I have a significant amount of time on my hands. So much so to a fault. Now I understand your point, who doesn't want more time? More time to invest in hobbies, more time to spend with friends, with family, with kids. More time to binge watch your Netflix shows, more time to watch cat videos that pop up on your Facebook newsfeed. That all sounds great. Yet, for coming up on nine full months of having an almost obscene amount of time on my hands most days during the week, it's can be pretty difficult to make sure I'm not wasting all the time that I have.
As I have fought with wasting my time everyday, I have realized there are some things I need to both stay productive and make the time I have beneficial. I still fail at these every now and then, and I am not to ashamed to say that sometimes I do watch eight episodes of How I Met Your Mother. But as long as I'm pushing to focus on these each day, my day is more productive than it I don't.
Be up and ready at a normal time.
- Waking up with no alarm is the biggest enemy I face. While anyone who has to wake up to an alarm every day can't even fathom that statement, for myself, it determines my productivity for the day. 9 times out of 10 I make myself get up at 8:00 AM Monday through Friday, regardless how late I'm up the night before, how tired I am, or what my next day will look like. It forces me to be up and ready for the day by 8:30 in the morning. Being ready to go in the morning is so beneficial.
Get out of the house.
- I love hanging out at home. My friends love hanging out at my home. The majority of the time, my productivity tanks while at home. My desk sits in my room, five feet from a bed, two feet from a TV and don't forget being a floor up from a fridge. Most days I need to get out of the house and be somewhere to be productive. Whether that is out shooting photos, at a coffee shop programming/studying, or whatever else floats your boat. If I don't get out of the house for the morning or afternoon, my day in most instances has been wasted.
Learn something new each day.
- I fully believe that we are built to learn and to grow in every facet imaginable. If you find yourself being okay with where you are, there is a mindset change that would be beneficial for you. Now I know that learning isn't always easy, and from a guy who hated and was terrible at studying in school, I feel your pain. Yet, whether it's a new synth sound, a new effect in Lightroom, or a new Ruby method, my day is more productive if I learned something new. I never want to know less, or know the same then the day I did the day prior.
Invest in what you love.
- We all have something we love to do. Writing, music, photography, drawing, painting, sewing, cooking, baking, automotive work, building things, whatever it is, Invest in it. Be better at it. Learn something about it. Make it a part of your life. When you have as much time as I find myself having right now, it would be ridiculous for me not to invest in my art. For me, that has taken form mainly in photography and music. Whether I am going out for a few hours to take pictures or trying to make the fattest synth bass I can, I just want to invest in it.
Be with people.
- If you have read any of my other blog posts, I have probably talked about how much I love people. I really love people. Being with people makes me more productive. I love to meet up with people at coffee shops to work. I feel inspired when I see others learning and working, and it helps me be better at what I do after watching them be better at what they do. Even just conversing with people, getting lunch with them, whatever it is. Every once in a while I even meet up with three of my friends when we all have an afternoon of free time and go catch Pokemon together. It challenges me and helps me just to be around others.
I don't love how much time I have on my hands. I can't wait for having work and my time being taken up for the majority of the day. But for now, I gotta make the most of the time that I have, and this is how I try to do it. Hopefully this will help you make the most of the time you have, even if it's just a little.