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unused_bagels's avatar

What are some ways to balance work, hobby, and family?

Asked by unused_bagels (1749points) April 16th, 2011

I work in the Navy, which means I work longer hours than average. I also am making a comic book on the side, and it’s taking forever because my wife wants me to spend more time with her.
I love my wife more than my hobby, but at the same time, this is probably the first project I’ve worked on in years that I might actually finish. I’m afraid that if I don’t work too much on it, I’ll lose interest and it will die.
She suggests I make a schedule. However, since it’s not my job, and since I haven’t gotten a chance to bang out a single issue (let alone get a system down so I’m more efficient), I don’t even know how long I should spend on it. I’m really turned off to the idea, and I was wondering, does anybody else out there have a job, a home business, and a family that they juggle, and if so, how do they manage?
Is there something other than a strict schedule (which I’m afraid might make it feel more like work and less like a hobby) I could establish?

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4 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Just label it My Time or Hobby TIme. Don’t think of it as work. It is just your time for yourself.

BarnacleBill's avatar

If you schedule the time, and dedicate yourself to working on it for that period of time only, I think you will find that you will make a lot of progress, simply because it will mean that you can declare a “no interruptions” rule. Working on it for 1 hour a day every day, with no interruptions will be a lot more time than trying to squeeze it in, and having to stop/start. It may take a bit to get the schedule right, so if it doesn’t work the first pass, keep adjusting it.

Schedule “date night” with your wife. If you have kids, get a regular sitter for that night, and spend time together, even if that means going to the grocery together without the kids, or going out alone for pizza and a beer.

lifeflame's avatar

@BarnacleBill‘s suggestion of an hour each day is great. As someone who also has to juggle creative work with money work with family, all I can say is that I also think of it in cycles. That is to say, when I have a creative project and I consider it a priority some things (usually family & sometimes sleep) gets sacrificed. And then I make sure I catch up afterwards. I’m someone who- once I’m immersed creatively, I have to be immersed. Otherwise the result isn’t that great. You might also consider kick starting your project with a weekend where you just shut yourself up and do it in one go.

The other thing you can do is involve the spouse. So bounce ideas off her (Stephen King & David Eddings have both talked about the importance of having their wives as sounding boards.) I know a comic book artist whose wife also helps him colour. In this way, you’ll kill two birds with one stone.

nebule's avatar

I don’t have a spouse, but I have a 4 year old and I’m studying for a degree. I positively insist on giving myself time to do things that I like, like watching my favourite programs (generally saved for the weekend), reading some fiction (half and hour in bed before sleep), internet time (half an hour after I’ve put my son to bed) etc… in fact I pretty much schedule everything in a loose kind of way.

It is a bit different though with a project that needs your concentration for completion, but I think the idea can be the same, you just have to schedule that time when you know you are most productive, inspired and free from distractions.Also…I think it’s important not to be so rigid with your scheduling…sometimes it can be a hindrance, particularly if you don’t manage to do it one day or the next… just grabbing the odd hour here and there can be quite liberating and might work better in line with your creativity… I think that’s each to their own though…

I think it’s a good idea to get your wife involved too but if she’s not that interested it might just be worth while talking to her about how important this is to you. We all need some time for ourselves…maybe she could do something for herself while you do your thing?

Two really inspiring books are The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron and Jack Canfield’s the Success Principles which both deal with finding the time for your passion… xx Keep us updated xx

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