“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

How To Use Your Idle Time Productively


Free time. Who doesn't enjoy it? When you have time where you're not working or doing household tasks, you can finally do the things you haven't done in a while—you can meet up with your friends and extended family members, go watch some TV, and get started on that novel you've been putting off.

One thing you might not have realized, however, is that you can use your idle time productively. I understand, of course, that right now you're skeptical; right now you're probably thinking something along the lines of how, seeing as that's your only time to yourself, you'd rather not have to work during those periods. However, “work” in this case is a relative term. You're not literally working; instead, you're simply using your idle time productively.

One way of doing so is by working with a fun, engaging hobby which will keep your mind busy. For example, you can teach yourself how to solve a Rubik’s cube, or how to play a strategic game like chess or Go. If you enjoy going to restaurants or to the movies with your family, consider using this time to learn a new skill with them instead. Together, you can start doing a new sport—perhaps a form of dancing or martial arts—or explore the areas around your house, both urban and natural. You can also start learning how to play a specific two- or multiplayer game, or learn how to cook new, delicious meals together.

Also, you can refrain from wasting your time. Consider your habits when you're at home. Do you enjoy the shows you're watching on TV—or are you merely watching because you need to kill time. Time is precious; we shouldn't have to “kill” it. Instead, use that free time to watch something you actually enjoy—or to do some of the above activities with your family. On the same note, if you take note of how you're spending your time, you might see other areas in which you can change. For example, you don't necessarily need to spend a long time in the shower to enjoy yourself; you need only focus on the experience properly, rather than letting your mind drift to other things.

Another thing you can do is you can knit. Knitting is simple to keep up with without focusing on it, thanks to muscle memory, so you can easily do it while you watch TV, talk to friends, or enjoy your post-dinner coffee. In fact, many knitters will tell you that they don't knit unless they're doing another activity at the same time.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, if you're using items in your house, then you should put them away as soon as you're done using them. This will take a few minutes at most, and is efficient because then you're cutting down on work for later.

Thus, all in all, “idle time” doesn't necessarily have to be “idle” time; it can simply refer to times where you're not working or doing chores—times during which you can spend with your family, teaching yourself new skills, or knitting beautiful things to wear and use. How neat is that? Not only are you enjoying yourself, but you're doing something which will improve your happiness in the long run as well. Awesome!