Be More Mindful and Intentional with Your Free time

By on August 30, 2019
Free time

How many people do you know who are counting down the years to retirement? In fact, you might be one of them, daydreaming of the golden years, when you’ll finally have all the time in the world to do what you like. No more work, hectic commutes, and having to plan out your holidays way in advance. You’ll finally be on your permanent vacation, free time to do with your time as you please. And all these unfulfilled desires that have been piling up because of your busyness will finally get the attention they need.  

But you know what? Although daydreaming is always wonderful, and the golden years are certainly promising, the truth remains that life is to be lived now. Right now. And although your daily schedule may be stuffed to the brim, if you look closely enough, you’ll most likely still find pockets of free time here and there. Read on to find out how you can find those precious moments and use them mindfully to enrich your life. 

Unveil your interests

What were all those things you’d do if you had all the time in the world? What are the activities you used to enjoy but rarely find the time for? 

We hardly ever want to admit it, but the truth is that so many of us hide behind our busy lives. We use our tight schedules as an excuse for not trying something new, not being committed enough to a hobby, or simply not having an idea of what it is that we actually need to do to feel balanced and content. But don’t worry if you’re not sure at all of what you would genuinely want to do with your free time – just give yourself some thinking space and observe yourself outside of the “working adult” box. 

Free timeMaybe you used to love writing as a teenager and you’ve contemplated picking up the old pen and paper again. Maybe you want to try a new physical activity, like getting into hiking or going to Zumba classes. Maybe you want to unveil your musical side and finally get piano lessons, or use the in-between bits and pieces of free time throughout your day to finally pounce on your reading list. 

Don’t overwhelm yourself – you don’t need a million new activities to enrich your life. The point is to find what makes you feel in touch with your inner self, then work actively to make time for it.

You have more time than you think

What does it mean to be more intentional with your free time? Well, let’s put it this way: it means not letting your free time slip between your fingers. 

We’ve all been there. In between working, running errands, and dealing with traffic, you end up with little bits and pieces of free time that pass by unnoticed. You use them to make phone calls, organize your closet once again, or do some quick shopping online. Granted, all these things might need to be done at one point or another. But they’re not exactly your passion, yet they seem to be the activities that continuously fill the discretionary time you have. 

The first step to being more mindful and intentional with your free time is finding out how much free time you have already, and how you’re spending it. There’s no better way to do this than by keeping a journal.

Track down your habits

Free timeThe best way to start with journaling is by writing a daily schedule that will include slots for free time along with all the compulsory activities. The more precise and clear timeline you can establish, the better. Divide your schedule into 30-minute time slots, from waking up to going to bed at night, and start by filling out all the time slots with the designated commitments. That includes meal times, commutes, work, errands, appointments, etc. 

All the remaining time slots (and sometimes they may only take up half the slots, but that’s fine too) are your discretionary time. Each night, reflect on your day and write down in the journal how you’ve spent this time. In a few days, you’ll be more aware of these little nuggets, and you’ll be able to see the manner in which they go to waste. 

Remain consistent with your journaling as a way to track down your daily habits. The practice will help you figure out where you can make some adjustments, and perhaps even work around things like meal prep to cram in some extra free time

Free time requires commitment, too

Free timeIn conclusion, being mindful of your free time is about committing to finding balance. Plan it out, pencil it in, and don’t let it slip between your fingers. Treat your discretionary time like you treat the compulsory activities, savor every bit of it, and you might wind up on the path of reconnecting with your innermost, curious, playful self. 

 

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Be More Mindful and Intentional with Your Free time