Modern lifestyles have gotten so busy; it seems as though we can never get around to do what we really want. We don’t just work eight-hour shifts each day; we consume added time and energy traveling to and from the office. And the burden of work-related concerns keeps our minds buzzing long after we clock out.
Yet even now that we are staying at home most of the time due to the pandemic, the problem hasn’t changed for many people. Remote work often means logging more hours to do your job. We deal with even greater anxiety because of the uncertainty in the light of recent events across the country and the world.
Each day, it can feel as though you don’t have anything left in the tank after work. How can you turn things around? Here are some ways to make the most of your time at home to accomplish something that gives you joy.
Steep in positivity
While people may disagree on their effectiveness, there’s no denying that self-help books sell well. You’ll consistently find several titles from this genre atop any given bestseller list. The internet is full of lists and articles devoted to how you can improve in some way, big or small.
Your mileage may vary with any particular self-help book. But the real benefit comes from the underlying principle: surround yourself with positivity.
We deal with an incredible amount of information each day. Much of it is focused on harsh or unsettling news stories. We rarely have any sort of ability to influence or control such events. This induces stress and creates a negative outlook.
Self-help books and advice counteract this effect by pointing out things you can control in your life. They teach you how to frame things differently and take concrete action toward your goals.
You don’t have to buy a specific book to harness this power. Write in your journal, and reflect on the events of your life, across the years and on a daily basis. Fill it with happy, uplifting quotes and decorate it with playful pets, doodles, and other embellishments that spark joy.
This practice will heighten your self-awareness and frame it in a positive narrative. It will give you the necessary impetus to start taking things further.
Put yourself out there
The next step may prove easy, but it could also be difficult for you. Whatever the undertaking, whether it’s a simple DIY creation, coding project, or a prototype for your future business, you have to put it online, share it with others.
In the age of information, crowdsourcing ideas and feedback is the biggest resource you can draw upon to easily improve in anything. And you don’t even have to pay anything.
You can launch a free blog, upload videos to YouTube, or simply post on social media. Then sign up to join relevant communities or forums, and ask for feedback. Many fellow enthusiasts will be happy to provide free advice to beginners. Their knowledge and experience will accelerate your learning.
If you’re a perfectionist (or a bit of an introvert), you may be hesitant to take this step. Maybe you’re afraid to share your work in its raw state. Or you may not want to tell a bit of your story.
But whether you’re a freelance creative or a business, you’ll eventually realize that people don’t follow sheer talent or product quality; they are emotionally drawn to good stories. It’s how brands and celebrities market themselves; they came from humble beginnings and had the vision to improve something.
Remember that it’s not about how good (or bad) you are right now. It’s about how good you can be. And by letting others join that experience, you can improve rapidly.
Narratives are powerful for another reason: it creates a sense of progress. If you know nothing about origami, then learning to fold your first paper crane is a simple project, but a memorable one. After that, you could fold a thousand more, but it won’t leave the same impression.
This perception of progress is part of another secret to maximizing your free time: you need to make memories. By finding time to work on a passion project, even if it proceeds in baby steps, you can fill each day with a novel experience.
Looking back on the time you spend in this way, you’ll feel as though the days are filled with the stimulus of new and exciting things. They won’t just blur into a uniform mess of feeling fatigued from work and passively consuming entertainment on TV or social media feeds. Reclaim ownership of your time, and your life will be full of things that bring you joy.
Meta title: Fill Your Life with Joy by Reclaiming Your Time
Meta description: Is your life so busy that you can’t get around to doing the things you want each day? You could be laboring under a false perception. Here’s how to fight back and regain control of your time.