I am not talking about productivity in the sense of how productive you are at work, or how much money you make.
Instead, I mean productive in terms of how much time you waste doing things you could have easily done while you were supposed to be doing something else.
I am often asked by my peers, “what’s the point of doing the things you are supposed to be doing?”
I respond by saying that it is precisely these times that the best ideas come, because you are relaxed, you are not thinking of work, and have nothing to lose by trying something that you think would not work.
What this means is that you need to make your spare time productive.
Below are a few suggestions for being more productive in your spare time.
Spare time is different from your work time
Spare time has several definitions. In most countries, workdays are usually divided into fixed days, and time is scheduled and organized according to the responsibilities that are assigned to the employee.
Whereas, the work of the home keeper and the freelancer is more flexible and so, they can complete their assigned tasks at their own time.
As for me, my workdays are highly unpredictable. On some days, I have to attend meetings with external companies in London; on other days, I have meetings with the sales team in Munich.
Furthermore, there are days when I am constantly on the move and I can’t find any free time to do anything productive.
Take time to relax
It is not a waste of time if you find some time during the week to relax.
Why not try to do something you do not have to do such as reading, listening to music, or watching a movie.
Take the time to focus on the world outside yourself, instead of sitting at a desk trying to think of things you need to do.
You will find you have time to be productive when you do this.
Learn something new
This does not have to be a formal or academic education.
It could be something as simple as learning how to make a photo book or reading a book.
If you are interested in something such as engineering or medicine, why not try to learn more about them?
Even though you may not have the time to do these things now, you may find some spare time in the future when you have more time to focus on them.
It is always a good idea to learn something new.
Try something new
Take a small moment during your spare time to try something new.
It could be trying a new restaurant, or trying to take a hike that you have never done before.
These activities will expand your knowledge base and potentially make you more interesting to others.
This is also a good opportunity to become more active and learn a new skill.
You will find that you waste time, in the same way, every day.
Spend some time learning to be flexible, and work around the flow of your time.
Even if you can only do one small thing each day, it is more likely to be a waste of time than something productive.
Take short breaks
Short breaks throughout the day are an effective way to work out your time management system.
Get up every once in a while, and walk around the room for a few minutes. Take a short nap.
Take a short walk. You can easily fit in a few minutes a day.
You may find you will end up not working any harder, but have a chance to get the brain exercise that you need.
Enjoy your time
Spare time is not only about productive things. It is also about spending time doing what you like. Set aside time to play some music.
Let the kids play a game together. Make a pot of coffee and relax. Do not worry about getting something accomplished.
Get away from the normal flow of things, and make some time for yourself.
The important thing to remember is that you need to take time to relax and enjoy the things that you do.
This will make your time at work more enjoyable and productive, and make you more desirable to others.
The future of work
There are many predictions of work. According to some, the future of work will become more freelance and freelancers will be the majority of the workforce.
Others say that it will be almost impossible for people to live off their work alone and will work mainly for an organization that provides everything they need.
There is still no clear answer about what will happen, but we can only hope that it won’t be as bad as some of the worst predictions that are out there.
The main thing we should focus on is that there is nothing wrong with working hard and trying to achieve something great.
You shouldn’t aim for the mundane tasks just because you are paid by the hour.
I believe that the future will be a lot more exciting and rewarding than the present.
I see a future where people are more satisfied and successful in their work than today.
And I think it is up to us to find out what kind of working environment we want to be part of.