“Humans spend years eating, sleeping, working, and worrying about those things, but it is their free time that is most important. If spent well it can render them into great people, if squandered, it cannot.”
We all want to be productive and make the most out of the time that we have every day. However, focusing too much on making every hour productive can be counterproductive, in fact, leading to lower performance, fatigue, and eventually burnout. We need to rest, and there are good reasons to include free time in your routine to support your health, well-being, and a high level of performance.
Gives you the opportunity to innovate and explore
Our brains can come up with amazing ideas and concepts, solve almost any problem, and create solutions for many situations. However, we need to give our brains the time and opportunity to do nothing. When we are not focused on anything in particular or working intently, our brains have the chance to actually create and innovate, as these ideas grow until they appear in our minds.
Time to do nothing is essential because it helps us become more creative and work on the issues we are trying to solve, as our brains continue to do this even when we are not consciously focused on the problem.
Declutter your mind
Anxiety and other negative emotions can build up when we are always focused on our tasks and events. We need time to let our minds be free of these concerns to allow us to feel calm and serene. When we are always doing something, we don’t get time to rest and relax, and this is very important for our mental health.
Allowing our thoughts to wander without forcing them to stick to a particular issue can make a big difference in how calm we feel and help us get rid of all our concerns for a while. Free time can help your mind calm down and get rid of all unnecessary concerns.
To prepare yourself mentally for something
Free time gives your mind the opportunity to prepare itself for new and challenging situations. It allows you to decompress and relax and refocus your attention. It’s important to allow yourself the chance to rest between challenges, as otherwise your body and mind do not have the chance to recuperate and restore themselves before moving on the next thing.
Take a moment to appreciate your journey
When you keep working through every moment, it becomes difficult to think and, much less, appreciate what is happening in our life. Free time gives us the opportunity to contemplate and reflect on what we are doing and where we are going. When we reflect, we can question some aspects of our lives and plan for something better.
It also gives us the chance to appreciate and savour the valuable moments and parts of the journey that we are experiencing. Without free time, things can fly by on autopilot, without us recognizing and appreciating what is going on.
Make life more enjoyable
Free time helps make life more enjoyable. A continued need to work without rest and be productive can leave us exhausted and unwilling to enjoy life, simply because it is too difficult.
We might need to take breaks and rest to fully engage with the times we have to rest and the times we have to work, to truly appreciate them. Without free time, other things lose meaning and become much more difficult to handle, often to the point where our work becomes a source of pain and fatigue. When we plan for free time, it helps us increase the enjoyment we get out of our work and also out of our leisure. It helps us rest.
Protect our mental health
Our minds are not meant to be working or productive all the time. Even if we never give ourselves time to rest, our minds will eventually start sabotaging the process – we start working slower and making more mistakes. Eventually, we might experience more negative consequences, physically and emotionally, like burnout.
Free time is important to help shield our minds from the negative effects of overworking and to make us truly productive. It increases our productivity on the long term and also helps us maintain a more sustainable pace of working.
Overall, free time is essential for our well-being. Try to schedule at least some free time every day, especially when you need to work the most, to ensure that you are ready to face whatever challenges come your way.