These days, where everything is done fast-paced, it is so hard to drop everything and just relax and take a breather. Work, appointments, and family responsibilities are taking most of our time. It is so easy to forget about spending time for ourselves. Being busy means being productive. It is now considered the norm. If you are not busy, you are deemed to be unproductive.
It is important to stay busy especially if it’s making you productive each day. However, we must remember that time is our most treasured possession, and once gone, we can never bring it back. Thus, giving yourself free time is extremely vital, not just physically but also for the sake of your mental and emotional health.
Take that much-needed vacation and let yourself forget about work for a while. Focus on yourself and do the things that can help you be happier, healthier, yet remained productive. Lifehack.org listed useful ways of how you can use better of your free time.
4 Tips to Make Your Free Time Productive
1. Slow down
You are so used to a fast-paced environment that you can’t even appreciate the things going on around you. Learn to slow down. When you slow down, you will notice the things you haven’t seen before and that makes it more meaningful.
Imagine being a parent, if you will spend all your time working rather than spending time with your baby, you won’t notice how much he/she has grown. You will fail to create a special bond between a kid and a parent. When you do things slowly, being there for your kid when you’re not working, taking care of them, making memories with them, that would give you a greater reward than by spending your time in the office.
2. Structure your free time
How do you spend your free time? Do you do something meaningful or just spend it by doing useless things? Researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi recommended in his book “Flow” that we should structure our free time since “people are oddly more motivated and focused at work because of the structure work provides.”
Whether you plan to spend your time sleeping, resting, or just doing nothing at all, when you have a reason for doing it, then it’s enough to make your free time well spent.
3. Think about what matters most to you
If I ask you to list the things you want to do when you have your free time, what are those things? You probably will have a long list of things-to-do, but the question is, is it important to you?
We only have limited time, make use of it and do something that truly matters to you. Ask and assess yourself, don’t just spend your precious time doing meaningless things.
4. Focus on high-leverage activities
You can do anything and everything under the sun in your free time. However, your productivity will depend on the kind of activity you will spend your time in.
You can sleep all you want, watch tv, play games all day and you will get almost nothing from it. But, if you read books, meditate, write, or exercise, you will be investing your time into things that you can get something out of.