Free time is rare. Sometimes, it’s so rare that we don’t know what to do with it. So how is it possible to successfully utilize free time?
Us busy folks tend to want to utilize our free time so that we don’t feel lazy, but we also want to still feel somewhat relaxed.
Finding that perfect balance between productivity and free time isn’t easy, but it is possible.
So, what should you be doing during those few spare hours that manifest as ‘free time’? The possibilities aren’t necessarily endless, but there are plenty of options out there so that you don’t wind up feeling lazy for hours at a time.
Here are a few different ways to successfully utilize free time so you don’t feel lazy.
Keep a Task List
When you come across some spare time, instead of twiddling your thumbs or scrolling endlessly through social media, check off an item from a goals list.
If you keep an updated list of things you want to accomplish each week, you can easily refer to the list when you have some downtime.
I personally always have things to accomplish on my weekly goals list. Some items are more work-related such as tasks involving my blog or my writing goals, and other tasks are more household-related such as cleaning the bathroom or doing laundry.
There are plenty of tasks that I don’t accomplish in a week and end up rolling them over to the next week. I know that eventually I will have some more random free time and be able to check those pesky tasks off of my list that I tend to avoid.
Having a task list is a great way to successfully utilize free time because it keeps you busy and helps you accomplish things you need to eventually get done.
Pursue a Hobby
One of my favorite ways to utilize free time is to invest my energy into a hobby. My favorite hobbies include writing and painting.
I think it’s safe to say that during my high school and college years, I didn’t really have a hobby. I knew I liked to paint and I enjoyed writing, but I never turned to those activities during my free time.
It wasn’t until after I graduated with my undergrad that I realized I needed a better way to utilize my free time. That’s when I turned to painting.
Now, I have an easel set up at all times with a painting masterpiece waiting for me at all times. Since I’m usually too busy to work on it, I only paint once every two or three weeks. Still, it’s perfect because when I find that I have nothing to do for a little while, I know I can work on my painting for a few hours.
I encourage you to find a hobby that you love and look forward to. It can really make all the difference in how you successfully utilize your free time.
Invest in Knowledge
Free time is the perfect time to sharpen your mind and skill set.
What topics are you interested in? What do you wish you could learn more about? What information fascinates you?
There are plenty of free and paid resources out there for you to access in order to invest in more knowledge. I personally love listening to podcasts, listening to audible, and watching documentaries I find on YouTube.
By surrounding myself with knowledge, I feel extremely productive and I feel like I’m doing my brain a favor by feeding it knowledge.
Investing in knowledge can also be done while you are engaged in basic things like commuting to work, cleaning the house, folding laundry, working out, or taking a shower.
Join a Class
It doesn’t matter what kind of class as long as it’s something you enjoy.
For my free time class, I do yoga. I find it to be the perfect thing I need each week to sort of force myself to enjoy free time.
You could also join a class in your local community on various topics. There are plenty of classes offered through the city for people of all ages.
Additionally, you could audit a college course on a topic that excites you. Auditing is great because you get all the knowledge without having to do any of the homework.
Another option is to look at the classes offered with your gym membership. Many gyms have aerobic type classes offered through the day. Might as well take advantage of them in order to better utilize your free time and stay away from any laziness.
Spend Time with Friends and Family
This might seem obvious, but it is so often skipped. For me, this is one of the most important options on this list. One of the worst things that could happen is living with the regret of not spending time with loved ones.
Spending time with friends and family doesn’t have to be a big event. It could be something as simple as watching a movie together, having coffee, or playing board games.
The point is to not forget about your loved ones. They truly are irreplaceable.
If you are like me, it’s hard to slow down and accept any sort of free time. Whenever I have a few minutes or hours to myself, I start to panic to figure out what else I can be working on.
Sometimes, I have to remind myself that it’s okay to just relax and recharge for a while.
My go-to relaxation method is to take a bath. Bath’s are amazing because they focus me to sit still, they are soothing, and it draws out tons of stress toxins. I even like to listen to my podcasts or watch a documentary while I relax in the bath.
The point is to find what your ultimate relaxation is and indulge in that whenever you have some downtime.
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A quote I found really impactful goes like this: “No such thing as spare time, no such thing as free time, no such thing as downtime. All you got is life time.” – Henry Rollins.
At the end of the day, it’s true that all we have is the time we are given in life. How you spend it does matter. The minutes and hours we have where we aren’t working or hustling toward our dreams are valuable.
The sooner you learn how to successfully utilize your free time so you don’t feel lazy, the sooner you value the time you were given each and every day.
Best of luck to you!