With the booming economy in Utah these days, it can seem like everyone complains about being too busy. Yet for many of us, being productive and working hard is a necessity of life. So in the precious few hours of free time, you get, how do you reclaim your time and energy?
Reduce the burden of tasks
You don’t have to be a fan of Downton Abbey to have this mental image of a historic noble household; refined lords and ladies perfecting the art of conversation in their parlors, while an army of servants does the housework in the background. And while it’s true that the rich can afford to outsource most of the time-consuming or distasteful household tasks, there are some ways everyone can lessen the burden of chores on willpower.
If you aren’t living alone, start going for an equal distribution of tasks. For instance, you can split time planning for the week’s meals – and preparing them on the day – with your partner. Kids can be given increased responsibility as they grow older, from cleaning their rooms to doing the laundry.
You can also outsource chores while paying less if you narrow down the scope of labor. Instead of paying for a housekeeper to clean the entire home, you can have them clean only the toilet. If your trash can is fouling up the garage, take it out and schedule a cleaning service. Whether you live alone in Salt Lake City or with family in the suburbs of Utah like Draper, you’ll be able to find services that can take on specific tasks – and for the most tedious or unsavory chores, the price can be well worth it.
Take back your time
With all the advances in communications and productivity technology, one thing that often goes unnoticed is that work expectations have changed. How often can you say that you’ve truly clocked out from work at the end of your shift? When you have round-the-clock access to the internet, your email, calendar, and chat groups, it can be difficult to truly disengage yourself from work – especially if your company or boss is expecting their employees to have a productivity-obsessed mindset.
Take control of your schedule and build in breaks, including weekend downtime, that is entirely off-limits to work. Shut off your communications channels and let the office know you’ll be unavailable. And don’t fill in your newfound free time with meaningless entertainment or chores. Try to spend it doing things you enjoy most – practice a hobby, or catch up on your favorite show as opposed to just surfing the TV.
Be less of a consumer
Just as disconnecting from work dials down the effort to be productive and restores your energy, minimizing your consumer behaviors can also benefit your willpower. The time most people spend shopping is filled with decisions based on the evaluation of the pros and cons of similar products. In the broader sense of consumer experiences, we can all suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) amid continually wondering if we made the right choices.
While many people do find joy in spending some of their hard-earned time and money on consumer purchases, taking steps to simplify conflict and the decision process can significantly reduce the draining effect it has on willpower. Filter your social media content, so you aren’t bombarded with product information or the experiences your friends are enjoying. Spend more time acknowledging yourself rather than indulging in practices such as meditation or journaling.
Defend the sanctity of your free time, and conserve your willpower – you’ll find that you’re much more energized to face each new day.