The Bureau of Labor Statistics issues an annual report called the American Time Use Survey that relies on self-reporting from a pool of respondents as to where all their time goes.

Compared to 2007, we are now reading even less, watching more TV and playing more video games.

US Leisure Time 2007

And now? Although we have even more leisure time than ever, we read less and play video games more. What will do you do with your time?

US Leisure Time 2010

How to Get More Free Time

February 10, 2010

Free time doesn’t have to be expensive because it is indeed ‘free’. The first step to having more free time is to decouple your understanding of time as money. When thinking that time equals money, they treat time as if it were very expensive. In fact, ‘free time’ is the most valuable time you can spend.

Why?

Because when you take time off, you are more productive on the days you are ‘on’.

I’ll give you an example.

Instead of going to the gym to ‘workout’, I shoveled snow with my family. I was outside, got light exposure, and had a great time while doing something productive and helpful (the neighbors were happy, too, as we shoveled part of their driveway free). In the afternoon, my husband and I went to the gym for a visit to the sauna only. What a thought! It was a great way to spend our free time. An hour there gave us an extra hour in the evening of wakefulness because we were so relaxed.

How will you spend your free time today?

Leisure Time in the U.S.

Cynthia Colby’s advice is simple: make an appointment with yourself every day. Using her daytimer, she literally pencils herself in so that no matter how productive she is with other clients, she can also find time for herself, too.

As a communications specialist with Cynthia P. Colby (Creative Communications), she produces  radio and tv commercials so Cynthia’s audio is especially worth a listen! [Listening instructions: click on the link, then click on it again for your media player to open. Be sure to deactivate any pop-up blockers you may have.]

Craftmaster James Dillehay has learned to turn passion into profits. By teaching yoga, he gets to do what he loves. By selling crafts, he is able to literally weave his love into his work.

Here’s James Dillehay in his own words…[Listening instructions: click on the link, then click on it again for your media player to open. Be sure your pop-up blocker has been deactivated.]

Author of A Better Day – A Better Life, Kelly Wilson, a work from home mom better daywith toddlers about her feet, equates her ‘me time’ with the time her husband spends on the golf course on Saturdays. Taking on the mindset that her free time is a round of nine or 18 holes helped her establish some ground rules for herself.

Listen to Kelly Wilson’s ideas of how your leisure time can be like a day on the golf course, too. [Listening instructions: Click on the link, then click on it again for it to open your media player. Be sure your pop-up blocker has been deactivated.]

Script consultant Linda Seger, who has received accolades from the likes of director Ron Howard, shares her wisdom of focus and reward.

“I make sure that I do my work at my highest creative time (which is mornings) when I’m freshest, so I am not interfering with my work during my play time.” How does she play? Listen to Linda Seger’s wisdom here. [Listening instructions: Click on the link, then click on it again for it to open your media player. Be sure your pop-up blocker has been deactivated.]