Posted by Tim Stobbs on January 14, 2015
Today’s post is all about having fun. Really! Today I’m talking about making sure I have a good plan around my leisure activities. I find it sort of ironic we tend to plan a lot of our lives, but never give much thought to our leisure time. All to often we just fall into our leisure activities rather than planning them a bit more. In my case that ends up showing up as too many night just sitting in front of the TV watching Netflix if I’m not careful.
So in that light what do I enjoy doing? The short answer is: too much. You see I have this habit of trying things out or doing experiments as my wife refers to them. I’ll read about something online and then give it go at home. It could be turning apple juice into wine or how to make something like granola bars from scratch. The problem with this is I end up going in too many directions and can lose focus on things and I end up with too little time on things I really enjoy doing. The experiments are not all bad as I do figure out some thing I enjoy doing like making wine from fresh fruit, but I need to ensure I’m not doing too many of them.
In the end I need to get a bit thoughtful about my free time. So to help me sort things out here are a list of items I enjoy doing and feel I should either keep doing or do more of:
- Reading books
- Watching the occasional movie or TV show
- Writing (which I covered in detail in Part IV)
- Playing with my kids or doing family events (like swimming, sledding, going to the park, etc)
Yet to make time for these things I really need to stop doing the following:
- Mindlessly surfing the internet
- Watching crappy movies or TV shows (if it sucks turn it off or better yet screen it in advance to ensure it is good)
- Reading blogs that don’t challenge my thinking
- Doing stuff to avoid working on what I should get done (for example, doing a bunch of crap while I procrastinate on cleaning)
So to help accomplish all of this I will do the following:
- Watch movies or TV no more than three nights a week
- Screen movies or TV shows to ensure they are at least an 8/10 on IMDB
- Think about what I want to do on the internet before turning on the WiFi.
- Ensure I have at least one novel and one non-fiction book to read at home at all times (most of this will come from the library)
- Ensure that I always have some baking in the freezer at all times such as muffins, biscuits, squares, etc. If I’m running low I need to make sure I do some cooking.
- Write 90% of the time, 750 words daily
- Do at least one family activity per month outside of the house
- Make sure I play with my kids at least twice a week (movie night, board games, video games, Lego…what ever they want)
Ugh, that’s a fair bit of rules to recall, so I think I might play around with a scorecard to help me keep track of this until they become more habits. (Update: I did develop a scorecard in Evernote and tested it out last week…works good as a reminder, but I need to decide where to transfer the info if I want to track the results for a longer term.) I’ll revisit this at least annually to consider what is working well and what needs to change.
So do you have things you should do less of or others you should do more of, if so, how to you keep yourself on track?