This post is about time, and the glorious and elusive thing we call free time in particular. I recently shared with you all about my word of the year for 2020, margin, which you can read more about here. In that post, I shared some of my biggest tips for creating margin in life. In this post, I am going to discuss what to do with that margin once you have it.
Free time is unscheduled time.
Once that time is scheduled or committed to something or someone–whether it’s going to the movies, or grading papers, it’s no longer free time.
Free time might make us uncomfortable. We definitely aren’t used to it, and our first instinct might be fill it up, commit it, schedule it, get rid of it. There! No more free time.
If you do take my suggestions in my previous post and end up with some lovely blocks of free time, and fewer chores on the weekend, I want to strongly encourage you not to fill that time with activity.
Instead, leave those hours unscheduled.
That might make you uncomfortable. Then, the hour or hours will be upon you, and you will feel rich in time.
You are now in the position to live life a different way.
You can use your free time as an opportunity to:
- Be spontaneous.
- Make last-minute plans based on what you are in the mood for.
- Be intuitive
- Follow your whims.
- Take a nap.
- Bake a lasagna to bless a friend or neighbor you who just found out is having a hard time.
- Follow up on something you are curious about.
- Go for a long meandering walk with your dog.
- Have a coffee and people watch.
- Finish the novel you’ve been reading (or writing.
- Be in a position to receive direction from the Lord–and have the space in your schedule to serve if that is what is needed. (Listen to the lonely person who just needs someone to talk to. Give the friend who’s care broke down a ride to town to get groceries. Get quiet enough and peaceful enough to hear the creative ideas that are bubbling up from the Spirit.)
Honestly, this my first time making margin a priority, so I am not exactly sure how the time will unfold, but I am looking forward to finding out. I may have to keep a “margin journal.” It is true that thus far, most of the great things that have happened in my life were unplanned surprises, and my best ideas definitely happen when I have space and breathing room.
What about you? How do you use your free time or margin in life?
For Part III of my discussion on margin in life, go here.