Finding Time To Learn Guitar

Life is busy. As much as we want to triple c (chill, chill, chill) and watch netflix with a margarita, there's lots going on and it's hard to cram everything into each day. Here's a good time breakdown of the average person's day:

day breakdown

Learning guitar definitely falls into the leisure category and leisure is the first time slice that gets sucked up by overflow from other activities: you might work or study overtime, maybe you put your passport in the washing machine and you have to get that reissued, or maybe you open the fridge and it looks like you're back in college so you have to go grocery shopping. It cuts into your "you" time - and some people don't even get 4 hours of leisure time a day. I know that since I brought a kid into this world, I maybe have 2 hours each night to myself. Ugh.

But "leisure activities and recreation have been shown to be greater predictors of life satisfaction and quality of life than sex, education, religiosity, martial status, age, health, employment status, and income" (Newman et al., 2014). Enforcing leisure time and blocking out a specific portion of time for you to defrag your brain, relax, or focus on self improvement and personal hobbies is critical to happiness and well being.

How do you get to a point where you can block out a portion of time to focus on your well being without dropping the ball on life tasks? That's a tough question to answer because everyone has different life circumstances. Personally for me, it's all mental. For example, when I'm making plans with friends and someone bails or says "that would be amazing, but <excuse 1> and <excuse 2>", I think "if it was important to you, you would prioritize it" and now that's how I think about a lot of my activities in life. 

Sit back and think about what's most important to you and what you really want to do. Disregard all the small tasks on your plate - that's just noise - and focus on big picture: Family, Friends, Job/School. Okay, good. What else? I want to pick up yoga and learn guitar. These are pieces (or potential pieces) of my identity that are important to me. Going to the grocery store and cleaning the house are important, yes, but they don't define who you are or give you a sense of self worth. There's a really transformative analogy called the jar of life where basically you have a jar: take all the important things in your life (golf balls) and fill up the jar. Full right? Not quite. Pour in a handful of pebbles that will fill up the remaining holes between the golf balls (these are important things you need to do, but not critical to you). Full right? Nope. Now pour in some sand (all the other tasks). What if you fill up the jar with sand first? No room for golf balls. Plus, and here's the best part of the analogy, even after you fill up the jar with golf balls and pebbles and sand, you can always pour a beer overtop and have it soak in. There's always time for a couple beers with friends.

jar of life

So I encourage you to think about what the golf balls in your life are and prioritize them. If that's learning guitar, awesome, we're here for you, and with a few 15 minute practice times throughout your week you can actually get pretty good! If it's not the right time and guitar isn't a golf ball right now, we hope to see you down the road.

Bonus thought: before I decided to have a kid with my partner, there never seemed like a right time. "We should be more financially stable", "We should have a bigger house first", "We should blah", "We should bleh". One day I was talking to a friend who had a kid and he simply said to me, "there's never a great time, there's always an excuse not to do it. Figure out if it's important to you and do it." Thanks to that advice, now I have a beautiful son who's now a part of my identity as a dad.

Figure out what's important to you and do it. I know probably sounds overly simplistic, but simple advice is often the best advice.

PS. 10 points to you if you recognized the blog header image. It's from the album Human Clay by Creed.