How Hobbies can fuel your work from home routine!

Don’t drop them yet or if you have, revive a few of them — for inspiration, read on!

Aditya Barrela
5 min readSep 24, 2020

For most of my adulthood (since 2013) I’ve been working or volunteering away even on weekends. Late nights and long hours. I went on a trip to South Korea in 2015 and the people there made me feel like I was working less. So I turned my hard work up a few more notches.

There’s a reason why there is a Sunday in the calendar and I’m only just getting to learn it. Of course, the hard way, and obviously from the University of hard knocks!

Here’s a few hobbies which dropped off in the first half of my 20’s very subtly :

  1. I stopped my hobby of oil/mixed-media painting — occasionally did some “digital art” because who had the time to clean the brushes/pastel? (Artists will understand).

2. The time I spend on my weekly reflections / journaling / blogging slowly and unknowingly reduced. (this article is proof of my efforts to revive it — #kudos to me!)

3. I cut off a lot of “unnecessary friendships”. This was actually a good call in retrospect. However, I may have been too ruthless and impatient with some people — expecting something always and not thinking of what I can give to them: something as simple as a listening ear.

One of the last times I took a weekend fully off was on a digital marketing intership in Romania way back in 2014. We used to spend the weekends around a campfire and karaoke (with full social intimacy and no masks). I slept after singing zombie from the cranberries to the highest pitch possible — not a waste of time. The stories and songs reflected a deep longing for world peace. The european cultures have been steeped with war and its perils much more so than India and these learnings have enlightened me forever.

So, I was very proud of my “hard work”. I was sooooo wrong. I still have no regrets as I did make my early 20s “full” with traveling, reading, training, meditating, meeting people, occasional gardening, learning languages and culture, etc.

Still, I paid a price for listening to some of the (actually very few) wise old boomers or the people from my second home — Europe, who knew the importance of taking the day off!. Doing nothing and taking a pause is ever so vital. No wonder some of my role-models have such grace and poise in all of their dealings.

Lock-down: A grand renaissance of hobbies!

Post-covid19, it has been a renaissance of hobbies which didn’t distract me from my work and infact have complemented my work and life.

Early into the lockdown, I thought about the silver lining. This may be when millions of doors close but many minds can be opened — finally!

Today, I have this renewed respect towards Hobbies and how can inspire your life, work, or even become your side-hustle!

Here are five of my weird-but-true hobbies which fuel my work from home routine :

  1. Volunteering: I love community building/brand building/event planning for global/local non-profits voluntarily. It’s something I truly enjoy: operating from a place of love and service. Volunteerism is like my rubiks cube, its hard at first, and then it gets addictive. Did I mention? You also get to meet fantastic mentors and accelerate your learning!
Caught up with my old AIESEC friend Sergio from Colombia over Heartfulness Meditations and now we are sharing this with his community of learners in Colombia! If you understand spanish (or even otherwise!): follow him on IG @meditaconsergio

2. Offering free Heartfulness meditations after work and on weekends! A moment of intentional silence and stillness amidst a crowded routine can truly transform you. Don’t believe me, try it. It’s also a great way for me to reconnect with my old friends and I’m just surrounded by a global family of whole-hearted humans! Better yet, it can connect you with your family or friends when you meditate together. This International Peace Day was magical for my family. Interested? You can book some meditation slots at!

3. Another hobby of mine is reading 2–3 books (and twitter threads / articles ) parallelly, usually from philosophy, business, and world history. I let the ideas cross-pollinate in my mind. I also share them on my twitter or instagram after some contemplation and mind-mapping. This makes me think critically in business and share fresh perspectives at all of the events and networking that I take part in.

FYI: I got inspired by Tim Ferris and the Brian Johnson from the Philosophers in the early 2010’s and have been geeking out ever since.

My vegan take on Placki Ziemnacke with Feijão. No offense my Polish and Brazilian friends — I tried my best!

4. Cooking: On weekends I like cooking contemporary fusion food from my indian fridge. I recently made polish potato pancakes (placki) with brazilian style beans (feijão) recently (nostalgic of my time in Poland living with a few intense brazilians.

Cooking heartfully and with gratitude brings some Zen into your life. Its also a way through which I convey my love towards my parents — after so many days in the lockdown together we don’t talk much unless absolutely needed haha (It’s a silent game!).

5. I’ve seriously become more fit (relatively, okay?) during the lock down. Here’s my recipe: good sleep, intermittent fasting, a largely alkaline / vegan diet, atleast 30 mins of working out everyday with 5 mins of stretches and 5 mins of pranayama. I do Les Mills Body Combat / Mady morrison / Heartfulness Yoga (for the pranayama) on youtube.

The trick is to integrate whatever hobbies you have with your work and chores into a predictable routine. Work smart in tempos — balance your sprints and marathons with occasional introspection, art, and meaningful conversations.

After a few months and perhaps years, I’m sure we will all be surprised at how this routine yields compound interest in terms of life experience and more!

Anyways! I sincerely want to here your ideas and thoughts on :
1. What does it mean to live fully and authentically in this new normal ?

2. How do hobbies add meaning to your life and value to your work ?

3. Do you have a unique routine on your Sundays? Do share it!

#lifestyle #purpose #productivity #heartfulness #passioneconomy #newnormal #buildbackbetter



Aditya Barrela

What can we do to make this world a better place for all of us?