Make Your Free Time Your Invested Time

I was feeling pretty lazy on Saturday afternoon. I had not slept well, I then went on a three-mile jog, bought food, and came home. I was sitting on the couch after putting baby down for a nap, and waiting for her to fall asleep. I had a few things that I wanted to do but honestly, I just wanted to shower and go to bed myself. After about thirty minutes of fiddling with my phone, I thought of a quote I had heard attributed to IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad:

“You can do so much in 10 minutes’ time. Ten minutes, once gone, are gone for good. Divide your life into 10-minute units and sacrifice as few of them as possible in meaningless activity.”

Ingvar Kamprad

I’ve spoken before of how ten minutes can change your life. This mentality has given me perspective on how small certain burdens are and how I can accomplish so much day by day by trying a little bit at a time. I decided to split some of my chores in part 1 and part 2, and respect my true need for a break and leave some time in between those parts. Even after spending that time trying to rest, I still felt tired and somewhat tense. Looking at my phone didn’t help me relaxz, and left even emptier than before. When I was about to get out of the couch, I had a second thought,

“I should do in my free time what I would do if I didn’t have to work.”

Take a minute and think about what you would do if you did not need money. It might be play tennis in the morning, or painting, or teaching, or even cooking all day. Then why not prioritize that on your free time? it is what you truly enjoy. I do believe that we need a time to not think and not try, to reset and refresh so we can keep going. Yet our free time can’t be only that, because we wouldn’t come back from the couch any different than we went onto it.

Vegging is not a state but a passing moment to energize us for our next activity. You don’t need to make every minute productive or plan out each event. You do need to put your interests on top for your integral health. Being tired is not a good enough excuse because unfortunately, there are times where being tired is our most common state (more to come on that). In small moments, maybe for ten minutes, pick up that guitar, sit in a corner with the book, or go out and garden. Whatever makes your heart beat faster, water for more growth. Don’t let the burdens of life drink up from that fountain. If you don’t, you most probably will wither and one day question, “how did I get to this dreary spot, where there is no taste?”

In reality, not everything we do makes us beam with joy (as I think of cleaning the mess around and on the high chair after each meal), and for those things that we need to do to maintain our surroundings, give it ten minutes and you will have less to do. When tired and with some free time, give your hobby of choice ten minutes. Invest your time with a little strategy. The returns are fruitful.

Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash

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