Minimising hobbies and commitments

Main photo: The start of Relentless 24, a 24 hour mountian bike race around Ben Nevis in Scotland. It starts with a short sprint to your bike, I was at the back!


Monday’s are my daddy dare-care day. I like Monday’s, I get to spend the day with my 16 month old daughter and I also get the day off from work, but Monday’s can also be pretty hectic and they rarely go to plan. If she has a good 2.5 hour nap in the middle of the day, the day goes smoothly. If she only gets an hour or so, (like today), the day can be a mess. My daughter tends to keep me busy with whatever she’s getting herself into and I usually have a number of chores and such to do as well.

As I was putting my daughter down for her mid-day nap, I had this list of chores running through my head. “Ok as soon as she’s asleep I need to, have a shower, make the bed, clean the kitchen, have some lunch, book some accomodation for this weekend, sort out my training plan, oh it’d be nice if I could get some exercise in as well, maybe write a blog and get a nappy bag sorted for our afternoon outing.” As I was thinking about this to-do list, I started to feel a bit over-whelmed and felt like I had too many other things going on. Not just what I have on today, but what I’ve got coming up as well.

I had planned to go diving this weekend, I’m also starting a running training plan to get ready for my next trail race and I also want to add in a bike commute to work once per week again. Not to mention I enjoy writing this blog, I work 4 days per week, pick up my daughter from daycare in the evenings, play video games at times and then there’s the occassional social commitments. But I feel like something has to give, as I feel fried and frustrated when things don’t go to plan, like today.

So I’m going to sort through my hobbies and other time commitments using the needs, wants, likes strategy, hopefully this will make it easier to identify what’s not necessary and maybe I can cut some time commitments away.


  • Work 4 days a week
  • Spend time with my family
  • Pick up my daughter from daycare and look after her in the afternoons
  • House work and chores


  • Running and running training plan
  • Healthy meal planning and food prep
  • Writing this blog
  • Meditation
  • Travelling


  • Diving
  • Cycling to work
  • Video gaming
  • Watching TV, movies or youtube
  • Reading the news

This isn’t a complete list, more of just the highlights of what I spend my time on. If you wanted to write out a full list, writing it down in a diary or journal is the way to go. The things in the needs section are non negotiables, those in the wants section are not really needed, but if I didn’t do them I wouldn’t be happy. Those things in the likes section, whilst I do enjoy doing, they’re not really necessary.

So where to from here? Well I’ll probably cut away the majority of likes from today. I do enjoy diving, but we live 2 hours from the coast, then there’s the organising that goes with diving, finding someone to dive with. It’s all a bit hard. If someone hits me up to go for a dive, I’ll probably be right up for it, but I don’t think I’ll waste a whole lot of time on it at this point.

I’d love to be able to fit in a bike commute to and from work once a week, but it basically means I can’t pick up my daughter from daycare, so it’s not really an option for the time being. If I’ve got a spare couple of hours on the weekend, I may go for a nice easy ride, but running is the priority at the moment.

As for the other things in the likes section, they’re essentially just time wasters and I could do without them. I’m looking at some ways of cutting these out altogether, but I’ll save that for a later blog.