The Surprising Role of Leisure in Achieving Your Goals

When was the last time you allowed yourself to truly relax, unwind, and enjoy a moment of leisure?

As a high-achiever, you might feel such moments are rare, even nonexistent. You're always in pursuit of the next milestone, the next breakthrough. But what if we told you that leisure time, often misconstrued as ‘idle time', is not an enemy but an ally in achieving your long-term goals?

The Benefits of Leisure

Leisure isn't about idling away precious hours.It's about engaging in activities that recharge your body and mind, bringing you joy and relaxation. This could be anything from pursuing a hobby, spending time in nature, or reading a book, to practicing mindfulness exercises.

The benefits of leisure go beyond the mere feeling of relaxation.

Studies indicate that leisure time can lead to reduced stress levels, increased creativity, and overall improved mental health. These aren't just standalone benefits. Reduced stress levels can lead to improved focus and productivity, while heightened creativity can help you find innovative solutions to professional challenges.

Some of the world's most successful individuals attribute their success, in part, to incorporating leisure into their routine.

Bill Gates, for example, is known for his “Think Weeks” where he isolates himself in a cabin to read and think big. This form of leisure allows him to come up with creative, game-changing ideas.

How to Incorporate Leisure Time into Your Schedule

If you're concerned about not having enough time for leisure, you're not alone.

Many high achievers share this sentiment. The key is to view leisure time not as a luxury but as a necessity, as important to your schedule as a key meeting or a project deadline. Incorporate it into your day just as you would any other critical task—by blocking time for it.

To help you start, here's a step-by-step guide:

1. Identify activities that you enjoy and help you relax.

Think back over the last 12 months and consider different types of rest and play. What activities restored your energy? Was it walking in nature or taking a nap? Was it reading a book or playing pickup basketball? Make a list of ideas to try again in the future.

2. Allocate specific time slots for these activities in your daily or weekly schedule.

You don’t have to create an hour-long morning ritual. Even as short as a few minutes can be helpful to start. The important part is putting it on your calendar. Take a look at your list of activities, pick one or two, and schedule time to do them this week.

3. Stick to the schedule, but also allow room for flexibility.

Play around with what works. Try different kinds of leisure activities at different times until you find something you can mostly stick to. Remember, this isn’t about getting it perfect—that’s not restful at all! It’s about making room for personal restoration as a strategy to fast-track success.

To dive deeper, check out our podcast episode, Doctor’s Orders: 7 Ways to Get the Rest You Need.

You Don’t Have to Be On All the Time

Just as a bow that is always bent will eventually break, continuous work without leisure can lead to burnout. Incorporating leisure time is not just about taking a break, it's about creating a balance that will allow you to achieve your goals while also enjoying the journey.

As you begin to incorporate leisure into your routine, we'd love to hear about your chosen activities and the impact they have on your productivity and well-being. Let us know in the Full Focus Community!

Here's to achieving more by doing something you love.

Last modified on September 7th, 2023 at 1:37 pm

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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