I know our society puts a premium on the frenetic pace of sheer busyness, but I find myself cherishing my free time more than anything. If anything, the more free time I have in my schedule, the more in control I feel I have in steering my life and priorities. There’s nothing better than having the choice of how to fill that precious time, whether it be spending time with my daughters and husband, curling up with a good book, or taking a relaxing walk outdoors with no pressing appointment next on the agenda.
I’m always looking for smart, sneaky shortcuts to give myself more of those blissful moments I can fill with whatever I choose. Here are some quick ways I add some more hours to my “unplanned” calendar:
Turn Off the TV
This is a given, but how many of us actually practice it? Trying turning off the TV for an entire night or even a week. I know I can always catch up on a TV show – and if I put it off long enough, sometimes I find it doesn’t even matter!
Be Less Ambitious
We’re all told being driven and ambitious is a good thing, but it’s really hard to give all our energies to various projects. If you don’t want to give up anything, or have already pared down the goals to the most wanted list, try focusing on one project to have the biggest impact. How many hours can you get back? When I force myself to be picky with my pet projects, sometimes I find that I still have ongoing commitments to goals that just aren’t priorities anymore. These worn out goals wear us out of not just time, but all the mental energy it takes just to have it on the temporary back burner!
Go On an Information Diet
It’s hard to cut back on information when we are, after all, living in the Information Age! But how many email lists do we need to join? How many books do we need to keep on our “to read” backlog at one time? How many news websites do we have to check up on daily? I try to limit the information I take in. Just like a diet of food, there’s a tipping point between just enough and too much for my own good!
What are your biggest, creative timesavers? How can you add a few more hours to your day to spend on your biggest priorities?
With assistance from Pam Majumdar