Many data professionals have begun working remotely over the past year and a half which translates to less time spent commuting. In my own case, I’ve been a remote worker for almost ten years, but before that I spent two hours on the road each day.
This got me wondering what folks have done with the extra time no longer used driving back and forth to work. There have been more childcare duties in some cases, as kids may have been attending school remotely, but it also has been the time to pick up some new hobbies or volunteer at a nonprofit. Since I’ve been working from home, I get more sleep. I’m a night owl, so I love waking up 15 minutes or so before my workday begins.
I would guess the most popular new hobby of the pandemic was baking bread, especially sourdough. Many of my friends posted about baking on social media. This article lists the top new hobbies, although I wouldn’t call watching TV a hobby! Since the lockdowns began, I’ve devoted more time to my interests in crocheting and 3D printing, but I also picked up a new one, cookie decorating.
Over the years, friends in the data platform community have formed unofficial interest groups around running, photography, scuba diving, karaoke, and more. These hobbies may be relaxing or at least a creative outlet that allows one to forget about work for a bit. The best was when many us with 3D printers made ear-savers to help hospital and other front-line workers.
On the other hand, no one should feel guilty for downtime, and hobbies shouldn’t add more stress. I love the session given by Jes Schultz where she explains how not to be “busy” and when to say “no.” I’ve used her advice many times, although I do love big projects and sometimes take on too much.
Hobbies should be enjoyable and not make our lives more hectic. Free time is precious, so we all must spend it wisely, and sometimes doing nothing is better than filling up every minute.