One of the things that can be difficult when you simplify and downsize your life is what to do with the time you have acquired. Now, I’m a long way from having a 4-hour workweek. But I’m also a lot better off than when I was working a 50-hour full-time job, and working part-time at the weekends -alongside a bunch of other commitments.
The trouble is, it’s very easy to fill up the free time with some more useless activity. You might end up watching more television, or start mindlessly surfing the Internet. You could get involved in a bunch of things you feel like you should be doing – even though you don’t really want to. Lots of minimalists tout their favourite activities as part of the minimalist lifestyle – but if you don’t like yoga, then don’t do it.
One of the first things I started doing was watching old TV shows that I had never had time for before. I started watching X-Files, for example. And whilst I do enjoy the show, I have never made time for TV before because it just wasn’t that important to me.
And before I knew it, all my newly acquired free time was being eaten up by a bunch of little pointless things – reading random pages on Wikipedia. Tracking the news about the UK budget in pinpoint detail. Surfing Internet forums. Watching Family Guy.
I needed to make sure I was spending time on the things that were important to me.
I should add that I don’t think we’re designed to be 100% productive all the time. As humans, we require down time – time to play and relax. But we should make sure we’re relaxing the way we want to, and not the way society dictates that we should.
I love reading hard-boiled crime novels, and related genres.
I love doing Yoga – and the best part is I was finally able to touch my toes yesterday after weeks of practise.
I love sitting outside, drinking tea and just watching the sky.
I love listening to cheesy 90′s music and dancing.
I love rambling through fields and getting lost.
These are the things I should be filling my extra time with – not watching X-Files, or reading about David Cameron.
What do you like doing? Can you do it now?