16:52] So just finding out about that, like what got you into that? How did you even learn how to do that? All of those questions I’d be [00:17:00] so interested in. He’s also always been self-employed. So before he was a TaeKwonDo instructor, which I think happened for him probably when he was a teenager. He used to do yo-yo parties.

[00:17:12] He used to get hired out to do yo-yo parties for kids. So one time I asked him if he could do a couple yo-yo tricks for me and I was blown away. To be honest, I was a little skeptical, like, okay, you know, for six year olds I’m sure it’s amazing.

[00:17:24] But it literally blew my mind. I’m like, you could probably hire out yo-yo expertise for other parties besides kid parties. It was so fun to watch him. It was like, you know, being on America’s Got Talent or something. He was that good. Another thing that he and his wife love to do is they love to paraglide and he and his wife do races, and that in and of itself is like, well, how does that work? Like, what are you racing for? It’s just who can stay in the air the longest, but I just wanna know all about that. So they are so fascinating.

[00:17:56] His wife also trains stallions, which I’m like, yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know [00:18:00] anything about that either. So I just think, man, how fun would that be to be able to take them out to dinner and just ask them all my questions?

[00:18:07] So I think learning new things makes us fascinating. It makes us fun to be around for other people because we have things to share, we have things to talk about and when we’re around fascinating people, of course, that just makes for a really fun and exciting conversation. It’s not a one way conversation for sure.

[00:18:24] So like I was mentioning earlier, hobbies help us to stay actively engaged in life, which brings a certain energy, doesn’t it? It keeps our energy levels up, which of course is so great for productivity, right? When we are feeling kind of blah, we all have those days, right? We’re just feeling like life is a slog.

[00:18:46] It’s really hard for us to get up and go when it’s time to move. But when we are actively engaged in hobbies, it brings this different energy and I, I know for myself, if I spend too much time on my [00:19:00] hobbies, that can also create drag. But finding this balance between getting my work done so that I can work on something like a hobby that releases stress and is really exciting for me to learn about helps to keep my energy levels up. It keeps me actively engaged, not just, of course, with my hobby, but also with the other things that I’m trying to get done during my week for my business and for my family. So again, hobbies help to light our fire. They help us to stay actively engaged in something that is fun, that is interesting and keeps us growing.

[00:19:34] So I wanted to just talk about a few of my hobbies on the podcast today cause you might be wondering, but also just why I’ve chosen these, why they seem fun to me, so that we can either talk about ’em together, you can send me a DM or something on Instagram so that we can talk about some of the things that I love.

[00:19:52] or you just maybe get your wheels turning if you’re just like, I don’t really have any hobbies. I don’t really know where to start or what to do. [00:20:00]

[00:20:00] So one of my hobbies is my garden and I do have a little disclaimer with a lot of these . Most of these. I am still feel like I’m very novice level at a lot of these. I am just learning for sure, like beginner stage for some of these gardening is one of those things. I’ve had a garden for, this is going to be our seventh summer with a garden, and I have these beautiful raised beds that my brother helped me build. They’re amazing.

[00:20:25] And I think every summer it’s so much fun for me to try and get the water right and the fertilizing right, and I just love to grow things and see how they grow. And I love to share my produce with my neighbors and my friends. One of my favorite things to grow are tomatoes. I mean, nothing, nothing beats a garden tomato for sure.

[00:20:44] But I also love to grow things that are a little bit showy, like pumpkins. I mean, every time I go out there, my pumpkin plant is visibly bigger than the day before . I just get super excited about that. That’s fun. I also love to grow things like green beans that have kind of a high yield [00:21:00] that I can get a lot off of in one plant.

[00:21:04] So peppers not so much. I haven’t had super great luck with peppers because you have a small plant and you get one or two peppers. But green beans, it seems like I get so many green beans with just a few plants. But this year what I’m going to do is I am going to start some seeds early this year and see if I can actually grow my tomato plants from seed this year in my garage.

[00:21:26] I’m gonna get a little warming blanket. Because it’s still super cold here, , like I said at the beginning of this podcast, but that’s what I’m gonna try to do. In the past, I’ve bought some of my bigger plants and then some of ’em, like pumpkin seeds and stuff, do really, really well here. But I also love to grow flowers and I love to grow flowers for the bees, and that kind of leads me into my next hobby, which are the birds and the bees. And I am saying that facetiously , I have a fascination with birds. I have always been kind of a bird geek. I think it’s [00:22:00] because when I was a kid we had a board game that was called Yotta Know Birds. I don’t, it’s kind of a weird name for a board game, but I loved this game. I memorized a lot of the birds by sight on these cards, and that’s how you got points is by being able to identify a picture of a bird. And I think I memorized all the cards in that game. I have a bird app on my phone, so anytime I go for hikes or for walks, which I love to do a lot, I have got my bird app out because this bird app, it’s called the Merlin Bird app for all you other birders out there, it will be able to identify a bird by its song. And I have quite a few songbirds in my neighborhood and I just love to hear the birds and be able to recognize them by their calls. And the fun thing about this app, I’m kind of geeking out a little bit on this app, is that there’s more than one bird singing it will identify both and it will tell you which bird has which call. So it’s the Merlin Bird app. , I think it’s 10 bucks, but it’s been so worth it. Like I said, I pull it out all over the place and I’ve been able [00:23:00] to identify a lot of the birds in my neighborhood and out in the mountains because of this app.

[00:23:05] So that’s the bird’s half of it. The bees is the other half of this. I would love, love, love to be a beekeeper. This is something that is on the horizon. I don’t currently have my own bees, but I have some friends who have bees and any chance I get to go over to their place and put on their bee gear and get out the bees.

[00:23:27] Yeah, I love it. I love to see their honey. I love to see how they work . I just think that bees are fascinating and I like to be able to see the bees on like a piece of comb and I can find the queen. So that is where I’m at with that one. I know some of you are beekeepers are like, that’s not that big of a deal, but it is to me, it’s a really big deal to me.

[00:23:48] So I’m getting there and I would love to be able to have bees in my yard. I actually have a spot picked out where I want their hive to be, and then just grow all the flowers for my little bee friends and that would be amazing. [00:24:00] Okay. You guys know I teach yoga. and I consider this to be a pretty significant hobby in my life because of some of the things that I’ve touched on. It is something that helps me to relax and it is something that I love to learn about. But I do wanna say before I kind of dive into this one, you can totally get paid to do your hobbies. So if you love to do art or if you love to write, you can get paid to do these things. Now, if you wanna turn it into a business that’s different. I don’t consider my business my hobby , but I do get paid to teach yoga, I totally love to teach and I love the process of teaching.

[00:24:40] I love learning how to be a better teacher. I love the students in my class. I am also I think a bigger student of yoga than I am a teacher of the practice. I feel like I will probably be a perpetual student of the practice for the rest of my life. I’m currently reading two [00:25:00] yoga books. One is on yin yoga and the other is on restorative yoga to help me to become a better teacher.

[00:25:05] So, The last one that I’m gonna touch on as far as hobbies go is one of my hobbies is music. I play the violin and I love to sing with groups of people, not currently with my laryngitis, but I love to sing. And my husband and my kids play instruments and we get together and have our own little jam sessions and it is so much fun for me, it’s one of the things that brings me a lot of joy in my life is being able to play an instrument and to be able to contribute to a song or whatever it is that we’re doing.

[00:25:36] Again, none of these things are professional level except teaching yoga, cuz I get paid for that. But that that’s what I love to do, just kind of on the side in my life. So that’s all. That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. I hope you enjoyed this episode on hobbies and how they help us, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally as well, to enjoy our lives [00:26:00] more so we can take a more peaceful approach to productivity and getting things done. So if this episode made a difference for you, I would love it if you shared it with one of your friends, that would mean the world to me. If you haven’t already left a rating and review, that would also be really helpful to help me grow the podcast and get it into the hands of more moms who could use this information.

[00:26:22] So that would be amazing. But until next time, I hope you guys have a fabulous week. We’ll catch you guys soon. We’ll see ya. Bye.


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