How I’ve learned to balance hobbies, responsibilities, stay productive


Joseph Ferrer is a media & strategic communications major in Iona’s class of 2023 and Arts & Entertainment Editor of Ionian

Joseph Ferrer, Arts & Entertainment Editor

For those who like to pursue creative endeavors, whether it be art, writing, photography or more, it can be easy to feel as if you aren’t spending as much time working on personal projects as you’d like. There’s so much that could be happening at any given moment from school, to work to other personal matters and with so many things constantly requiring our attention, there are many times when you could feel like you aren’t able to dedicate a satisfying amount of attention to your passions. 


I myself have wrestled with this when it comes to music. When trying to take some time out of the day to practice guitar or piano, it’s hard not to think, “I could be using this time to finish that one assignment that’s due soon” and then feel as if I wasn’t being productive enough. However, to combat this mindset I’ve had to change how I view what it means to be productive in order to create a better balance between my responsibilities and my hobbies while feeling satisfied with how much time I dedicate to both.  


One of the hurdles I’ve faced when it comes to both my hobbies and my responsibilities is the feeling of not progressing when heavily focusing on one or the other. If I was spending significant time on work, I would think about how I haven’t done much to further learn a song I had been practicing and I would feel the same way towards work if I were to allow myself to practice. Instead of focusing on the work that I seemingly wasn’t doing, I had to shift my mindset and recognize the progress that I had already made. Through that, I’ve been able to help combat the feeling of unproductiveness.   


Adopting time management skills has also been a practical solution that has helped with how I balance my responsibilities and hobbies. Making a loose schedule and setting aside time to finish certain tasks has greatly helped with creating time to work on both. While it isn’t set in stone and it may be hard to always stick to it, having the guideline there greatly helps with how much attention I give towards both activities.  


Ultimately, by changing how I view my progress on tasks, I’ve learned to feel more comfortable with my productivity as well as how I feel about both my work and my hobbies.