I’m nearing the end of my final semester of graduate school. Only a few more weeks left until finals. I’m wrapping up my externship, staying on top of homework demands, hunting and applying for jobs, squeezing in time to start outlining for said finals, and . . . well, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed!
Life is so busy I honestly haven’t had much time to spend on music or my songwriting hobby, and that’s making me feel even worse. Music is what makes me happy. It helps me escape from the craziness of life and become fully present, lost in the sound.
So what do you do when your workload is overwhelming and preventing you from spending time doing that hobby which you enjoy most (in my case, that’d be music)?
You find time for music anyway. Some people might say you should prioritize it as important work you must get done, but I don’t like thinking about it that way. I like the idea that at a set time, I will declare myself done working for the day. The rest of the day is “me” time. A line in the sand.
- Don’t feel guilty about spending some time, even just a little bit, on your music hobby. In the long run, spending that time playing or writing music will make you happier (which, coincidentally, will ultimately also make you more productive). Acknowledge the fact that you can’t be a work horse constantly, and even if you tried to always work your effectiveness and level of productivity would at some point become so low that your work won’t be of any use.
- Spending time absorbed in music will re-energize you. Music is healing. I don’t fully understand music’s healing power on the listener, performer, or composer, but I know from experience that it works.
- Allow yourself to “play” with childlike wonder each day. Whether you like to paint, write songs, or dance—allowing yourself to play and use your creativity everyday can help you see your work tasks in a different light. Time spent engaging your imagination—playing the artist—can open your eyes to new solutions to problems or help put struggles into context, often making them smaller than we might originally envision them.
Here are some other helpful resources I’ve found in dealing with overwhelm in general:
- Michael Hyatt’s Blog Post “When You Feel Overwhelmed By Your Workload”
- Ray Edward’s Podcast “A Three-Step Process to Get Out of Overwhelm”
Are you currently overwhelmed and neglecting a favorite hobby of yours? How might you be able to change that?