6 Free Time Management Tips

free time management

How much time do you get to yourself?

Whether it’s a lot or a little, the free time management tips outlined below may help you make the most of yours.

Before we start, it’s helpful to see where your free time fits in each day.

Every day consists of 24 hours, made up of things you...

  • Have to do
  • Feel you should do
  • Want to do
  • End up doing

Time management is about doing what you:

  • Have to do efficiently -- as quickly as you can without compromising on quality.
  • Feel you should do appropriately -- acting on what you know you're responsible for, not what you feel guilty about.
  • Get distracted by less often. -- it's unavoidable, but it is 'reducable' - not sure that's a word, but you get the meaning. :)
  • Want to do frequently -- making sure you protect time for what matters most.

6 free time management tips to help you use yours well:

1. Maximize it

The quicker you do what you have to do, the sooner you can do what you want to do. In other words, using the four points from above, minimize the time you spend doing 1, 2 and 3 to maximize the time you spend in 4.

More often than not, better time management at work is the key to maximizing the amount of free time you have.

Let's say you normally get home at 5.30. What would you need to do more efficiently during your day to enable you to get home 15 minutes earlier?  Could you shave half an hour off your working day?

If you can fill in those few extra minutes with things that would free up bigger chunks of time elsewhere in the week you'll have more time to do what you want.

2. Plan it

Whether you use expensive software or scribble down your intentions on a scrap of paper, plan what you want to do.

Daily planning is a skill (and a habit) that applies to your free time as much as it does to your work.

What do you want to do with your free time? If you've managed to carve out a whole day to use as you choose it makes sense to prepare for it in advance so you can make the most of it.

3. Use it

This is one of the most important tips to work on. Being busy is a habit that can easily spill over into your free time.

However you choose to do it, learning how to relax and recharge is a skill, but, for the sake of your health and well being (and for those around you), it’s one that's well worth learning.

It pays not to be productive sometimes.

Free up some time, plan what you'll do with it then do it.

4. Record it

Keep a record of what you do with your free time. This is a great way to help you to focus on how you use it. It’s also good to look back periodically to see all the good things you have done.

I've done this for a number of years now. First thing in the morning, I record what happened the day before - usually the good stuff, so we can look back and remind ourselves that it hasn't all been work and no play. 

You can also learn from how well you’ve used your free time. Keep a time management log to look back at what was worth doing and what wasn’t.

6. Enjoy it

Okay, it seems obvious -- after all, that’s the point of free time, right?

Well, if relaxing is a skill, then enjoyment is an art. This is all about the attitude you choose to adopt when you’re 'free'.

Have fun when you’re having fun! Give yourself permission -- you've earned it, and everyone around you will benefit if you do it.

I hope these these free time management tips help you make the most of yours!

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