December 20, 2009

Copious free time? Carefully protected!

December 20, 2009 - Categories: life, productivity, reflection, time

While we were chatting about hobbies, one of my mentors joked about my copious free time.

“My carefully protected free time,” I said, and I realized it was true.

“Free” time is valuable. Limiting my work time forces me to work more effectively and efficiently, while giving me the space to explore things that often turn out to be surprisingly useful.

So much depends on how you approach life. Some people tell me I do a lot. Some people say I have too much time on my hands. I think I’m okay. It’s the same life, the same 24 hours.

I try to be intentional about how I spend time. Life is short. There’s so much to learn and share. I think a lot about time. I care about work-life balance. I limit the overtime I work. I plan what to do with blocks of free time. I think about what I do well and how I can do things even better, which helps me free time and smoothen routines.

I play. I relax. That’s important as well. 

There are more things I’d like to do than I have time to do, but I’m happy because I can spend time on what matters to me. In order to do the rest, I help other people learn as much as they can so that they can help make things happen. That’s the superpower I’m working on.

Consciously choose how you spend time and arrange your life to do so, and you’ll probably be happier with the time you have. We all have different priorities and commitments. Some people have fewer responsibilities, and others have more. It doesn’t matter how much or how little other people do. All that matters is what you do, whether you’re happy with it, and how you can be even happier.

I think that’s the difference between feeling overworked and feeling that you have enough time to breathe.