6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Free Time
Our 9-5 is fairly routine, and good time management keeps the majority of us on top of our game and safely employed - but what about the 5-9? Making the most of time outside the office is just as important as the effort we put into our professional lives, but because there's no one to answer to but ourselves it's easy to get lazy with downtime. We explore how to ace it.
Take Advantage of the A.M.
With flexi-hours and remote working growing in popularity, allowing extra time in the mornings is becoming much easier. Making plans after work can go awry if something gets dropped on your desk at 4:55pm, but no one can pull the rug out from beneath you at 7 in the morning. Whatever your priority - exercise, sleep, or more time with your loves ones - utilise the time before work to make sure your day is productive before it's even really begun.
Work From Home
Remote working has allowed us to work around our lives, rather than have our lives fit in around work. Splitting shifts if you're a parent, or early finishes if you've got a hobby after work means that we're able to do all the things we need to do (including work) without having to follow an arbitrary schedule.
Spending less time at the desk might seem paradoxical - especially when our to-do list only seems to grow longer - but taking breaks makes us more productive, and therefore likely to finish our tasks on time, rather than dragging them out way past work has ended.
Track Your Time
If you find that you're getting into bed without having done anything other than work, start to take notice of what you do between finishing at the office and nodding off. Is the commute eating into your spare time, or is it chores? Is it simply a lack of motivation to do anything other than sit on the sofa as soon as you get in, or family members needing your attention so that you forget to put yourself first? Whatever it is, once you figure it out there'll be a remedy for it; negotiating with those around you (friends, family, colleagues, managers) to find a solution that works for everyone is the best place to start.
Whilst money can't buy happiness, it can buy time - which ultimately makes us all very happy. If you find yourself spending time doing chores you don't like when you get home from work, giving you no time for R&R, then invest in something to cut that time back. Robot vaccums, a cleaner, door to door laundry service, or meals dropped off at your house may cost a little more than doing it yourself, but can you really put a price on saved time?
Our final point is a classic to making sure you don't get dragged down by meaningless tasks when you could be writing the next best-seller; always be one step ahead of yourself. The night before work, make sure that all the dishes are done and the house is tidy so that you don't waste your refreshed energy doing it in the morning. Pack your bags, lay out your clothes, and save all the mundane day-to-day for when your energy levels are at their lowest.
How do you make the most of your free time? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.