A friend recently forwarded me a link to a great post on his blog about balancing multiple passions. As many of you know, I have a busy full time job in Tokyo, outside of photography, and do a pretty good job of balancing the “day-job” with my photography related activities. It ain’t easy, and I touch on this below, but basically, I really enjoyed the article, and sent some comments to my friend about what he’d written.
First, you’ll probably want to read the article, Managing multiple passions- make most of your hidden talents, by Anuj Magazine, and then come back here and read my comments on the article, with some advice of my own on this subject.
And here are my comments:
I read your blog post with great interest. You write very well, and although I intended to scan over it, I ended up reading it fully.
I thought the part where you mentioned about being interested as opposed to committed is so very true. People often ask me how I find time to do my photography, including the weekly podcast and forum etc. while maintaining a busy full time day job. My answer is often that I don’t find time, I make time. People will always make time to do something that they love and they really want to do. If you aren’t able to do that, question your commitment to your passion, and not how others miraculously seem to have more time than yourself.
Prioritizing what you attack first is also very important. I’ve never locked into the number three, but when I have a long list of things to do, I prioritize how I spend my time. I often quote the 80:20 rule. You can say that 20% of what you do will be responsible for 80% of your success. If that’s true, you can stop doing the other 80%, concentrate on doing your 20% really well, and excelling in those tasks, and your overall success will be enhanced even more. Of course, there are always going to be things in the 80% that you can’t avoid doing, but you don’t need to work on these as hard. I learned from an old boss, that sometimes good “enough”, is good enough. You don’t have to do everything to the best of your ability to succeed.
You also talk about creating time in your paragraph about White Space ・I have no white space! There is no time such as on a bus or walking when I am not listening to a photography related interview, or an Audible book etc. Even when I’m sitting next to my wife after dinner, enjoying our time together before I go to my computer, if we are not talking about something, I’m running through ideas and planning my evening’s activities or future plans. I do feel that I need to work harder on giving myself some white space to be honest. I am often so plugged in, that I can become over tired sometimes, to the point of making myself ill. Taking time off is important.
I like the idea of day tight or hour tight compartments. I generally learned a long time ago that I need to shut off one thought or problem to enable me to concentrate on the next. In my early twenties I would lose weekends worrying about something that happened on Friday, only to find that on Monday the problem had either disappeared, or was not such a problem after all. There are times though when I am not able to cut off feelings from previous incidents, and I’m not sure that we should. One of my bosses always praised me for being able to cut away from work easily though, and giving myself time for my photography, creating a nice balance in my life, so I’m probably doing an OK job of this.
The only thing in the article that I found a little difficult to read, or awkward was the double negative at the end. You say that we should not believe in ourselves, but then turn it into a positive, by saying that you should not believe in yourself when you think you can’t achieve something. This last paragraph is funny, as I’m sure you meant it to be, but it boils down to the fact that you need to believe in yourself to give yourself the confidence to proceed, but not to be over-confident.
Personally, I have a very easy philosophy around this. I never question my ability to do something when trying to decide whether or not to take on a new task or project. The only question I ask myself is whether or not I want to do it. If I want to do something, I will make it happen, no matter how difficult the undertaking. Of course, I realize that although I’d love to be able to fly unaided or go to the moon, right now that’s just not possible. You have to be realistic, although I do fully expect to go to the moon or into space at least once before I die.
Great article Anuj! Thanks very much for sharing.
If you enjoyed this, you might also be interested in episode #86 of my Podcast, in which I discussed Time Management and Photography.