3 Ways to Increase Your Free Time, or at Least Make It Feel That Way…

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Sometime last December, during a family Christmas party, someone told me that I’d have a whole lot more free time in university. If they said that exact same thing to me right now… well, I might not even have time to laugh. I’d be too busy studying.

Even if that is a tad dramatic, I do mean it. Most days, I give myself about 3 hours (maximum) of free time, and the rest is devoted to doing school stuff. Even that is just a little too long for comfort. Other days, well, homework starts when I wake up and ends when I go back to sleep. Sure, breaks would be a nice thing to give to myself, but who’s got time to take a substantial break? I sure don’t. Needless to say, I’ve forgotten how to have any chill at all. The only choice with this is learning to handle a relatively huge workload.

So, it seems that there are only two places to go from here. Keeping working 24/7 until finally there’s a break where I can do nothing for once. Or, actually make an active, manageable plan to create free time, without throwing off my homework schedule. Adding a 25th hour to the day seems like a viable option as well…

That being said, take that whole getting involved business with an itsy-bitsy grain of salt: I can’t physically handle doing everything I want to. Now, I’m the kind of person who burns the candle at both ends – I’ll push myself until I literally, physically cannot keep going. Adding to that already overwhelming amount of stuff? Maybe not a great idea. So, first lesson of managing no time at all: get involved, but don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Me, I take a theater class and do music lessons, two things I enjoy that are regular and weekly. I couldn’t take those time slots to do homework if I wanted to. Not to mention, it allows me to get involved with my community. Getting involved on campus is just the same: for me, this blogging gig in itself is a way for me to make myself do some leisure writing while sharing my not-so-wise wisdom with all of you. 

Weekends are times to take breaks from school! I’d like to say I make time for myself on the weekends, because I am really trying to do this. On Fridays, for instance, I look at all the readings I have, look at myself in the mirror and then softly whisper I got this- and then try to finish them all. Spoilers: most of the time- I don’t got this… I don’t finish before the weekend. Which means, weekend homework. Somehow, this is starting to seem unavoidable… So, I’d suggest you flip around the idea of a weekend. If weekend homework is unavoidable, then use those weekends and use them vigorously. Do enough homework on the weekend and voila – you get some free time during the week. Lesson number two? if you want to chill a little more during the weekdays, chill a little less on the weekends!

Another one of my hobbies is procrastinating to the tune of YouTube – Buzzfeed is like that one friend who always has something new to share. If I have internet access and headphones, you can bet I’m watching a video featuring Americans eating British Desserts instead of working on that huge upcoming essay for any given subject. And truth be told? It’s not enjoyable when there’s still more to do.

That’s right. It’s a lot harder to enjoy mindless entertainment when you’ve got five billion readings to do for the next couple days. So, save those buzzfeed blurbs for a time when you don’t have anything due soon. Instead, finish what you need to do on any given day, then reward yourself with some tea, popcorn, and whatever entertainment suits your fancy. Designate time for it even – but don’t let it take time away from your homework completion. Lesson number three: watching YouTube is much more satisfying when you’re done everything you needed to do for the day.

If any of this is #Relateable for you, then let me know how you create your free time! I mean, I’m sorry we’re mutually in a no-chill zone 100% of the time, but it’s not a hopeless situation. There are little times and places where you can cut down on small things in order to get some time to relax! And though I don’t remember how to do that exactly, it really does sound like a nice thing to do. Take a little me-time. Watch a movie. Take a nap. Let yourself not think about upcoming tests at least a couple hours every day.  It doesn’t take a giant ice wall (references anyone?) to keep assignments and readings from mentally overwhelming you! And while we figure that out, happy homework!

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