In my last post I talked about the difference between free time and play time. Like me, you might discover that what you thought was “free time” was in fact very stimulated play time.
It’s easy to fall into the default mode of streaming shows, checking social media, or playing video games. But when you make a commitment to give yourself space with its simple removal, it’s typically not enough.
You don’t want your time to be filled by nonsense, so you have to give it purpose.
Filling The Space
As an example, I’ve been working hard on trying to reduce my spending in coffee shops. Sure, I’d be successful for a little while, but I’d get sucked back into spending my money at these cafes.
My intent was originally try to save the money, but I do that already. 10% of every dollar I earn goes into my savings account. In my mind that money was available and my default place to spend it was at cafes.
It then occurred to me to try something different. I have a friend who is a massage therapist, and I vowed that when I have more income that I’d start using her services. Dream as I might that income never really seemed to make itself available.
It then hit me that for the money I spend in cafes I can see her almost twice a month.
Now when I’m tempted to buy a drink all I just think “nope, I’ve committed myself to massages instead”.
This has a strong social effect too. I now know that buying those drinks would have a negative impact on my ability to afford my friends services. With a well defined negative consequence I’m far less likely to buy a drink.
Filling Play Time With Free Time
Same as with the cafe drinks, you need to define your over-indulgent play time and replace it. Simply trying to remove it isn’t enough.
For instance if you spend a great deal of time watching shows it’s vital that the time is replaced. If kept open you’ll end up just watching shows again.
This is where a journal can be your best friend.
When you have free time your journal can for a very small investment of time help give you the mental space needed to find a viable replacement for the activity you’re trying to avoid. The alternative is that you will fall back on exactly what you’re trying to avoid.
A think on paper titled “What can I do today that would be really meaningful to me” would take you miles ahead. It can be a very powerful thing to do when you find your time free.
Once you define what you can do today ( Yes, TODAY, not tomorrow, not next week ) that would be really meaningful to you, go ahead and do it!
Keeping it in context of today keeps it actionable. Keep this up and you might even establish new, more meaningful habits for yourself.
Keep Things Balanced
It’s important to note that you need to keep yourself balanced. Play time is just as vital as free time, but can easily overpower free time.
Your body has gotten used to your habits of checking social media, watching shows and such, this is fine. What isn’t fine though is being so caught up in these things you can’t invest in yourself. You need to be able to define, regularly, what really means something to you.
So as a reward for giving yourself free time, don’t be afraid to give yourself some play time. But only after give yourself the attention you deserve.
That does it for today’s post! If you have any thoughts or ideas about this subject be sure to leave a comment. This stuff is really exciting and has brought a lot of value to me, and I hope it brings you value too.
Let me know!