Take Back Your Time, Part 3: Fitting in Fun
What sounds fun to you? Going for a walk?
Reading a good book?
Going out to dinner?
Having a movie night with friends?
Meeting a friend for coffee?
Reading this blog? Why, thank you!
This is the third post in a new series about ways to take back your time by figuring out when your ideal working hours are, making the most of your down time, making time for rest and fun, and prioritizing and eliminating. Stay in touch to make sure you don't miss the rest of the series! And if you missed the first or second posts, you can catch them here and here.
When was the last time you did something just for fun?
If you're anything like me, you get caught up in doing "responsible" things most of the time. You have to go to work, clean your house, make dinner, pay the bills, get the mail, get groceries, and some how fit in a little time to sleep. Who has time for fun?!
(Now, of course, there are plenty of people who do not struggle with making time for fun in their lives. If you fall into that group, hats off to you. I'm applauding you and your more relaxed approach to life right now. I could learn a thing or two from you! But I suspect that you might benefit from reading this post or this one. You're welcome.)
Understand what's fun for you
People react to things differently; you might think playing video games or napping are fun activities, but I personally don't find them to be fun. There's certainly nothing inherently wrong with them; I just don't enjoy them. However, you might not like reading or running, and I love to do those things.
A crucial part to infusing more fun into your life is knowing what's fun for you.
Do you like solitary activities like reading, writing, solo running, cooking, gardening, or kayaking? Or do you like group activities like group hiking, getting coffee with friends, seeing a movie with your family, or bowling. Considering the degree of difficulty I encountered while trying to come up with a list of group activities, I'm clearly more of a solo person.
There's also the consideration of indoor or outdoor activity. I can swing from one to the other depending on my mood and the weather, but I like to have options for both. Board games, reading, watching movies, doing something crafty; gardening, walking, running, visiting a new town with a friend.
Find a fun buddy
One thing that helps me make more time for fun is surrounding myself with fun people. My best friend is far more relaxed, spontaneous, and sociable than I am, and she makes me want to go on more adventures and try new things than I would ever want to do on my own. I'm so grateful to have her fun-loving influence in my life!
I also have a large community of people who do things together regularly, and I love knowing that I have a group of people to do things with. It takes some of the pressure off my shoulders because I know I'm not solely responsible for figuring out how to incorporate more fun and social activity (which is fun, but not always the most natural thing for me) into my life. It's the best of both worlds-- getting to do more fun things without always having to be the one to come up with all the ideas for said fun things.
Schedule out your fun if necessary
Making time for fun can be challenging in the midst of busy, chaotic lives filled with other good things that just don't always feel fun. It's easy for our desire for pure honest-to-goodness fun to get crowded out by other things.
Sometimes it helps me to plan out my fun just like I plan out everything else. I make plans with friends for weeks (every once in a while even months) in advance because I'm both a planner and I like spending time with friends. I also make regular plans with myself to do fun things like spending a couple solid hours reading or watching a movie and giving myself a mani-pedi.
If I don't plan it, I'm convinced it won't happen. And if plans come up last-minute, I can't always make it work. If I'm left with open time in my schedule, I might do something fun with it. But the possibility that I spend it working on home or business projects is equally plausible. So I plan out my fun, which might not sound fun, but it works for me!
What sounds like fun to you? How do you make it a priority? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!