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  • Nia Strothers

4 Ways to Make Better Use of Your Downtime

Over the course of the last month, I've been reflecting on the daily changes I want to make in my life moving forward to make 2017 an even more productive year than 2016 was. One of my goals in 2017 is to make better use of my time. I recently realized that downtime seems to be the most wasted portion of my days; not because I should be so productive that downtime shouldn't exist in my schedule, but because I usually spend my downtime doing things that aren't of substance, like aimlessly scrolling on social media. I want to share 4 ways that you can make better use of your downtime in 2017 to make for a more balanced, and productive life.

1. Shut off your devices. I waste the most time each day scrolling on social media. I'm working on getting in the habit of posting, and then logging off to avoid the hours of useless scrolling. If you're on social media with a specific goal in mind, like engaging with your target audience, or creating posts, then that is making great use of your downtime, but if you're like me and you use your downtime to aimlessly scroll, then you might want to refrain from using social media. The same goes for checking emails, texting, surfing the internet, ect. Use your downtime to accomplish specific tasks on your devices, and then shut them off. 2. Use downtime to gather your thoughts and reflect on your day. Living in a 24/7 world, we oftentimes get so caught up in the daily hussle and bussle of life that we forget to sit back and smell the flowers. Use downtime to reflect on your day, and just give your mind a break from thinking about 50 things at once. 3. Catch up on reading. Feeding your mind has been proven to lead to increased productivity and and creativity. Whether you're cracking open a book you've been putting off reading for months, or reading articles in a magazine that peak your interest. Reading will stimulate your mind and positively effect your psycological well-being. 4. Get ahead on other tasks. If you use some of your downtime to get ahead on other tasks instead of watching TV or shopping, you will have more leisurely time in the future to spend stress-free. Sometimes it is hard to force yourself to sit down and write that essay you know isn't due for a month, but in two weeks when your collegues are scrammbling to get the same assignment done, you can spend a care-free weekend out of town knowing you've already completed it and turned it in.

Use your spare moments of relief from your busy schedule as effectively as possible to make for incresed productivity and a more balanced, and well-managed life. Do you have any tips you'd like to share about how others can make better use of their downtime? Feel free to comment below! Happy New Year!


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