Have Lots of Free Time but Nothing’s Getting Done?

For college students, this problem is most common during breaks between quarters or semesters when everyone is burnt out from studying hard and writing papers for finals. The burnout after finals creates a psychological barrier to productivity. Outside of the university environment, students often feel like they’re entitled to doing absolutely nothing every day of break. I’m sure this isn’t much different from what a working adult feels like on vacation.

Unfortunately, this mentality gets in the way of self-enrichment (e.g., reading, hobbies, etc) during break.

Being able to take charge of our time and how it’s spent is vital to success in achieving goals—the pillar concept of personal development. I’d say that time management the most important factor in becoming wealthy, productive, healthy, etc.

The question then becomes, “How do you take back control of your time so that you DO something?”

Set goals

Having goals keeps you focused on growth. By keeping goals, you’ll value your time more and consequently know how to respond to situations that compromise your goals.

Imagine that your goal is to run a marathon in one month. Just by being aware of this goal for the future, you’ll be more apt to make lots of smaller decisions that will further this goal. You might choose to practice running instead of watching TV or surfing the Internet. You might opt for a healthier meal that would provide the right nutrition for enhanced running performance.

Plan ahead

Now that you have goals that you aspire to achieve, keeping them in the back of your mind will allow you to plan ahead effectively. If you prepare an activity to do in the case of a “boring moment,” you’ll be able to use your time wisely. If this activity allows you to further your goals, that’s even better.

Eliminate Passivity

Sometimes it’s easy to write off time as something that just passes. If you keep this mindset, however, you’ll begin to feel passive towards time. If you want to get things done in your free time, open your mind to the possibilities of how your time could be used, and to the fact that you are completely in charge of how you spend your time.

Waste not

Human hours are like precious metals. They are finite resources with high value. We rely on them to advance the human race and to better our daily lives.

So the next time you’re bored, think about how you’re actually affecting the world with your inaction. Use your time to learn, create, explore, invent, relax, give, interact, and be. The possibilities are staring you in the face every moment. Go!


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