How many times have we all said “I’ll get to this or that in my spare time?” Too often, I fear. We cram our schedules with jam-packed to-do’s, we never seem to get there.
Unfortunately, it’s the by-product of being popularly “busy” in today’s culture. On a good day, we take on too much and don’t carve out sufficient time to get it all done, so it spills into the next day. And on and on it goes. We all struggle with time on a daily basis, it’s seems highly unlikely that we’ll end up with any extra batches of it. Gone are the days of spare time. But is it a lost commodity? It doesn’t have to be. What if I told you that you can reclaim it?
Here’s some ideas to chew on;
Schedule it. If you don’t schedule the spare time, it’s never going to happen. So just like booking the haircut, picking up the dry cleaning or getting the car washed, add the spare time onto your to-do list too. Maybe a time to catch up on reading, enjoy a DVD you’ve been wanting to watch, call an old friend, or just plant yourself on a chaise lounge and just chill. Don’t you deserve that?
Evaluate the have to’s and the want-to’s. Think about those things that have to get done… but not necessarily by YOU. Opt to delegate and make room for the want-to’s. Beyond the nonnegotiables, create space for your sanity. It’s essential for life-balance.
Consider the obstacles. Can you define what is in your way?
- Time-management skills. I frequently write about managing the “busy” because poor time-management habits usually heighten anxiety and exacerbate disorganization. Sharpening those skills can free up valuable time.
- Working long hours? Does your workday come home with you? Working from home can easily impede on spare time.
- Technology could be one of the greatest time robbers that could be eating up your spare time. As if the days aren’t busy enough, our affinity to stay connected on or off the computer is a huge distraction.
Tweak the busy. If you’re overwhelmed and feeling out of control, perhaps this is a red flag that you may be a little too busy. Align your schedule with your prioritizes. Adjust. Change what’s no longer working for you. Life changes readily, so tweaking is an ongoing and necessary process.
Capture the opportunities. It’s easier in this cycle of season to be encouraged to take more breaks, steal some time, and take advantage of the beautiful weather. The days are longer and may even inspire you to carve out some extra time you may be craving. Remember, spare time is “your” time. When or how you choose to use it, is your prerogative. What’s important is that you find some.
I revel in my spare time and know when I require it. This is a time that I catch the wind in my sails, and I capitalize on these opportunities. For me, I’m a summer gal and so my stolen spare moments will probably be outside somewhere. With blue skies above and the sun shining brightly overhead, I am more apt to get up and be ready to work hard… but play hard too.
Reclaiming spare time is doable, what will YOU choose to do with yours?
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