Best headline you’ve ever read, right?
“Stop Working?! Oh BOY! Just what I wanted to hear today.”
Might not be quite as great as you think. But hey, you decide that, not me.
We’re overworked. Plain and simple. This isn’t news, this isn’t a lone opinion, this is truth founded in experience and studies. The modern person is way overworked. And (ready for this) this is a HUGE problem.
There are 24 hours in a day. This includes sleeping hours. I need nine hours of sleep, about. Sometimes my body says eight. So let’s figure the average adult needs eight hours of sleep (I know, you probably don’t get that). That leaves us with 16 hours in a day that we can use, roughly. Now factor in your own work time, go ahead and count commuting time. How much are you left with? Six hours? Less?
That is the amount of time that is our time and ours alone. What we choose to do with that time is up to us though.
A lot of us have various commitments, children (and all their activities), and still want to have our time to ourselves to finish projects, to read, to sleep, and any number of things. Not to mention cleaning, pet maintenance, and other icky chores. Too many of us are unsatisfied in our lives and rushing to get everything done. Newsflash, relaxation should NOT be something you check off on a list.
This sounds basic and obvious, but it isn’t. At least not me. I do a lot of odd and end jobs from writing books to the blog to driving my grandma to various appointments. It means I have to piece my day together. So in this way, I’m at both and advantage and disadvantage.
The pieces don’t always fit.
There are many times where I have 20 minutes and I don’t feel comfortable jumping into novel writing or working out. It’s just not enough time. So I tell myself, It’s okay. I’ll do it tonight when I get home. And how does that work out? Not well.
I shove everything into the time that should be reserved for relaxing, reading, watching TV, or goofing around and doing nothing. Otherwise known as “wasting” my time.
Wasting your time is important, but that’s another story for a different time. Right now, let’s look at exactly how you can give yourself time to waste.
- Do not misuse your time during the day.
Well this is easy to do, isn’t it? What’re five minutes of dog videos here? What’re ten minutes of BuzzFeed there? (And this is especially hard for us work at home-ers) That’s the time you have at night to relax. Not using the time allotted for work is detrimental to your inner calm. It leaves you feeling like you have all these things you didn’t accomplish, that you are sub-par, that you simply don’t have time in the day to anything (but you do!). Milking every ounce of success out of the time you have already set aside during the day gives you a great feeling of confidence.
For those of you that work at home, I highly suggest creating a rough timetable that you would like to stick to. It doesn’t need to be set in stone. If you’re in the flow that’s fine. But creating this schedule helps you know how long to spend on something and implementing a deeper focus will improve your creative output. As well, to-do lists might help you out! (We’ll get into those next time).
Buzz the Bee Tip no. 8: Use your time wisely. Work hard and then harder.
It’s a mental game. Keep yourself in check. The loss is your own time for relaxation.
2. Set a time after which you will no longer work.
This time can be flexible day to day based on your schedule, but it needs to be there, especially when you’re starting out. For instance, my week looks like this: Monday 7:30, Tuesday 5:00, Wednesday 4:00, Thursday 4:00, Friday 7:00. Each day is different. When I’m planning out my to-do lists for the week, I look at what obligations I have and if they will push back the stop time. Generally, they don’t, but sometimes they do. Allowing yourself to be flexible and move according to your day to day schedule keeps the pressure off.
The most important part to this is sticking to what you decide. You don’t get to say, “Oh, well I just have another hour of this to do. It’s okay, I’ll just do it.” Nope. You decided that time and if you cannot accomplish what you need to in a day, either change your time or learn how to better manage the time you have.
Stick to your guns.
3. Having a cut-off time doesn’t mean you have to stop.
What? What does that mean?
It means you can do whatever you want to relax but that the pressure of work has to be removed. I’ll explain.
I’m a writer (duh) which means I write (duh) and I like to write (DUH). I like to write at minimum 2,000 words a day. I’m more comfortable with 4,000 but hey, sometimes it doesn’t happen because of life. However, at night during my relaxation times, I might want to write poetry or work on a current novel. I’m not telling myself “Hey! Go write NOW so you can get more words in”, that’s not happening. I’m excited to write some stuff for fun. Maybe I’ll even edit for fun (not likely).
The idea here is that just because it’s my work and I have a cut-off time, doesn’t mean I have to tell myself “no” if I want to enjoy it without the pressure of work.
This doesn’t sound too bad, right? If you find that you just don’t have time for you anymore, try to stop working. It’s not easy. I started this two weeks ago but boy, is it worth it.
Happiness, inner peace, and wasting your time is important. Take a look at your life and STOP WORKING.