Free time is vital. You might think always doing something — working, working around the house — is the quickest way to living your most productive life, but you'd be wrong. The only thing being a 24/7 productivity machine will give you is a shortcut to burnout. That's why the weekends — and how you spend your free time — are so important. Take a look at these tips to see if you can maximize your time a bit more this weekend (and in the future).
Actually make it free
Really try to clear your weekend schedule as best you can. This way, you don't spend your free time just thinking about your upcoming appointments or get togethers. This doesn't mean you can't get anything done during the weekend; just do it when you want to, not when you have to. Try not to be a slave to the clock for a few hours.
Don't spend it doing the same things you do while working
Do you spend your work week sitting at a desk in front of a computer? Then don't do the same on your off days, even if you're doing things you enjoy. Your free time won't feel as free when your body is in the same configuration it usually is during the rest of the week. Break the flow and get out and do something completely opposite.
Choose activities that reinforce your values or make you feel authentic
Do you believe that helping people is important? Volunteer. Is exploring and photographing make you feel more like you? Then take a short day trip. Nothing will recharge you more than spending your free time doing things that are meaningful to you.
Reach out to a friend, a loved one or even someone new. And then give them your undivided attention. Don't wait for them to stop talking so you can chime in. Ask questions and listen to answers. Creating connections will make time spent feel richer.
Work towards a personal goal
Not working in a job that you're passionate about or love? Don't just dream of moving your life in a different direction; chip away at it. This might directly contradict the advice to not sit around doing the same activities you do during the week (like being at the computer), but it might be worth if it gets you closer to personal goals.
When in doubt, choose rest
Like, really rest. Sitting down and being kind to your body and your mind. Floating in a cool pool. Lounging on a beach. Not just going over what you have to do over next week in your mind. Enjoying moments and small pleasures. Spending an entire day just reading. Anything that feels restful to you.
How do you get the most out of your free time?
(Image credits: Amber's Art-Filled Austin Apartment)