You always know how much money you have. But you don’t know how much time you have.
We often waste time on some of the most useless things we can imagine. I know movies and media will make you an interesting person at parties and social gathering. But do you know how you can spend free time with fun along with being productive?
Things that you do in your free time can have a huge impact on your future. Let me give you an example –
My friend Jack here is no exception. Jack is just like you and me. He works from 9 to 5, has a love and hate relationship with it, and when he can, he finds time to hang out with his friends on the weekends. He is relatively a cool guy to hang out with and I think you guys would really like him.
But, like most of us, Jack suffers from the occasional lapse in judgment, as he makes poor decisions. When my friend Jack is bored this is what he does: He’ll watch a Netflix series and when he’s done with that, what does he do? He picks up his phone and starts scrolling through it to see whether there are any new messages on his social media accounts. Might be a popular guy!
He then browses his phone to find a game to play, but none of them looks fun to him. So he puts down the phone and starts mindlessly staring at the ceiling. Jack is officially bored!
It is said that, An idle mind is the devil’s workshop, which is why we are likely to make some really bad decisions when we are bored.
Because the dopamine we could have gotten from being productive in one way or the other, now needs to be found by making impulsive decisions that feels good in the moment.
It is, therefore, vital that when we are bored, we should find something productive to do. I promise you, it will definitely feel better then staring at the ceiling, mindlessly wondering whether you should order pizza or chinese for the dinner, or whether that girl who keeps staring at you in the office has crush on you… Well if she knew that you spent all your time watching Netflix and staring at the ceiling, the answer will be probably No.
You might have heard this, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Do you know that, “The way one spend their spare time can have a huge impact on their success/productivity in their professional world.”
That’s right. You read that right. The productivity you generate in your free time reflects into the success of your professional duties.
Here’s an interesting fact. According to time management specialist Michael Fortino, over an average lifetime, you will spend seven years eating, five years waiting in line, four years cleaning your house, three years in meetings, one year searching for things, 8 months opening junk mail, six months sitting at red lights and 120 days brushing your teeth.
Well I’m not sure this information is relative, but it’s good to know. So, if you want to increase productivity and feel much happier at the end of the day, here are few things you can do with your spare time.
I know, I know, you’ve heard this advice so many times before. But, it is widely known that following a consistent fitness regime boosts your creativity, confidence, increased blood flow in your body, get your endorphins flowing, and revitalise your spirit. You’ll also look better and feel better.
- Read a book
I can bet that nine out ten successful people indulge in reading habits. Books teleport you into a whole new world. Whether it be fiction or non-fiction, books helps you to have better understanding of the world around you. They help to develop new skills, new cultures, new environments, new philosophies, new ideas, to get inspired and motivated, and also helps in building your vocabulary and semantics, thus being a better communicator. Ever heard this famous quote, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”?
- Take classes
Education should not be only till college and be restricted till institutions. The most successful people are those who make a commitment to never stop learning. They always learn new skills to make their profile stronger in this competitive world. Thanks to the Internet. Now one can easily acquire new courses online sitting on your couch with an Internet connection. Also, you can attend seminars, workshops, live events, etc. to learn more.
- Learn something new
Learning is always fun. Whether you learn new language, new skill, new musical instrument, cooking a recipe, or anything, the most important thing is to go for an activity you love and learn. Develop some hobby. Hobbies include cycling, swimming, writing, running, singing, drawing, travelling, etc. You can use them to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself some more. Life is full of mysteries having so much to explore. Explore each and every thing around you and try to know more and more about it. You can always use internet to know more.
- Network and build relationships
Most networking events take place outside corporative environments. For instance, weekend breakfasts, cocktail hours, etc. Think when was the last time you had deep, meaningful, face-to-face connections with your friends, colleague, a family member or a mentor?
Life is much more than working round the clock every day just to earn yourself a few bucks. It is important to know how to build and value relationships.
Don’t be so concerned with meeting new people in order to land new sales or contract, instead connect with people deeply. Most of the time, these connections could result in new ideas that could lead to a career leap.
- Evaluate your goals and set plans
I know all of us have some goals, whether you wrote them down on a piece of paper or stored them in your minds memory box, we all have goals and aspirations we would like to achieve. So since you are bored and supposedly have nothing better to do, why not start evaluating your goals?
If you are interested, here’s a tip!
Make short-term and long-term plans of how you intend to achieve your goals. A good tip I learned from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is to begin with the end in mind. See yourself already achieving the goal and work your way backwards.
For example, my friend Jack plans on buying a car this year. What he can do is, start putting aside a little cash every day or a week by cutting down on his unnecessary expenses.
If you don’t have any goals, or haven’t defined them clearly, when you are bored is the best time to come with some! Setting goals gives you a sense of purpose and the type of focus that you need in order to achieve them.
- Spend time in Nature
Your job isn’t everything. It is tough to be your best at work when you are breathing air-conditioned air and working under the fluorescent lights. That’s not an ideal way to work or live. Unplug with the technologies around yourself, no Wi-Fi, no emails, no social media. Ambitious people spend time in nature, outdoors in the beauty of the environment to replenish their energy.
If you don’t spend your free time like this, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be a successful person. However, picking some of these strategies can improve your abilities, mindset, and expand your network. Just start with a few of them into your free time routines and you might be surprised at the results.
Your time is precious… Waste it wisely.
I would like to share few words by Harvey Mackay –
Time is free,Harvey Mackay
But it’s priceless.
You can’t own it,
But you can use it.
You can’t keep it,
But you can spend it.
Once you’ve lost it,
You can never get it back.
Thank you for reading!
Share this with your friends and family members.