I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because I have bronchitis and I can't trust my own senses through this coughing haze.
I pretty much took a few years break from writing to study Japanese and one thing I've discovered that is common to both activities is that there is no end to them. Not just no future goal post stretched out in front of you where you can say "I'm done" but within your daily schedule, there is always something more you could be doing.
Learn a few more kanji, add some more polish to a scene. It starts to add a burden of guilt to your day - both activities will expand to fill the time you devote to them.
You can pass tests to prove your Japanese ability and then totally forget the word for "rain" in a simple conversation. You can be published and/or earning decent money and people will still hate your writing and think you suck.
Lately, I've been "wasting" a lot of time. I've been planning my holiday and I get really into that stuff. My practical, common sense part of my brain tells me I just need to find an adequate hotel in my price range and book it, yet I spend hours comparing different places and their rates on different sites.
I have to look at every photo and compare the breakfast buffets. I have a total obsession with the breakfast buffets at Japanese business hotels. The Toyoko Inn in Akita had the best one I've discovered so far! I have to check out the beds and the types of toiletries you get.
Add sites like AirBnB into the mix where you get to check out other people's homes and I'm in time suckage paradise.
But I could be doing more productive things, right? Except that I've realised it's something I enjoy doing. Part of the fun of the holiday. I like to look at different hotels and do all the research. I've stopped short of making a spreadsheet with pros and cons of each place (this time... if you ever need something like that for Tokyo though, just contact me).
When I realised that I'm doing this as a hobby, I decided to stop with the guilt. Sure it might be time consuming and not necessary but that's me, it's who I am.
And maybe, in some ways, I'm getting something out of it beyond just booking a hotel room. It's a chance to dream and create a whole holiday fantasy world in my head. It puts me in the holiday before I even start. It's world building, which is essential for writing.
I think I need to set a writing time goal for each day so that I can do other things without guilt. Every job has a knock-off time and without that, I'll always feel like I'm not doing enough. I want the feeling of 'ah, I'm finished' so I have time for the things that breathe life into my writing.