Most days, you’re super busy. But inevitably, you experience periods of downtime. We seem to complain about how hectic our schedules can be that when we actually have some free time, we’re really not sure how to handle it. Downtime can be very valuable but sometimes, we just let it slip by without putting it into use. Don’t let that happen. Be more productive with your downtime, starting with these 5 tips:
Spend Time With Family.
Nothing should be more important than spending time with your family. Have you finished your work early? Read a book to your son. Take a walk with your daughter. Take your kids in the backyard and kick around the ball. Go to lunch with your significant other, or just sit on the couch and have a chat with him or her. These are the moments you’ll cherish and miss when the kids get older.
I spent 15 minutes reading non-fiction in the morning and 15 minutes reading fiction at night. It’s a great escape for my brain (and the fiction takes my mind off work or other “tasks” before I go to bed). Every time I finish a chapter, it also provides me with a sense of accomplishment as part of my day.
Organize your desk.
If you have some spare time on your hands, take a few moments to organize and clean up your desk. De-cluttering your space can help you de-stress. It also saves you lots of time. You won’t have to rummage through stacks and stacks of papers anymore to find the right one. Take it a step further by organizing your files on your computer and email as well.
Learn a new skill.
It’s always a good time to learn something new. If you have the time, try to pick up a new skill. It doesn’t necessarily have to be job related. Try something you’ve never had the chance to before or just take the opportunity to hone an existing craft. For example, if you’ve always wanted to write, start by writing a poem or a journal entry. Two years ago, I started taking banjo lessons, and I take 15 minutes every day to practice. It’s a great escape and stress reliever.
Lastly, when things are slow, take a moment to relax. Not the kind of relaxation where you sit there and stare into space. But do something that relaxes you and your mind. Read a book, listen to your favorite music, or just meditate. Take advantage of your downtime now because you might not get it again.