Given my nearly year off from work now I can say one of the downsides of having more time to do things is you keep finding new hobbies to try out. (Yes I know, damn retiree problems. 😉 )
For example, the cover image on this post is a set of 14 model trees I built over a week for use in our D&D games. I really didn’t need the trees but I found a video on how to make them. They looked interesting and I decided to give them a try. Of course, I could have just bought some trees from Amazon but instead I got the project materials (which is why I ended up broke for the second half of this month) and built them from nothing more than some dowels, scrubbing pads, a can of expanding foam, paint and flocking (the green stuff on the bases and the trees).
Well guess what, I was right. I did enjoy making them and I’m very happy on how they turned out. The downside of course is now I have a list of other projects I want to try and make for additional terrain items to use on our game. Ugh, crap now I have another hobby in retirement.
The problem in retirement so to speak is you have more time than most so spending like ten hours on a new project really isn’t a barrier anymore. Unlike when I was working and that amount of time would cause me to pause before trying out something new. While trying something new can of course be fun at times. The downside is you can forget to work on things you really should be working on and lose focus on your other hobbies.
In the short term this isn’t a particular problem. For example, while working on the tree project I stopped watching movies and TV shows except during the evening while I was basically waiting for stuff to dry. But it can evolve into an issue for example, if I stopped working on my new book and got sucked into crafting other things.
So a trick I use is setting a weekly ‘to do’ list that includes things that I MUST work on to keep them moving along. Case in point I set a goal to write at least 250 words a weekday on my new book project regardless of other things. Of course that goal is flexible I can craft trees for two days and spend three writing the word count target for the rest of week on the book but the end goal is the same: that I don’t lose focus on longer term projects.
The method isn’t perfect but I find it does help a lot to keep things moving along which is main point. So how do you keep working on a big project while new hobbies are trying to distract you? Please share what works for you.