Say that again?
You heard me.
Today, let’s take a break from talking about upgrading our skills, finding ever more remote work opportunities, and, you know, the usual. We’ll revert to our regular programming right after this.
But first, let’s talk about something a lot of remote workers struggle with.
Misplaced Guilt: The Decline of Hobbies for Hobbies’ Sake
I enjoy writing. Obviously. It’s great that I get to do something I love while earning a decent living from it.
Still, when you do it for 8, sometimes 12 or even 15 hours a day like I do, it’s natural to want to do something else, right? So, to relax, I usually read, listen to music, or cook something.
Unfortunately, my brain gets antsy if I’m not working on something that brings in money. Even if I’m aware that I’ve earned a break after the day’s work, I get this nagging voice in my head. I should be spending this time finishing my copywriting course. I should be prospecting further clients. And so on.
Sometimes, even if I’m writing for pleasure, such as the occasional poem or short story, I feel guilty for expending my creative energy on something I can’t really sell. It’s almost as if doing something for its own sake rather than for any form of advancement is now a crime.
Let’s face it. We all suffer from misplaced productivity guilt. We’ve gotten so used to regimented days (to be fair, it’s hard to succeed in remote work without them) that any bit of unstructured time makes us nervous. Edgy, even.
“Why am I not doing anything productive?” “Am I forgetting something?” It’s even worse if we happen to be doing something we enjoy, such as cooking, painting, or I dunno, dressmaking. We torment ourselves with thoughts like “How could I make money off this?” or worse, “Is what I’m working on good enough to sell?”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for making a living doing what you love. Isn’t that the ultimate dream?
What they don’t tell you is that this path can also rob the joy out of your life. Hobbies were meant to be enjoyed, with their potential for profit being secondary. When that dynamic is reversed, something that is supposed to be your respite then becomes a source of great anxiety.
What’s Causing This?
So, how did we get here? As with such phenomena, it’s probably down to a host of factors.
One is that we all started out with good intentions. “Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” It sounds innocent and easy enough. Get paid for doing what you love and it won’t feel like work. It SHOULDN’T feel like work.
Unfortunately, it never works out that way. Passion projects take up more time and effort than we expect, all the more so if we work on them from home, where it’s harder to delineate between your personal and professional life.
And because you’re technically “living the dream,” you feel guilty about stepping away from it, even for a while. (Unless it’s to work on another side hustle.)
Then there’s this cult of busyness. In a society where financial stability and job security is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, side hustles are no longer an option. They’re practically a must if you want to survive. So, we’ve normalized and even glorified working three different jobs and get iffy about having any real free time.
Furthermore, with the world feeling more and more like a dumpster fire each year, working around the clock numbs us from existential dread. Actual leisure time can be a torment when you end up spending it anxiously doom scrolling on your social media accounts.
Here’s Why It’s Perfectly Fine For You NOT to Monetize ALL Your Hobbies
It sounds sacrilegious, I know. I get that every cent counts these days. Also, I’ll be the last person to discourage you from pursuing the chance to earn extra income.
No, what I’m simply saying is this: you can still do things purely because you enjoy them. You don’t even have to be good at them to enjoy them too. Give yourself permission to try new things and to suck at them. To breathe, to be human.
If nothing else, you won’t be able to perform at full capacity if you never rest or relax. And hobbies are an integral part of the latter. You don’t really need them to be anything else, especially when you’ve already got enough side hustles.
If you really are in need of extra work,sign up with Remote Staff. Let us take care of finding you steady gigs so you can take time to focus on the most important thing: living the best life you can.