The Downside of Downtime

I mentioned in my last post that I have some time off of work this summer. My intention was to really get to work and focus on improving various aspects of my life such as this blog, my education, and different skills.

I’m writing this to share my experience of being given so much free time for the last few weeks and how much of it I feel like I have wasted. Since coming back from Europe, I’ve been feeling in a slump and completely unmotivated. I was hoping to come back, only take a few days to get back into my groove, then really get to work.

Instead, I find myself not waking up with my first alarm and procrastinating with almost everything. I’ll get up and instead of getting ready, writing, and doing the things I say I’m going to do, I become slow with everything and lay in bed on social media. I find myself scrolling along and exiting out of an app just to click it again and before I know it, I may have gotten up kind of early, but I wasted so much precious morning time in my bed. Doing this upsets me since I love mornings and feel as if they’re the perfect time to accomplish so much and get ready for the day and when I find myself here, I get discouraged to pick myself back up. When I do manage to accomplish things, it’s not EVERYTHING I hoped to get done too and I feel bad about letting myself down even though they’re the smallest things. I also give myself less time to accomplish things and when there are unplanned bumps in the road slowing me down in the day, I get even more frustrated.

So many people think “I could do ____ if only I had more time.” And here I am, with so much time available, and I’m still not putting forth the effort to do things. I am realizing that having a busy work day actually helps me because it adds a bit more structure into my life but without work, I struggle to structure myself and follow through.

I know that I can’t get the time back because it has already passed but I am coming to this conclusion and will be making more of an effort to do what I say I am going to do. I am also giving myself more flexibility in my day and getting up and knocking out the big things early so I don’t feel stressed ort overwhelmed as the day goes on.

While I have this time, I am going to treat every morning as if I’m going to work and will get ready, journal, and eat. Once I’m ready for “work” I can sit and focus on what I need to and schedule my day to allow for both accomplishing tasks and free time. I am also working on becoming more flexible so when a wrench gets throwin into my plan, I can handle it and continue to move forward.

Today’s wrench was my mom calling me yesterday to discuss a mattress she wants to get for my now empty bedroom back home that way when I stay there, I don’t have to sleep on the couch. I told her that they could take the full size mattress that I have here back because I want to eventally get a queen size bed and this seems like the perfect opportunity to do so. She told me of a few mattress to look at nearby and I had to plan that into my day.

I had the intention of writing this morning, going to the gym, showering, then going to Living Spaces to look at the mattresses and another wrench came along: a springtail (annoying bug I found on my floor). I killed it with what little bug spray I had left and just wanted to get out of my apartment while it died there so I went to Living Spaces right when they opened instead of later today and discovered a Home Depot next door. I stopped by there after for new plant trays (my dad ruined some of my plants while I was away but I am bringing them back to life) and more bug spray.

This little detour wasn’t part of my plan but was something I needed to do and an opportunity to do it right next door to where I was. I came back to my apartment, sprayed the outside then the inside, and now I am barely getting to writing this and I will go to the gym and shower after. Was this how I invisioned today going yesterday or even this morning? No, but that’s okay and I’m learning to go with the flow (a phrase that gives me anxiety) and still accomplish what I need to do. I’m also taking my free time to get ahead more now. This weekend, I shot for three new YouTube videos and those plus the three travel ones I’ll be working on is SIX WEEKS of content! Of course when an idea and the time to shoot another video presents itself within the next six weeks I’ll for sure do that, but it’s nice knowing that if I can’t get to something right away I have a little bit of wiggle room!

So next time you find yourself thinking “If only I had more time” really ask yourself what you would be doing with that time? I’m no longer in the office for ten hours a day but I can’t say that I’ve used those ten hours in the most productive way. That’s the downside of downtime, the more you have does not always equal the more you can accomplish. Now that I am aware of that, I will no longer complain about not having enough time to get things done but will rather look at the time I am given and do what I can and make a purposeful plan of action wether I get ten more hours to be productive or only two.

If you’re struggling with this too, don’t stress over the time but re-evaluate how you spend it. If you have any tips on how you schedule your free time or if you’ve felt the same, let me know in the comments!

xo, Lo

One response to “The Downside of Downtime

  1. Pingback: A Lo Life Update | Lo Without Limits·

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