Note that I am not talking about ways to make more free time. I’m simply talking about ways that you can make the most of the free time you do have.
“Free time?” you ask, “What’s that?!” and I hear you, my friends. Believe me, I hear you.
I often feel like free time is something I won’t have again until my children are grown and out on their own. But when I really analyze what I do with my time each and every day I see that I actually do have free time that I do not use well.
I’ve talked with some friends about this and have found that this is actually not all that uncommon (among the people I associate with, anyway).
You see, today’s technology gives us so many ways to waste time. Back in the day before social media, we didn’t have the option of “accidentally” spending 2 hours on Pinterest! (um, guilty several times over!)
And it’s only been in the last 10 to 15 years that we started “accidentally” spending hours surfing the internet, clicking from site to site, and ending up not having actually read or accomplished anything. Sure the internet has been around longer, but now there are just so many websites and resources and things to read! And how much do we truly enjoy?
And think about how mobile our access is now. When did you first have the ability to access the internet on your phone?
That’s not to say we didn’t have ways of wasting time. Television has been around for decades and reigned supreme as the ultimate time-suck until recent years.
My point is that many of us feel like we never get a break, never have leisure time, and never have the time for hobbies.
Seriously, I hate when I am asked what my hobbies are (like in a pre-meeting ice-breaker or a questionnaire). Because I always want to say “Are you kidding?! I don’t have time for hobbies!” But truthfully, I probably do have time for hobbies if I would just make a better effort to be intentional with how I spend my free time.
Today, I want to challenge you to begin tracking how you spend your time each day. How much time do you spend reading blogs, “window” shopping online, or on social media? If this is part of your job, then how much time do you spend doing these things that is not really necessary? How much time do you spend flipping channels or watching television shows that do not contribute to your life in a positive way?
Now think of what you would really love to do with your free time. Would you like to read more? Learn to sew? Become a runner? Make a list of 3 things you would rather be doing with your free time.
After a week or two of tracking how you spend your time, go back through and look for opportunities for change. Try setting aside at least one evening per week that you spend on a hobby or activity that brings you joy.
And I’m not even saying that it can’t be watching television or spending time on social media. If that is what you truly love to do and it brings you joy, then my all means, spend your time doing that! But I have not met a person yet who claims to feel good after a couple of hours surfing the internet or social media.
If you enjoy watching television, try being more intentional about what you watch. Avoid programs that you “hate watch” and choose programs that leave you smiling and feeling happy, or leave you feeling inspired or enlightened.
Even if you can only fit in 20 minutes, choose to do something you truly enjoy instead of something that you doesn’t fulfill you in any way.
Every time you pull out your phone to check Facebook, or open a new tab in your browser to see what’s new on Pinterest, or scan a few of your favorite blogs, first think about how much you are truly going to enjoy that time. Think about how you will feel when you are done. Will you feel happy? Fulfilled? Accomplished? If not, choose to do something else.