This post will walk you through a few simple but effective productive strategies while having some leisure time. Fifteen to twenty years ago, employees were confined to the four corners of their offices. Things have changed today mainly because of the internet. People nowadays work in the comfort of their own homes. Anyone can submit their work online, share files via cloud sharing, and have online meetings via Skype or other platforms. In short, technology has changed on how people work and where people work.
However, this isn’t purely beneficial to all of us. Because of the change of schedules, some people don’t follow the standard 9-5 work schedule anymore. Now you might receive requests from clients at 10 pm or you might receive messages concerning work at 1 in the morning.
What happened to our work schedules?
Our work schedules have become blurry or clouded in the past couple of years. We used to have regular work schedules but now everyone works at their own pace. It’s hard to figure out your own free time. And now most of us have no time for leisure activities like jogging, going out, reading, playing sports, playing video games. We barely even have free time to spend with our families!
People are becoming busier and busier. Many of us have probably worked overtime or have worked over the weekend just to answer some emails or finish up some unfinished work. It is estimated that about half of working Americans feel that they don’t have free time anymore. But who can blame them when their free time isn’t exactly free? When you use it to catch up with work, then what’s the points of breaks anyway?
Leisure time is very important
If you sprint for long distances, you’ll eventually tire out. The same principle can be applied to work. If you work during your leisure time, then expect your performance to deteriorate over time. It doesn’t matter if you’re working more hours because you’re eventually going to burn out.
According to the Institute for the Study of Labor, 55 hours of work per week is the threshold on human productivity, any more than that and you’re going to have productivity issues.
In the field of economics, leisure time is considered a form of commodity. Leisure time should be spent sleeping, resting, building relationships, exercising, and doing things that give you satisfaction. In short leisure time brings satisfaction, and satisfaction increases productivity levels.
It is very important that workers have their leisure time. During those periods, one can have creative ideas or a flash of insight that can lead to new ways of thinking. Isaac Newton came up with his concept of gravity when an apple fell on his head during his leisure time. Albert Einstein often came up with new theories and ideas while taking leisurely walks.
Innovative ideas often spring up when we’re taking our breaks. When a person becomes too focused on their work, they get caught up in a stubborn way of thinking. This one-sided way of thinking may get the job done but it’s highly unproductive.
Having your leisure time diffuses you from this one-sided thinking, which allows your brain to function the way it should be. This will help you open your mind and come up with new solutions to solving your problems.
Things you can do to have a satisfying leisure time
The best thing that you can do is to make your leisure time a way to boost your productivity. So instead of working on your breaks, you utilize your breaks in improving your productivity and efficiency. It may be tempting to answer that email, work on that unfinished project, or to simply get ahead of your workmates. However, you’ll eventually burn yourself out and lose in the long run. You’re like that guy who sprints in the beginning of a marathon, only to end up losing to the other runners.
Here are some steps to increase your productivity during your leisure time.
- Plan ahead and schedule your leisure time
You can go plan and make a detailed schedule of when and where you are going to spend your leisure time. You can even use a technique called “time blocking” to help you follow your schedule properly. Time blocking is basically doing your work within a specific time frame. This way you’ll have more leisure time to spend with friends, family, and for yourself.
When you’re done with the work and scheduled for your break, stop working and take your break. Don’t stress over it, there will always be an abundance of work while leisure time is scarce.
- Prioritize the most important leisure activities first
Most people watch television, browse the internet, and play video games during their leisure time. Sure, they may be enjoying those activities but on the very next day, they are tired and exhausted? Why is this?
Its simple most of these people have forgotten to sleep, exercise and take care of their bodies. How about getting some sleep before watching TV? Or how about spending time with your kids, your parents, and your friends.
Prioritize your own health and relationships. Sleep and exercise make you healthy, it ensures that you are able to work properly. Relationships help keep you sane and give you a positive mental attitude.
- Do these things first
Rest, relax and take a good break. Then come back even stronger
A blade needs to be sharpened constantly if you want to keep its edge. The same can be said for us workers. If you keep on working and working and working, you’ll eventually become dull, boring, and unable to do our jobs properly.
You’ll become a zombie, a mindless drone, and a robot that’s incapable of creative thought and innovation.
Yes, there are tons of work and deadlines piled up on your list. However, that doesn’t mean that you should devote your whole life to it. You need to take a break and let your body and mind rest.
Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to leap forward.
Still need to get your work done? Try these 14 productivity hacks.