As a person who works a 9-5 job, far too often I see my free time in the evening slip away into an unproductive hodgepodge (yes that is a great word). One minute I’m getting licked by my dog when I get home, then I feel like the next moment I’m cleaning the dishes after dinner, and I need to start getting ready for bed. What the heck happened to my night?
I’m seeing in my life right now that I increasingly don’t have the time to do the things that really matter to me on a daily basis. I want to learn, grow, and improve as a human being. I feel like your twenties/thirties are vital for setting habits as an adult, and more and more I see how easy it is to put things on cruise control and just get through each day with as little effort as possible.
So what do I do?
I’m finding that it’s not that I don't have enough time to do the things I want, it’s that I don’t prioritize my time well outside of work. I spend too much time after work milling around or spending time looking at my phone. This isn’t how I want to spend my time and is not helping me become the person who I want to be.
I need to prioritize the things in my day that will help me grow into the person I want to be, now and in the future. I don’t want to be a person that is always lost in their phone, mindlessly scrolling social media (#noscrollzone). I want to create, I want to learn, I want to engage with people. I need to be disciplined enough to make sure that things that are important to me happen on a daily basis. I believe that if I do this bit by bit, day by day, then something good will come from it.
So how do we avoid this time-suck that seems to happen so often? I think that we need to be aware of the priorities in our life, and then be intentional about making sure those happen each day (or most days at least, we’re not perfect).
So today I wrote down the things that I want to make sure happens every single day.
Walk my dog
I think the key is to focus on the things that add value to your life. What’s on your list?
Do you love to create something? Do that more than you scroll Twitter.
Do you need to exercise more? Do that in the morning or right when you get home from work, rather than sitting on the couch.
My guess is that you don't have a lot of free time. So use that time to do what you love, and to grow as a human. This doesn’t mean you have to always be doing something, as you can see from my list, rest can and should be included in your day, but don’t let it take all of your free time. It also doesn't mean that you shouldn't watch any TV and avoid looking at your phone, the goal is just to make sure that you get the important things done each day.
The reality is that the days fly by so fast, and if you don’t make the things that matter a priority, then your mornings and evenings will slip away into social media and television. Budget your time for the things that will help you to grow as a person and make you feel alive. Be honest with yourself and look at what brings you joy, then do more of those things.