It’s easy to get sucked into cruising Facebook for all the latest status updates. It’s easy to get excited about checking your email throughout the day. It’s easy to stay absorbed in your iPhone or iPad for hours on end.
The addiction to all things digital is more and more common, but the addiction isn’t the problem, rather it’s a byproduct of the real problem.
The real problem is that you don’t make better use of your time. You are not planning other things to do. You are not taking control of your down time.
Quite simply, you have nothing better to do.
I think that too often we end up living our lives vicariously through our Facebook friends. We are constantly checking to see what fun things our friends are doing while we are sitting at home bored out of our gourd. If you find yourself doing this a little too often, then it’s time to start taking control of your downtime. It’s time to turn that downtime into something more fun or more productive.
Here are 10 suggestions on how you can better spend your time.
Take a walk – walk by yourself to recharge or walk with a loved one and enjoy some uninterrupted conversation.
Read – I hear many people say they hate reading, but then the end up reading Facebook updates all night. The truth is you like to read if it’s something interesting. Find an interest and type it into an Amazon search. You’re bound to find something that looks interesting. Read some fiction for enjoyment or read some non-fiction to better yourself or learn something new.
Meditate – I’ve been hearing more and more people talk about the benefits of meditation. Blogger and writer Charlie Forness claims meditation changed his life for the better. Angela Artemis mentions in her new book that she uses meditation to better connect with her intuition and receive guidance.
Play – Go somewhere and do something fun. Maybe you can play on a playground. You could run through a grassy field or splash in some puddles. Take some time to just act like a kid again.
Write – write down some thoughts in a journal, come up with some new goals, or make up a story. Writing in any form can spur your creativity and allow new ideas to bubble to the surface.
Draw, paint, or color – In my high school days I would spend some of my downtime doodling. I would just draw some funky shape and then turn that shape into something. Now I often spend time coloring with my daughter. It is fun to let our creativity flow, and drawing or coloring is one of the easiest ways.
Take a class – This is a good way to turn downtime into learning time. You can learn almost anything under the sun in a local community class: Painting, music, dance, gardening, cooking, martial arts, or fitness. You can search the Internet for classes, but you may have luck in local community newspaper or magazines, community bulletin boards, or referrals from friends.
Join a club – I joined The Orlando Jeep Club in 1999. I just wanted to find some Jeep trails to explore. I had no idea that I would develop lasting friendships while also having a bunch of other activities to have fun with. Find something that interests you and look for a local club that supports that interest. Meetup.com is a great place to find clubs and groups. I have typed every activity I could think of in the Meetup search and every time I find a group of people joined together around that activity.
Clean house – Yeah… I know… not so fun. But doesn’t it feel great to have a clean and organized home? Take some of that downtime and make it more productive by tackling an area of your home to clean and organize. Throw out some of your old junk or scrub an area that doesn’t usually get much attention.
Date night – Date night isn’t just for couples, you can do it with friends or with the entire family. Head out in the evening once in a while and make good use of that time between work/school and bedtime. You might hit an early movie or have dinner somewhere new. Spice up you week by doing something that normally gets reserved for the weekend.
There are many more things you could do. The important factor is that you do something that makes you feel good. Productive and healthy activities would be an extra bonus. Next time you find your self reaching for an electronic device to pass the time, think about how you could better spend your time and then take action!