Establish your Play prioritiesTick clipboard icon

Establish your Play priorities

One of the obstacles in spending our leisure time in a truly entertaining, relaxed or memorable manner is that by the time we get home, do a few domestic tasks, deal with family and hit the pocket of time that we might still have at the end of the day for our own leisure, we are too tired to even know what to do with it. Those are the times when we are most likely to spend most of your evening zoning out in front of the television, in front of a Facebook wall, or pointlessly searching for something nice to do, at the foggy edge of what's left of our focus.

This normally results in lots of evenings truly and utterly LOST due to lack of clarity, with us not feeling like we are doing the things we want to be doing, and a lot of time wasted. We can end up feeling stuck in a rut, with nobody really to blame it on, and with some vague feeling that they were things that we could have done and wanted to do to enjoy ourselves, but somehow we didn't get to them.

All of us have some mental list of stuff that we know we enjoy or want to experiment with. However, if that list is vague and lives somewhere in our minds, it is easy to end up wasting our evenings due to lack of clarity, with "the list" not getting any thinner or moving any further.

Getting unstuck from the rut is simply a matter of having easier access to the things that we thought we will do when we will get the time. Unfortunately, the time we get might not look like our ideal - it might not be time in which we are fully rested, relaxed, aware of the things we want to do and with a great appetite at doing them. The time we get might be a time when we are confused about our goals, but it is still time.

What we need to do is bring together the things we want to do, with the time we have, and dispel the fogginess by having simple lists with all those things we are postponing. It is in many ways like managing a project, minus the pressure of achieving a certain result by a certain time.  To allow ourselves to take advantage of this time and gear it in the right direction, we will compile a menu of activities and things we want to do when our mind is clear, and use it in the foggy circumstance. Then this menu will be available and easy to reach when the time is available, removing the burden of deciding or remembering what we wanted to do.

The enjoyable activities list is thus something that you will compile yourself out of the things you want to do. It should include things that are easy to do or pick up, and only require a few steps for you to get settled in the next activity.

This list might look as follows:

- Listening to an audiobook - 20 minutes +

- Abs exercises - 5 minutes

- Meeting my friend - 2h

- Going for a swim - 1h 15

- Drawing a sketch - 15 min

- Going for a walk to the park next to me - 15 min

- Reading a poem - 2 min

If the things you want to do require too many steps, try to change that, by leaving that DVD next to the television, that playlist you wanted to listen to on the desktop, that book you wanted to read on the coffee table, the running gear next to the exit, or your friends informed that they can just pop in your place at a specific time a certain day a week, with the take-away phone number in sight.

The key here is to make it as easy as you can for yourself to just fall into those activities you want to do.

Whenever you think of something you would want to do or discover something enjoying/pleasurable, put it on the list. This is like a to-do at the home list, though it should come without the pressure - after all, there might still be days when you simply want to zone out with a glass of white wine, and that is fine, as long as you are enjoying yourself.

This list will contain our play priorities, in the same way in which we settled on priorities for the time spent at work. It should thus be an honest list of enjoyable activities. And picking it up should feel like treating yourself. After a while of using this system, you might feel like you are finally making inroads into those things you always wanted to do, and your little pocket of leisure time looks like leisure time once again.

Excited to build your list and make your time off be more in alignment with what you want to play with? Take this further with the mission.

Do a mission to implement the concept of Play priorities now.

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Time Management Tips
16 Jun

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