I know that we as single people have something that our lovely in-relationship folks don't have: Time.
Sure, the different groups both have 24 hours in the day, but these hours are extraordinarily different for the single person vs. the person who is married vs. the person who has kids vs. the person who just fell in love.
As single people we often have something I like to call, a trap or a treasure, or in other words: Free Time.
It's this free time that can become dangerous. And before you know it, you find yourself spiraling and eating whole boxes of graham crackers, baking brownies, and dump cakes all in the same day and still not getting your laundry done or paying your bills on time.
Now I'm a free bird. In almost every sense of the word and I don't like feeling caged in, or subjected to things I have.to.do.
And in these past weeks having a break from my television work, I let myself roam free. Because what better way to exercise this freedom, than to have an open day schedule. I'm free like that.
And so I tell myself casually, I have this, that, and the other to do tomorrow in the midst of my fun and relaxing day. Only to get to that lovely tomorrow, and get sidetracked at 10AM by my last email that took me to Pinterest at 10:30AM, which then led me to a picture of New Zealand. And by 12 noon, of course I need to plan a trip there. So I start researching plane tickets and tours.
And then somehow it's 1PM. And that didn't get done, nor did this. Plus, now I'm kind of hungry, but I need to write or do something fun. Yeah, something more fun than writing right now. Let's catch up on some of my favorite TV shows like "Suits" or "Psych". And I'm 20 minutes in, and I hear this cool song playing in the background in one of the scenes. I immediately pause the episode, get on Google and research the song. And since I'm online, I should probably check my email again...
And now it's 3PM. I finally decide to eat. Something low key. Brownies, of course.
While eating my nutritious meal, I wonder if I can catch the tale end of "The Steve Harvey" show. I love that show. His producers are fantastic. Have you seen his show? The segments they come up with are Brilliant. And then I think, Oh, how I love funny guys; and how I wish that I could a marry a funny guy one day.
And then I think about how I want to be in love. It's now 5PM. I decide to sweep the kitchen and wash dishes to get my mind off of this revelation. I also want to show myself I have some bit of productivity accomplished by the end of the day.
Afterwards, once again, I think about how I'm not in love, and how I didn't get an invitation to Charlie and Susie's wedding last year. I decide it's a good time to write, to write about how I feel about that. It's now 7PM.
Post is done, it's now 9PM. I'm exhausted.
From doing basically nothing all day.
Because the focus of the day, my casual goals of: This, that, and the other never got accomplished, at least not fully.
And yet, my mind was still racing, and my body still felt oddly tense. This freedom was killing me. My day was neither fully fun nor relaxing.
Isn't it interesting that freedom, to be truly enjoyed needs some type of boundary.
Well I learned the hard way.
After listening to "Lucille's Life Class" (Also known as: Talking to my mom on the phone), It became ever so clear that the same routine I began to implement while working from home for weeks at a time, was the same type of structure I needed to maintain for my relaxed fun and free days.
But instead, it would be a "Relaxed Routine". Same exact structure premise, just a different name to help throw my brain into "Calm the freak down" mode.
And sure 'nuff, can I just tell you that I accomplished this, that, and the other regarding my fun and free objectives and had time to spare. And at the end of the day, I felt at ease, grateful, accomplished, and excited for the next day.
And time had once again become a treasure, rather than a trap.
Here Are 3 Nuggets to Help You Turn Your Time into Treasure Instead of a Trap:
1. It's best to do 4-5 grown folk intervals in a day. What are grown folk intervals They are what I like to call 90 minute time frames or windows.
Plan to do a major task, and that task alone for 90 minutes. Then take a 30-60 minute break before you begin the next block. This even applies to housekeeping work, bills, rest, meetings, etc.
2. Disable unnecessary social media notifications from your phone and only check email once every 2-4 hours.
If your in my industry, of Hollywood entertainment, I know your mouth is on the floor right now. Because we have to basically respond to emails before you send them to us.
But I've learned, that people will take over whatever time you hand over to them. But if you learn to manage your time consistently with a good work ethic, this is not an impossible thing-- to not check your social media and email every 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, look up and talk to a real live person, or start working on those things that matter to your heart, you know, your dreams and such.
3. Lastly, plan your rest and fun time. And when you can be specific, that helps as well.
At the end of today I'll write my 4 grown folk intervals for tomorrow down on a piece of scratch paper, something like:
- Write Blog Post / Handle Things Pertaining to My Blog
- Fun Time - Watch Episode of "Once Upon a Time"
- Finish Reading the Current Book I'm In
- Work on Newsletter for Blog
My day will most likely end around 6PM, and then I can just hang, doodle, search the web, eat brownies, etc.
All the while, not feeling out of control, and having a full day, full of such peace and freedom. It can happen to you too. #Cheesywink
Let your time become a treasure, rather than a trap.
Extras: If you're one of my blog subscribers, I'll be sharing with you the article that shifted everything for me in regards to productivity. Of which my 3 nuggets are inspired by.
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