It’s no secret that we all have a lot of downtime in our lives. Whether you’re waiting for the bus, sitting at a stoplight, or simply taking some time to unwind after work, downtime is an integral part of life. But while most people make use of this precious free time with mindless scrolling on their phone or by watching TV, there are more productive ways to spend your downtime. Here are seven simple and easy ways to get more out of your leisure hours:
1) Go for a Walk
It may seem like you’re wasting time when you go for a walk, but studies show that walking increases creativity and problem-solving skills by up to 60%. So take the opportunity during your next break and get outside. You’ll feel better after getting some fresh air, and you might just come up with a new idea.
There are many great places to go for a walk, but the park is perfect. From forests and meadows to wetlands and lakes, the park offers various environments to explore. It’s also a great place to take your dog for a walk.
2) Learn a New Language
Learning a new language is one of the best ways to challenge yourself outside of your work environment. Not only are you helping yourself grow as a person, but you’re also giving yourself more opportunities for employment in growing industries.
While there are tons of languages out there, the three which offer the best opportunities for employment in growing industries are:
3) Learn a New Instrument
Learning a new instrument is an excellent way to improve concentration and discipline. You’ll be forced to take breaks when you take breaks so that you can practice, but these pauses will help you take your mind off of your busy day. Instruments are also good for the soul. Research shows that playing music combats stress, depression, and loneliness. There are many instruments you can learn. You can start by taking guitar lessons because the guitar is one of the most popular instruments to learn.
4) Clean Your House or Apartment
The great thing about cleaning your house or apartment is that you get rid of clutter and develop a better sense of self-respect and discipline. It’ll teach you to have good organizational habits so that when it comes time for work, all you have to do is roll out of bed and get straight to work.
5) Join a Sports Team
Joining a sports team is an excellent way to socialize with different people outside of your usual circle. Joining a sports team will improve your physical health and help you practice teamwork—two skills that are extremely valuable in today’s job market. Plus, you never know—you might make some friends for life.
An excellent way to find a sports team is to start by listening to the radio. Tune in every once in a while and listen for advertisements for teams looking for members. Another option is to go to your nearest park during the day and look for people wearing their school uniforms or sports gear. You can also ask your friends if they play on any teams. It might feel awkward at first, but it’ll be worth it.
6) Read Books
While most people use their downtime as an excuse to veg out on their phones or watch TV, why not take advantage of your time by catching up on some reading? Reading books is an excellent way to learn and expand your horizons.
Reading books is also an excellent stress reliever that helps you unwind at the end of a long day. Plus, if you’re looking for a job, reading up on your industry is essential to prepare yourself for any questions that might arise in an interview.
There’s no better time to start catching up on your reading than now! You can find tons of book recommendations by going to your local bookstore or library and asking the employees who work there where they would suggest for newcomers.
More often than not, volunteering is one of the most fulfilling ways to spend your free time. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose, and it lets you learn new things. Volunteering can also be easy because so many organizations need volunteers —from the food pantry at your local church to animal shelters. It’s possible that you will enjoy volunteering more than your job sometimes!
There are different ways to be more productive in your free time. Whether learning a new language or instrument, volunteering at an animal shelter, or reading books, the possibilities are endless. There is no better time to start being more productive than right now with these tips and tricks for balancing work and leisure.