Creating the Time to Do What You Love Every Day

You've done what you must do and what you want to do, but what about what your soul needs to do?
May 12, 2018 Updated: May 12, 2018

Our days are often filled with things we have to do and things we do to comfort ourselves from the stress and tiredness from doing what we have to do. The result: We end up putting off what we really want to do.

Think about that for a second. Our days are filled with “have to do” stuff and comforting stuff. This leaves us with very little room for things we love to do.

When will we find time to do what we love? When things calm down, when the visitors leave, and the trips we have planned are finished, and the holidays are over, and this busy project is wrapped up, and the kids are grown up, and we’re retired, and so on.

Maybe when we’re dead, there will be more time—which is to say, there will never be more time.

Things are not going to change. We will always be too busy. There will always be projects, trips, chores, errands, visitors, holidays, illness, and death—that’s exactly how life goes.

The challenge isn’t about waiting for something to change; it’s about making the time no matter what’s going on.

What do you really want to do that you’ve been putting off? What do you love? What makes you happy, replenishes you, fills you up with joy, and helps you fall in love with life? What connects you to the eternal? What is it that you feel you must do because life is too precious not to do it?

Some ideas:

  • Going for a beautiful walk
  • Reading
  • Meditating, doing yoga
  • Journaling, reflecting
  • Hiking, biking, running, climbing, rowing, traipsing about
  • Creating, making, building, crafting, blogging, vlogging, logging, hogging
  • Communing with nature, with loved ones, with yourself
  • Creating or growing a business, a venture, an organization, a community
  • Making others’ lives better
  • Working on a skill
  • Growing vegetables, cooking, baking, arranging flowers, surfing, singing, drawing, imagining
  • Making others laugh, taking care of animals, helping those in need, reading aloud to kids
  • Loving

So you’ve identified something you love doing, but you’ve been putting it off until the time is right. Can you do it today?

What would open up in you if you knew for certain that you were going to do this thing you love today, even for only 30 minutes?

Carve out that time. (Do it now! Leo said so.) Put it on your calendar, write a love note to yourself so you don’t forget, set a reminder, or tell people you’re going to do it. And. Make. It. Happen.

Cut out some TV time. Cut out some internet time. Cut out some time you spend on Facebook, messaging, email, chat, chores, shooting the breeze, drinking alcohol, eating snacks, whatever. Find the time, as if it were an imperative from the gods.

Make it something you can’t not do because it’s so crucial to your life.

Do it every day for the next month and see what changes. I challenge you to do it.

The May Do-What-You-Love Daily Challenge

If you’d like to join my challenge, you can just tweet that you’re joining the challenge on Twitter (use the #dowhatyoulovedaily hashtag). Or you can join my Sea Change Program for $15 per month and do the challenge with my members.

In May, this Sea Change Program is doing the Do-What-You-Love Daily Challenge. Here’s what we’re doing to support each other:

  1. Committing to doing the challenge every day.
  2. Getting 2 to 3 articles on the challenge in your email inbox.
  3. Checking in weekly on Facebook.
  4. Asking questions, supporting each other, and sharing inspiration.
  5. Participating in a live video webinar by me on the topic, where you can ask questions.

Leo Babauta is the author of six books, the writer of Zen Habits, a blog with more than 2 million subscribers, and the creator of several online programs to help you master your habits. Visit