Since the pandemic our expectations have changed when it comes to our free time and hobbies. We were dropped into a world where many of us stopped working altogether and others were forced to work from home for a long period of time. This gave us all more time for ourselves and our hobbies – something many people have longed for since returning to the office. But, all is not lost! Below are some tips on how to maximise your free time and cater your day to your needs.
Maximise the flexibility that your job gives you
If your job gives you the opportunity to work flexible hours, going into work earlier will give you more time for yourself in the evening, make the most of this! Leaving work early can be much more beneficial than starting later – catch that movie, pick the kids up from school, attend an evening class.
Lessen distractions during your 5 to 9
We can all find ourselves distracted by ongoing emails and phone calls after we finish work for the day. But by giving yourself stricter boundaries when it comes to leaving your work, at work, you can enjoy your 5pm-9am with much less distraction. With exception to emergencies and the odd occasion it is not essential to check your emails before getting to work on a morning. Use this time for yourself, make yourself a cup of tea, meditate, or just catch an extra 10 minutes of your favourite show.
Schedule your 5 to 9 as you would your 9 to 5
Your 9-5 consumes about a third of your day. But by scheduling things into the time you have around your working hours you are more likely to gain more from this free time. I’m sure we all have schedules we stick to at work for example, your half an hour each morning to check emails or your 1-2 hours in the afternoon that you book out to work on a project. And most likely you will stick to this schedule to the best of your ability. You can schedule your free time just like your workday and this doesn’t have to be as meticulous as it sounds. Devote a number of hours to ‘you time’ – this may be time to take a walk or grab a coffee and read a book, keep some time aside for trying something new and place some time aside for prioritising time with family and friends.
It can often feel like there is no freedom or flexibility with a 9-5 and maybe that lifestyle simply doesn’t suit you. But if it does, and you are doing something you love every day, there are ways to maximise your free time – you don’t have to be as stuck as you feel. It can be as simple as reading during your commute rather than scrolling through social media.