Not that long ago I remember thinking it is almost impossible to find extra time when you are a parent. In regards to reading- how was I ever going fit that into my day? I made peace with the fact that one day again I would have more free time, and right now I should focus on my love for being with my children, because they are young and want to spend lots (AND LOTS!) of time with me.
Children are even enthusiastic to follow you around wherever you may go. Wherever. YOU. Go! It makes me smile thinking about it, but there are also those times you long for one minute, or even just one second to yourself. The question is- how do you possibly find more time for activities you love?
The easiest way I’ve found is to watch less TV! It isn’t a new or remarkable answer, but it is true. For years I have been reading that advice thinking to myself I hardly watch that much TV, so for me it would not yield much extra time. Plus some days, when my kids are asleep I am so friggin exhausted all I want to do is be a zombie for a little while. Please just let me sit!
Surprisingly, when I tested it out in my own life I was shocked at how much time TV can suck up. It all started when I received a new book I was excited to read. I wondered when I would actually find the time to read it. Fortunately, I discovered a simple way to add more time to my day, even go to bed earlier some days, AND watch my favorite shows… YES my kids still stay home with me!
This is how I did it- I decided on my absolute favorite shows to watch, and made the decision that other than those few shows I was not going to add any additional TV to my life. In essence, I would never be looking for something to watch or channel surfing. This freed up some time several nights a week. When I spend time doing something I enjoy, like reading a great book, I feel uplifted. It feels much better than watching TV. It inspires me more, and as well it allows for more sleep. Have you ever had those nights where you don’t go to bed, you stay up extra late because you are somehow too tired to go to bed? Well that happens a lot less if you are only watching specific shows and when it is over the TV goes off.
Also, when you spend evenings reading it is harder for your body to ignore the I’m tired signal. Your eyes start to get heavy and close, as opposed to the stimulation from the TV that can keep you mesmerized way past bed time.
Less TV has additionally opened up some free time to write in a gratitude journal a few nights per week. Writing daily for this site, I didn’t know if I actually wanted to spend more free time writing, even though I love the idea behind a gratitude journal. Turns out I do! Especially because I put no pressure on it. My journal can be as little as a few sentences, or if I am really into it, a few pages. It gives me time to write down cute things my kids do that I want to remember always, and without writing it down I know over time I’d likely forget many of them.
Try it out! Maybe when it comes to free time and TV you can have your cake and eat it too! Pick just your favorite shows and remove all the rest. See if it helps you create more free time for activities you are passionate about or bring you happiness.
Do you have any ideas or techniques that help you create more free time? Please do share! You’ll be helping us out 🙂