Make Time for Fun

Typical Louisville Problem: You hear about something “Fun to Do” – There’s always something fun happening in this city.  You look at your schedule – Ugh.  It’s already completely filled with “Not-So-Fun To-Dos.”

Between increasingly long work days, shuttling kids all over town and just trying to find a moment for household chores, it’s hard to imagine how you can squeeze any play time into your adult life. But play isn’t just for children.

You’re at your best when you have time to unwind. Hobbies can give you an opportunity:

  • To make new connections. As we get older, it can be harder to meet new people or to even maintain the friendships we already have. Hobbies can bring together like-minded people and create low-stress socializing.

  • To relax. Many hobbies like painting and crafting have a meditative effect and can reduce stress. Other hobbies like picking up a dance class or gardening, get you active, which is crucial if you have a desk job.

  • To boost your confidence. Learning a new skill is a great way to feel better about yourself. As the weeks and months pass, you’ll be able to see your progress and experience a sense of growth.

It might seem like you don’t have time for fun in your life, but let’s take a closer look at how you spend your time. You might be surprised to find some wiggle room on schedule.

Make Room for Fun on Your Calendar

Try Time Blocking

You can’t change what you aren’t tracking. “Time Blocking” is the latest productivity trend rescuing people from their never-ending to-do lists. Instead, of making a list of everything you need to get done, break your day into time slots and schedule each task for a specific time. Time Blocking allows you look back at your day or week and see where your open blocks of time are. You can then plan for fun in those blocks of time instead of squandering them on social media.

Time Blocking Techniques

  • Planner. You can take it old school and use a planner to chart your day. Most paper planners with time slots are pre-printed with an hour-by-hour schedule that runs from 7-to-7. If that doesn’t work for you, try bullet journaling and create your own.

  • Pomodoro Method. Train yourself to get things done by focusing on one task without distractions for 25-minute bursts.

  • Apps. Put your iPhone to work for you by downloading an app to help you out with time blocking – There’s quite a few of them. One of the newest, simplest apps is “Supertoday.” It automatic tracks your movements throughout the day and will send you little notifications asking what you’re doing until it learns your schedule.

Lighten Your Load

What are the things you’re doing in your life that you aren’t passionate about? Maybe you’re stilling meeting up with the crew every Thursday night for happy hour, but you’re just not that into “Thirsty Thursday” anymore. Maybe you volunteer for an organization that you don’t feel connected to. Or maybe you spend a lot of time doing yard work when secretly you don’t care about what your lawn looks like.

Lighten your load. Tell your pals you’re skipping out on happy hour, but they’re welcome to join your new kickball team. Let the organization know you’ve enjoyed your time together, but you’re moving onto pursue other interests. Ask your partner or your kids for a hand, so the yard work gets done in half the time.

It’s easy to let our lives go on autopilot, but when you evaluate your obligations, you might find that some aren’t as crucial as you may have thought. Dropping some of them will give you more time to do things you actually care about.

Set a Routine

Work fun into your routine and watch it become a habit. This means treating your fun time as sacred. If you set aside one night a week to go to yoga, then ask your friends and family to respect this time by not asking you to push it aside for them. You’re a better parent, friend and partner when you have time each week to release stress. So, protect that time; it’s important.

Put the tips to practice right now – Your life is about to become a whole lot more fun and, at the very least, a lot more Instagram-worthy. Have a tip we haven’t tried? Share it with us on Twitter.

Looking for a new hobby? Check out Level Up Lou’s roster of upcoming classes. Learn about everything from hand lettering and watercolors to homebrewing at the coolest venues around the city.