The Problem of Free Time

In his excellent book Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi states: “Ironically, jobs are actually easier to enjoy than free time, because like flow activities they have built-in goals, feedback, rules, and challenges, all of which encourage one to become involved in one’s work, to concentrate and lose oneself in it.”

In many respects free time can breed lethargy and and create a downward spiral leading to a dissatisfaction with oneself.

We all need tips and techniques to make the most of ourselves and planning free time is one of them. Think in advance of what you could do with the time and plan for it.

It could even be having a nap. I described in my book What Are Days For? the huge benefits of napping. But you need to control it. If you have an afternoon off, for example, schedule your nap for the beginning of the period you have available. Make sure you set a timer to wake you up at the right moment rather than allowing yourself to oversleep to a point of grogginess.

If you want to watch television, how about watching that recorded programme you really liked the sound of, rather than some mind-numbing drivel that happens to be on!

One of my hobbies is card magic. It is much easier for me to get going if I have a clear table with just a pack or two of cards on top than if there is clutter all over the table. It might only take two minutes to clear the clutter, but it is a deceptively hard obstacle.

Take control of your free time!




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