The Trap of Free Time

There are times that I get so busy that I am overwhelmed and stressed just because I can’t find enough time to do the things I want to do. I am sure we all have been there. Sometimes we are just too busy. Sometimes it is the nature of the task that we need to do and other times it is just the mere quantity of the tasks coupled with the fact that we are not sure of what we are doing. This is probably more common and where most of us are most of the time. There is the other end of the spectrum as well. There is a trap that we can fall into when we do find free time. Sometimes we are so busy that when we do have any sort of free time, we just collapse. It is good to get enough rest and not be so busy that we don’t have to practically collapse just to catch our breath. There is also a time when we do have too much free time or when we do have free time we don’t manage it well. I fall into this trap occasionally as well. Especially now that I am not working full time there are times where it is in the back of my mind that I will have time because I do and I end up not managing it right. Here are some tips on what you should do when you find yourself coming across free time and realize you are not using it right.

  1. Make a Time Budget. Even if you are in a position where you do not have a consistent schedule or regularity concerning the amount of time you spend on each activity. Make a budget on the worst case scenario for the most important tasks to ensure that there is enough time for each task. This does come with a caveat; however, do not put so much time into a task to the point that you end up wasting time.

  2. Make a Schedule. I believe you need a schedule even more when you have a lot of free time rather than when you are busy. If you don’t make a detailed scheduled to keep you on task, time will fall out of your schedule quicker than sand will fall through your hands.

  3. Keep a Packed Schedule. Don’t just make a schedule. Sometimes we can make a schedule and all we do is throw away our time and decide not to follow the schedule if we don’t have that much to do. If we schedule enough things to do to keep us busy and motivate us to get everything done, we will do our best to stay on track and at worst may have a few things we have to push off to the next day. The caveat there is sometimes we can have so much to do that we don’t get anything done and end up doing something totally unrelated. This can happen to the best of us.

  4. Keep Moving. It is easiest to keep moving when we are already in motion. Just as physics will tell us, an object in motion tends to stay in motion just as an object at rest tends to stay at rest. The worst thing we can do is stop the momentum when we are moving. It only harder to start up again when we do.

  5. Stay Focused. It is important that we stay focused always, just as much when we do have free time. Free time when focused is much better used when we are focused, even if it’s on recreation, rest, and relaxation. If we are productive and focused in our free time, it is all the easier to get back into gear when we need to be.

There are many things to watch for when we have free time. Just like we want to make the most of our time at work and when we are busy, we want our free time to be used for the fullest as well. The more fulfillment we will find in our the free time, the more motivation we have for when we are busy.