Not being fully present during these aspects of your day is causing you massive stress and costing you results...
image: What If We Walked?
Quick Question: Are You Leaving Time in Your Day For "Free Time?"
And "I don't have enough time for that" is not an acceptable answer...
I have fallen victim to this statement, of not having enough time in my day, more than I would care to share and I know I have been lying when I have said that.
No need to be ashamed, just recognize it and accept it, it will do you good in the long run.
In reality, none of us are really THAT busy during the day, if you break down what we are actually doing on an hour by hour basis.
Sure, it may feel like you had a packed day at the end of the day and adding extra time or freeing up extra time during the day might feel impossible, but that is likely not the case.
Even the most powerful people in organizations can free up a little extra time for what they care about and value doing/ learning. That is the key, we will always make time for what we value and care about.
The problem is that so many of us are valuing social media, Netflix and the internet a little more than we should be and it is cutting into the time that we could be spending doing more about what really excites us.
The amount of extra time that we can free up simply by diminishing those extra pockets of time we fill on social media or just the time that we get distracted on social media or Netflix for hours at a time is insane, it can literally add hours onto your "busy" day.
This is how we really start to "buy more time," by eliminating less important aspects of our lives.
Question #2: What Does Your "Free Time" Consist of?
Cool, we freed up some extra time, or maybe you already had some extra time during your days that you've recognized.
Now it is time to be honest with yourself, something I have struggled to do more than a few times.
How are you using that free time?
As much as we would like to think and talk about how effective we are being during this free time every day, the objective reality might tell ourselves a totally different story.
Being wrong or not doing as much as you think you could be can be discouraging at first, but it will pay off ten fold in the long run.
Maybe you are really napping, sitting on social media, watching too much Netflix or whatever it is that is distracting you for hours during your free time everyday, instead of all that work you promised to get started today...
It is time to start holding commitments to yourself, if you find yourself struggling with that, check out this post (click here) >>
Question #3: Are You Secretly Still Working During Your "Free Time?"
Don't lie to yourself, keep reading to fix this problem.
Yes, it is a problem.
You might think that this is not a problem because you are "effectively using your free time to get more done," but you might actually be doing just the opposite.
When you carry your work life into your personal life and free time, you start being less present and trading that for a few more emails you can answer or a few more calls to take, nothing really important, just things that make you feel busy.
The activities that we do as we have some extra free time at home are never that important because we get most of the important things done during the day, they really are just ruining your free time.
You don't want to compromise your free time for the simple fact that this is the time where we experience the most growth in our lives.
If we take that time away from ourselves every single day, sure you might be staying busy with work, but you will never find time to learn those new skills or insights that you can translate back into your work life and actually help you much more than those extra emails would have.
It's about playing the long term game and not just keeping ourselves busy, start to value this free time as it is when we get some of our best ideas and thoughts.
Okay, that's enough questions, we aren't taking a test here!
Why Your Free time is The Most Important Part of Your Day
It is where a majority of our mental growth occurs...
How is your free time really that important? Why is nobody really talking about this extra time we have outside of work?
Two very good questions and I ask myself the latter very often actually.
The free time we find ourselves in during the day are the perfect time to build these skills and mindsets that can propel us in every area of our lives.
This is the sole time we have during the day to actually learn more about what we care about, something not enough people are doing. For too many people, learning stops when you walk out of the door of that classroom and the rest you are focused on entertainment.
What if you took the time to learn about more topics that peak your interest, topics that make you interesting and interested, two things that help us develop stronger relationships.
Imagine how far you could go.
Or if you took this free time to just not be distracted, doing whatever it is you many be doing?
If you are in the gym, actually be present and listening to a podcast to learn and grab ideas from. To just let your mind wander and solve problems rather than taking all the breaks at the gym to hop on social media for that instant gratification.
Or just being more present in the thing you are working on. Imagine you are trying to start that blog, social media channel, business, art project, or whatever it may be but keep getting distracted on social media?
That is just taking away from the "flow state" and not allowing you to fully dive into the ideas you have or problems you are trying to solve.
Even if you take the time you have to read or just watch some educational videos. Instead of going on Snapchat or texting every two minutes, actually be present and figure out how you can apply what you are learning into your life, you will remember so much more of what you are learning.
Be more present during the activities you chose to take on during your free time.
Maximizing Your Free Time For Mental Growth: What Should Free Time Consist of?
And yes, it is enjoyable as well so don't think this is a waste of your extra time...
"What am, I supposed to add to the time I just freed up?"
Great question, here's the answer:
Mental Growth and These Activities
"How exactly are these going to help me?"
Does a happier life, better memory, clearer thinking and more confidence sound like a waste of your time?
I would sure hope not, I know at least most of the people I know, including myself, could benefit from a little of all of this.
More presence, focus and discipline during your free time each day is going to lead to better thoughts and ideas as you are fully engaged in what you are doing and not trying to change tasks every few minutes.
This is also going to help you do more of what you love in your free time from learn to create and even start something, increasing your happiness through the process of actually doing. Crazy concept I know.
Finally, when you don't have your mind bouncing from one thought to the other, as you do when you are constantly getting distracted, you are going to experience a clearer and more focused train of though.
Be Warned: This is Where A lot of People Go Wrong