“I don’t have time” is the main excuse to explain why we don’t do fitness, learn a new language, play golf, learn to paint, read… The list of things we want to do is always expanding and is often a source of regrets. But what happens when there is time, after retirement or success in business for example? In this article, I’ll go through my current experience of having time and how to avoid some of the stress that comes with it.
The stress of having time
I’m right now on a year off. So I’ve time to dedicate to tasks on my “someday/maybe” list. The list is very long, and includes diving; swimming; dancing; Russian; blog; photos; reading; writing and more. I also want time to think and get clarity about what I want to be when I grow up.
And while pure thinking is part of the list, I feel guilty for not being productive, I feel stupid for not enjoying more the island life, I still don’t know what I want to do and my Russian is not good enough. I’m discovering the pressure of having time.
Are you thinking of taking some long time off?
If you are, keep the though and understand that taking some month off need some thinking ahead, not only about money and logistic but also to define how such an adventure will change you and your loved one? What are you going to get out of such an experience?
It doesn’t have to be a year, but I consider 3 months to be the minimum to enable a real change
Before talking about going away
Have a someday/maybe list
A someday/maybe list lists all the activities you want to do but don’t have time now to act upon. For example, family, studies and health can be on the list. Create your list and don’t fear its length, you want to improve in a lots of domains and that is positive.
Sort the list
By sorting the list, you get clarity about your goals, something most people don’t have. Even if you don’t take time off, you can use the list to start doing something that matters to you.
Highlight the top three and find the roots
Even with lots of time, you will have the opportunity to focus on only three things from the list. Find your top 3 and the reasons why those three are so important for you. It helps articulate your desire of time off to people without such thoughts. You might inspire them!
You are ready
With goals and reasons, you are ready to think hard about taking time off, to discuss it with your loved one, and to make it happen. Taking time off requires courage, not because enjoying having time is hard, but because it’s not standard. Doing non-standard things will trigger refusal, it’s normal. By knowing the why of your decision, you can fight back efficiently and not get overwhelmed by stress and the pessimism of others.
And if you don’t want to go
Role-play it, find some time for your passions and move one or two ahead regularly. The pleasure of doing things we care about really makes a difference.
Good things in life are about simple pleasures