To begin this post, I should say that I always have free time on my hand no matter how my days get so busy.
I work during the day, workout in the afternoon and after work, blog for an hour or two every day, play with my daughter, talk to my wife and the rest of the family, just to name a few. Even when I have those things to do every day, I always find myself with free time.
Sounds crazy? Yes. But I have been able to master the art of crunching everything in a way that the value of what I do does not diminish. If I could say that I am a master of time management, I would. But, of course, I am nowhere near having that mastery.
Regardless of how our family's day goes, we have a couple of minutes here and there to spare. Some of us end up sitting in front of the computer and surfing the net. Some of us sit down and watch TV. Some do something else.
I am always in favor of spending time with those people you love and of taking a break to relax. I believe that family has to come first all time and that’s what I show to my family every day. When it comes to relaxation, I always find sitting down and having conversation is a way to go or even watching TV can be fulfilling.
20 Productive Ways To Use Your Free Time
I am pretty sure that I am not assuming when I say that there are times that you are just so bored or cannot figure out what to do with our time. Instead of wasting time to try to figure out what else can be do, you may find the following activities to consume your time in a more productive way.
Bake, bake, and bake.
I was once a bad baker. Nobody would even dare to taste my baked goods much less look at them. Thanks to the internet and it’s endless recipes, I have become a better baker. Whenever I have free time, I will bake cookies, breads, or cakes for my family. Now, I am able to make pies, breads, cookies, and all yummy goodies.
Spend time with family.
I like spending time with my family. I always spend my free time with my family either by watching movie, playing a game, baking, etc. Spending time with my loved ones is something I will never get tired of. My family is my first priority. I make sure that the day does not go by without interacting with my family.
Fulfill my honey-do list.
Never get a wife upset or angry. That’s one of the first rules I learned when I entered my marriage. 🙂 But in all seriousness, I make sure that I do my part at home. I am not a king that has servants to make everything work in the house or to clean all the mess my daughter and I make everyday. Sometimes, I do get a couple of things done on the list and, sometimes, I barely finish one because of the complexity of the work.
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Organize office area.
Though my office space is as big as a 4-sitter dining table, I almost always end with mountains of paper that either need to be filed or trashed. While I don’t clean my space every night, I do it every weekend, which means some of my free time over the weekend is dedicated to office clean up.
Create toys for my daughter.
I always make some toys for my daughter. Many times, I create paper boats, paper hat, etc. so my daughter and I have something to play with when she is bored and doesn’t like the toys she already has. This not only helps me think off my feet but also help me save money because I don't have to buy toys all the time. Without imagination and the right set of cheap tools, I am able to create toys that my daughter loves to play with.
Update your finances.
Whether it’s your budget or your investment or something else, you should update your finances to make sure it reflects your financial situation and needs. By reviewing your finances, you will see if you are on track with your financial goals, if you are overspending or under spending, etc. It only takes a couple of minutes here and there do to that.
My wife and I have consistently used our free time to take surveys. She earns more than I do in a month when it comes to survey revenue. I earn around $50/month while she earns around $100- $150/month. If you ever find yourself wanting to earn additional bucks, have free time, and don't want to be as mobile as possible, surveys can be a great way to earn money. Here are a couple of surveys my wife and I use consistently.
- Ipsos I-Say ($620/mo. The survey site people are raving about and that keeps on giving)
- MySurvey (Earn 2,000 points as a sign-up bonus; It has paid $32M+ since 2014)
- MyPoints (Desktop l Mobile) (Earn up to $50/survey; $5 Bonus after first 5 surveys)
- Vindale Research (Earn $2 bonus for signing up; I’ve earned more than $1,100 so far)
- Swagbucks (Earn $10 sign up bonus instantly)
- Survey Club (Potentially earn at least $50 per survey)
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Make your own furniture.
The last time I bought a new furniture was when my first arrived in the US. I think it was a table or bed frame that I bought. Since then, I always set a couple of hours of my free time every week to creating furniture for our apartment. With some tools, creative imagination, and the magic of Pinterest, you can basically create just about any furniture you like.
When you have a busy day, the best thing to do is use your free time to meditate. Meditate is one of the best ways to relax, release your stress, and improve focus. Sometimes, I take a 10-15 minutes break on my busy day to re-group myself. I tell you that it really does make a difference in helping me become more productive even when I am bombarded with a ton of tasks.
There is no day that I don't read news. I just go online, look at Google News or MSN to find news for today. I don't prefer one site from another. But I read news that are catchy and that interest me. It's my way of connecting to the world and staying informed on what's going on out there.
My wife likes to sew that I bought her a sewing machine. She has created pillow cases, table runner, and apron just to name a few. She usually buys fabrics that are on sale, clearance, or closeout. I tell you that her sewing skills has greatly improved. In the past couple of months, we have saved more than $500 because she always ends up using her sewing machine to create wonderful things than buy them at stores.
No matter how busy or bored I get, I always exercise. Whether running in the park or weight lifting, I make sure that I dedicated time to staying healthy and fit. As with my wife, she likes to walk around the apartment complex. If my daughter wants to go out, we go to the playground and stay there for an hour or two until she gets tired.
When my daughter is busy playing with her toys, my wife and I, sometimes, will play board and card games that we used to play when we were younger. It's one of our ways to unwind and relax and just be kids we once were. It's also good for us to reminisce our boyfriend-girlfriend days and bring some good memories.
Sing and dance.
Our family enjoys singing and dancing. They help us bond together without the use of today's technology. We sing the songs we love to hear, sing our heart out, and dance our feet off the ground. My wife and I used to ballroom dance. So, sometimes, we find ourselves dancing. When our daughter is involved, we usually go with the children songs.
Enjoy the surrounding.
If you can't think of anything to do in the house, why not go out? You don't spend money to go out. You can always go to the park and just walk around. If you live in the city, you can do a lot of things that are free. You can go to free museums, visit the malls for some window shopping. etc. It is always good to bring somebody with you for conversation and enjoy the surrounding at the same time.
Get busy with gardening.
Want to save money and use your free time at the same time? You might want to consider gardening. You can plant your own vegetables, herbs, and some fruits. This way, you can harvest and use fresh produce all the time. If you think you need a big space to grow your produce, just think that you can grow them even in small spaces like pots and containers.
There are a lot of organizations that need help with fundraising, building homes, feeding the homeless, etc. Volunteering is one of the best ways to use your free time. Not only you are helping others you are also improving your communication, interaction, and personal skills. Plus, good deeds are compensated with good karma.
Blogging is rewarding monetarily and non-monetarily speaking. You get to share your stories and people will be more than willing to read your stories. They may or will earn valuable lessons they will use for their benefits. Plus, you can make money from blogging. I have made over $23,000 in 9 months through blogging. Please click this link to see my full story on how I made $23,000 in a short time.
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I realized a very long time ago that one of the reasons I failed to manage my time was that I never listed the things I need to do the next. This applies to both work and personal lives. Every day, I dedicate 10-15 minutes to list down all the tasks or assignments I need to accomplish the following day. This list helps me get prepped for tomorrow and get all the materials I need to make sure that I finish what I set to accomplish.
What else do you do to productively use your free time? Do you think that free time should be used to relax or should be used for something else more important?
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