6 Ways to Find A Hobby [And Grease the Wheels of Your Personal and Professional Life]

woman wearing red shirt taking photos on the woods

You’re a high-achiever in your professional career. But what about your personal life? How good are you at finding passion inside but also outside of work? How wisely are you investing your me-time?

Taking up a hobby you enjoy can significantly reduce stress levels. And perhaps contrary to your instincts, it can actually improve your work productivity to up to 30%, as new research suggests.

Yet, you might be wondering: How do I find my hobby or passion?

It’s not an easy pursuit, we’ll give you that. But it’s worth giving it a shot. It can give you a fresh perspective and fire you up for achievements you wouldn’t have dreamt of before.

Below are 6 straightforward steps that will help you get there.

1. Rummage Through Your Childhood Memories to Retrieve a Hobby You Love

You’ve given it a go, tried a few hobbies on and off but nothing seems to stick. By now, you’re sick and tired of ventures going wrong or those that ended before they started.

Finally, you’ve officially diagnosed yourself as one of those ‘struggling to find a hobby’ people. And that’s about where your pursuit concluded.

Think about the hobbies that made you tick before adulthood.

When you were a child, what were your absolute favourite activities? Do a little ‘time-machine travel’ and hopefully, you’ll be able to rekindle the joy you once felt when engaging in these activities.

  • If you were constantly mistaking a deodorant or any tube-shaped object for a microphone, then you might want to try joining a choir or taking up singing lessons.
  • If you were systematically pestering your parents to watch every single one of your ‘evening shows’, you should think about checking out a local acting troupe.
  • If your parents were desperate about having to paint the walls every single year because you used them for your creative outlet, joining an art class might be your thing.

Just browse through your memories, and you’ll most likely find some inspiration.

2. Transform Your Everyday Passions Into a Hobby

Now, if you’re still in the dark and have no idea which hobby to pursue, here’s another idea. Think about the regular activities that take up your usual leisure time.

Shortlist them on a piece of paper and decide on a priority order. It can be your favourite pastime or just something you do to unwind after a long day at work.

Leverage the potential of these activities to make you a happy and fulfilled individual. Identify them and turn them into a full-fledged hobby.

Analyse how you love to spend your time and then tweak the activity a little bit to make it fit into a hobby category.

  • Nothing relaxes you more than prepping dinner for your friends? Why not sign up for a Japanese cooking class, for instance.
  • Do you grab each and every opportunity to go hiking? Join a local mountaineering club.
  • Are you a film freak reciting one-liners right off the top of your head? Sign up for a local creative writing group.
  • Is your most favourite activity caring for your pet? Think about volunteering for an animal rescue team.
  • You relish watching dance shows and keep raving about their performance for days? Signing up for dance classes might be a great fit for you.

See how simple it is? Before you know it, you’ll have a well-thought-out strategy to help you find that hobby that will blow your mind.

Image Source: quotesberry.com

3. Put Yourself To the Test – Find a Hobby That Suits You

So far we’ve been focusing on hobby ideas that are sort of already available to you. Either ideas from your childhood or those you filter out from more mundane activities.

Another great tool that can help you wrap your head around what your future hobby might be is to complete a personality assessment.

So, if you’ve been asking yourself “How do I pick up new hobbies?”, this method will hopefully get you a straightforward answer.

A personality assessment can help you figure out a hobby that resonates with your personality.

Yes, you can come up with something that wasn’t on your radar at all. That’s exactly what you’ve been hoping for? Great! Now, let’s dive right in and look at the personality tests you can take:

  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This test will help you figure out your personality type.
    To illustrate, a passionate, social and altruistic ENFJ type can size up volunteering for a cause. And a more logic INTP type can take up learning to programme on their off-hour.
  • Who Am I?’ This personality assessment abandons the traditional question-answer form.
    To complete the test you are required to pick between a set of pictures that will ultimately say a lot about you. Use these insights to figure out a hobby that suits you.

These targeted hobby tests can also fast-track your quest of finding a hobby that will be a perfect fit.

Finally, ask three questions.

Running this simple test can get you on track to your true passion. Just answer the questions honestly:

“What would I preferably be doing if I never ever had to think about money again?”
“What topic could I read hundreds of books about without getting jaded?”
“Which non-monetised activity could I do for five years with no track of time?”

4. Conduct Field Research to Narrow Down Your Possibilities

Similarly, you can do a little field research that will get you closer to a hobby that you’ll relish every minute of.

A simple walk around a book or crafts store can get you on the right track.

Too many ideas popping up in your head? This ‘visual research’ can help you narrow down the possibilities. Take a writing pad with you and take notes.

How you act in a department store is a tell-tale sign of your unrecognised passions. It’s easy to crack the code.

  • Do you always happen to get lost in a confectionery department? Perhaps you can venture out into creating your own food crafts.
  • No one can lure you out of the music merchandise aisles? Think about taking up guitar lessons.
  • Whenever you’re out shopping you’re hopelessly glued to the jewellery section? Try making your own DIY jewellery.
  • Wherever do you happen to be you end up looking at fine art paintings? Try painting yourself.
  • Are you always skimming through 500-page cookbooks? Cooking might be a hobby for you. Or even starting your own cooking blog.

It’s simple. Your shopping receipts might unravel the mystery of your deep-buried interests perhaps more easily than anything else.

5. You’re a Desperate Workaholic? A Productive Hobby Might Be Your Thing

Do you happen to be one of those people that are always on the go? The ones that find it hard to focus on anything that goes beyond their list of daily to-do tasks?

If an activity has no purpose, then why pursue it, right? Well, not exactly.

If you keep yourself constantly on high alert, you’re running the risk of finding your energy downright depleted when push comes to shove. And the last thing you want is your energy abandoning you when you need it most, don’t you agree?

People from all walks of life need at least some sort of downtime occasionally. You need something to help you manage your daily cognitive load so you spare yourself an eventual burnout.

A hobby can serve this purpose. And as mentioned earlier, pursuing a hobby can step-up your productivity too.

So a heads-up to workaholics! Why deprive yourself of a hobby entirely when you can find ones that can make you a more productive person?

Starting a productive hobby will make you better at your work. To give you an idea, taking improvisation classes can enhance your managerial and interpersonal skills.

It can make you better at coming up with ideas on the go. And make you the most suitable candidate for making in-house presentations at your company.

To top it off, exploring and diving into productive hobbies can help you come up with ideas for potential future businesses.

6. Try Random Hobbies Until It Feels Right

Finally, if you’re still clueless about what hobby could be a good fit, it’s perfectly legit to get random with your search. Go test the waters, try out any random idea that sounds like it could be up your alley.

It might be the best way to see what works for you. Take the plunge and see how it feels. If it feels wrong, forget about it and forge ahead.

To begin, create your personal list by writing down ideas off the top of your head. Think of anything that gets you going — whether it’s scuba diving, decoupage or garage sale-ing. Then go for it.

This Hobby Lark’s list of hobby ideas can be a good start. Bookmark the list and get back to it every once in a while.

Then again, it doesn’t have to be a hobby in a conventional sense at all. Probe into real life experience and find whatever suits you. If it’s becoming an Airbnb host then so be it.

Below are some more ideas for experiential ways to find a hobby you love:

  • Join clubs, organisations or groups
  • Sign up to Meetup.com to explore new interests and join local groups in interesting initiatives.
  • Join discussions and explore possibilities within a group of like-minded people online.

Over to You

In a nutshell, taking up a hobby is not only an ideal way for busy professionals to relax. It’s also a useful tool to gain a diverse set of skills and knowledge that will step-up both your personal and professional life.

When you’re not busy making your company a better and safer place, a hobby is absolutely worthy of your pursuit.

It might take some time, but remember, it’s meant to be a fun process! Experiment, meet people and explore the world of your talents and capabilities.

Photo courtesy of Pexels by @pixabay

How to Optimise Restaurant Maintenance Costs and Reduce Spend

chef preparing dish

Consider all your restaurant or cafe expenses and overheads. Wages, rent, electricity, gas. Food, kitchen equipment, aprons, work uniforms, table cloths, tea towels, POS…

The list goes on and on, ad infinitum.

Now consider this: among these constant expenditures that your business has to cover, how much do you spend on repair and maintenance?

An American study on the 2 million-plus multi-site US businesses that need repair and maintenance work revealed that they spend US$100 billion annually. What’s worse is that $20 billion of that is unnecessary. That’s 20% of the total spend down the drain, wasted.

We’re not aware of any such study in Australia, but we imagine that Australian eateries must spend a proportionally similar amount to their US counterparts. Wouldn’t you like to get back your share of all that wasted money?

Well of course, but how?

The goal is to optimise repair and maintenance efficiency without sacrificing quality of service and customer experience. For your restaurant(s), this is important – all of your services rely heavily on your equipment, after all.

This is good for your restaurant – the less money you spend on repair and maintenance costs, the more you can invest in upgrading the quality of your food and services, improving customer experience, and ultimately, growing your business.

Here are a few strategies you can use to get back that wasted repair and maintenance spend.

Regularly Check Your Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Standard business equipment and décor such as light fixtures, floors, ceilings, and HVAC units require repair and maintenance, some more often than the others.

However, the more important equipment to check is the vital commercial kitchen equipment. Every experienced restauranteur knows that walk-in freezers, refrigerators, and ovens must be consistently maintained to be fully functional.

Track the status, warranty, and work history of each asset you have in the restaurant accurately, especially the refrigerators. For example, if one of your fridges leaks, inspect the historical repair information and make a decision based on your findings. If you have had to get that fridge repaired for the fifth time in three years, it’s time to replace that fridge. Maybe choose a more reliable brand?

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Cars have this thing called “PMS”, or a preventive maintenance schedule, where regular work is done, such as changing the oil, checking the brake pads, wheel alignment, etc. Miss one of these and your car might break down at the most inopportune of moments.

The same goes for your restaurant’s equipment – preventive maintenance is done to deal with issues that may be building up before they break down. It’s simply more cost-effective to perform preventive maintenance than to pay for full equipment repair or replacements when the worst happens.

Avoid hassling your customers by scheduling your preventive maintenance checks outside of your peak trading hours. If you plan on getting your air conditioning checked, do it during the cold season, when it’s not really being used.

Utilise Facility Management Analytics

With all the complex assets you have to deal with, facility management analytics is more important for restaurants than most other business types.

You can use facility management analytics to analyse your spend data. Armed with that data, you can forecast trends, create goals in advance, and determine future facility management spend. You can also tell how much you are spending unnecessarily for repair and maintenance.

Develop cost-saving strategies with the help of a facility management analytics tool. Check out which service providers may be able to give you more bang for your buck, determine the best possible PMS, and switch out inefficient, money-draining assets for more efficient ones.

Contractor Invoicing Processes Can be Automated

Time is money. Yes, that’s a cliché, but it doesn’t take away from the truth that time is very valuable, whether it’s yours or someone else’s.

Many restaurants manually do the invoicing for repair and maintenance work. It’s incredibly inefficient and vulnerable to human error. The processing costs may be higher, too.

Automate your invoicing processes to further reduce your facility management spend. Invoices can be automatically grouped, scheduled, and sent directly to service providers. This then reduces possible accounting issues, processing costs and ultimately, improves efficiency.

Choose More Sustainable Equipment

Most modern appliances use technology that is focused on improving their efficiency and reducing their energy consumption without affecting performance. Modern refrigerators and air conditioners use various inverter types to cool more air for much less, while LED light bulbs are now almost ubiquitous… Generally, the endless quest for energy efficiency is pretty much the norm.

Here are some tips to help your restaurant become more cost-effective with its energy use.

1. Use energy-efficient lighting – LED bulbs and fluorescent tubes provide the same amount of light compared to compact fluorescent and halogen bulbs for much less power.
2. Don’t need lights yet? Keep them off – Try intelligent lighting that turns off when its area doesn’t need artificial lighting.
3. Turn down the thermostat – Turning your thermostat down a degree or two makes a huge difference in energy costs over time.
4. Use a wood-burning stove or oven – Electronic and gas stoves use a lot of energy, especially when it’s cold. The classic wood-burning oven not only gives your restaurant a more rustic feel perfect for pizzas and slow-cooking meats, it saves a lot of power (although the wood smoke is a pollutant).
5. Drinks don’t need to be frozen – Set your refrigerator at a temperature that only cools drinks to the optimal drinking temperature, instead of freezing them.
6. Update your fridges – New refrigerator cooling technology is far more cost-effective and efficient than older models. Maintain them well and they will save you money in the long run
7. Invest in an efficient HVAC system – your refrigerator has a fancy inverter thing that you probably don’t really understand. You just know it’s efficient and costs less to run than the old one. That same cash-saving inverter technology is also used in modern air conditioners.

Invest in Cheaper More Effective Options

Repair and maintenance costs can be high, but they can generally be covered. But when things inevitably break down, replacing your equipment is a significant capital expense that you may not be able to afford.

Which is why many businesses choose to lease their equipment and avoid the large capital outlay and associated business risk.

The same goes for your food and beverage linen. Why buy when you can rent?

Alsco’s Managed Linen Rental Service is the cost-effective alternative to buying. We eliminate the need for large cash purchases and keep all your linen and work uniforms, from table linen and tea towels to aprons and glass wipes, maintained and up-to-date. All starting from just $1 a day.

We provide regular deliveries as well as emergency, on-demand servicing.

Because we know that when you need a hand, you need it fast. It’s just the nature of your industry.

Contact us today for a fast obligation-free quote tailored to your needs. It’s the easiest decision you’ll probably make all day!