Would you like to have a completely free day? How would it feel to wake up one morning with no agenda? Just you and a loved one or you and a great book. What about you and a peaceful drive to the beach or the park? You dream of having that kind of time, but it never happens. We all get caught in invisible webs that seem to eat up our time. If you carry a purse or a briefcase, every few weeks, you probably clean out the things that you don’t need or want so that you have room for the important items. Life is similar. If you want time and space for what matters, you have to clean out the irrelevant. Here are some things to stop doing so that you can have a free day more often than you imagined.
1. Adopting other people’s problems. We all have friends and acquaintances who seem to be in a hopeless cycle of trouble. They are always having some sort of major problem such as job loss or relationship problems. While we should offer a sympathetic ear and maybe a few dollars, we have to make sure we don’t take on the problem. How do you know if you’ve taken on someone else’s problem? If you’re making more calls, doing more research and doing more worrying than the rightful owner of the problem, you’ve adopted the problem. In addition to this bad habit sucking up your time and energy, you deprive your friend of the opportunity to learn how to solve her own problems. That’s not very friendly.
2. Working late. Did you laugh when you read this one? There will always be special circumstances that will require you to put in a few extra hours. However, unless you’re an emergency room physician, you can probably decide in advance how many hours you will work. If you plan to work 10 hours a day, your work will fill those 10 hours. If you decide that you are going to work eight hours, you will miraculously get your work done in eight hours. If you have a vacation coming up or an extended sick leave, you efficiently get work done in advance, don’t you? You can apply that same efficiency to your work every day so that you can leave work on time.
3. Working on projects that have no merit for you. Are you working on some project like a puzzle or an organic garden just because you feel you should? Stop it. Your time is too precious to spend on things that really don’t warm your heart or feed your soul. Leisure time is limited, so why spend it on something that you don’t truly love? Be honest with yourself. Reconsider everything you’re working on. End the projects that don’t matter.
What will you stop doing?
How will you spend your free day?