It’s an odd fact that, in a period of history when we have more luxuries available to us than ever before, and an entire spectrum of industries focused around providing us with comfort and entertainment during our free time — many of us find that we seem to have scarcely any free time at all to enjoy.
Some of this is a natural consequence of long working hours, zero-hour contracts, and various related issues which plague many people of working age.
However, whatever your job — whether it’s something that’s naturally time-consuming, such as being a personal injury attorney, or something which allows a greater of flexibility — time management is always a major part of the issue.
If you find that you never have enough time to spend with your friends and family, or to dedicate to your hobbies, here are a few tips for how you can free up and optimise your leisure time.
Begin Tracking How You Actually Spend Your Time (Both at Home and Work)
There’s a well-known, and very true saying popular in some business circles, which argues that “what is measured improves.”
Whenever you are trying to become more efficient in some area of your life, or are attempting to streamline or smooth out a process, the first step to undertake is to begin tracking that thing so that you can then identify strengths and weaknesses in your execution, and work on improving the entire process.
This principle is vitally important when you’re trying to get a handle on your time management. Using an online service, or even just a paper notebook, begin recording how you spend your time throughout the day. Be honest, don’t claim you were working when you were watching music videos.
This should help you identify points where you’ve been routinely wasting time, and set the stage for you to begin rescuing some of that time.
Focus on Improving Your Health and Getting More Rest
It might seem counterintuitive at first to suggest that you should focus on getting more rest in order to free up more spare time, but there’s some good logic to the idea.
The bottom line is that the healthier, more well-rested, and more well-nourished we are, the more productive we will be at work, the less likely we are to procrastinate, and the more free time we can expect to have as a result.
You most likely know from bitter experience that trying to work after an all-nighter, and a missed breakfast, is just about impossible.
Cut Back on the Bad Habits That Might Rob You of Your Time
Sometimes, a lot of our free time ends up swirling down the drain specifically because of some negative habit we have that either takes up the time directly, or makes us unable to enjoy it by some other means.
Binge drinking is a major culprit here, as many hard-working people are prone to hit the bar and “play hard” after the week’s end.
And what’s the consequence? Well, usually the night passes in a blur, barely remembered, and the next day is a hungover write-off.
Try and cut back on, or quit, these negative time-stealing habits and you’ll see a great difference in how you spend, and enjoy, your free time.