Are you making these mistakes with your free time?
Do you ever find yourself thinking “there are just not enough hours in the day”? Well, you’re not alone. Many of us juggling challenging work and family commitments feel that time is our sworn enemy – ruthless and unforgiving, always running out on us when we need just a little bit more.
But maybe we need to think about time a little differently. Maybe it’s not time that’s our enemy; maybe it’s ourselves? Even if we can’t control the amount of time we have, we can exert some control over how we spend our time – and it’s the quality of the time spent in our lives that determines how we perceive it – or the lack of it.
In this week’s podcast then, we’ll be looking at some of these common mistakes we might be making in how we think about and use our free time.
- Thinking there’s no free time.
Most of us just have a vague notion that we don’t have enough time rather than actually measuring it. Take a moment to calculate how much time your chores and responsibilities actually take – and see what time you have left over. Are you pleasantly surprised?
- Not planning your free time.
If we don’t plan, most of us will fill free time with reactive activities like answering email, looking at the news or at social media. But research shows that if we plan to do an activity we enjoy, we actually receive the biggest boost of happiness in the time leading up to the activity, in the active anticipation of it. The planning of our free time actually makes us happier!
- Letting your electronic devices hijack your free time.
Mobile technology is specifically designed to keep you using it for as long as possible. As you click, scroll and click some more it can quickly create a black hole of time – time you could have spent honouring your values, connecting in real life with someone you love (who is right there in front of you!), or creating memories. If you take control of your device use – you can take back control of your time.
For lessons on how to plan your free time, listen to Episode 9 of the Podcast.
Mentioned in this podcast episode:
- How to write 100 goals
- ‘On the Shortness of Life’ by Seneca
- Laura Vanderkam: What the most successful people do before breakfast
- Free Time Worksheet for measuring your free time