Before Breakfast - Second Cup: When you have too much time

Newly retired? Between jobs? How to optimize time that feels unstructured Learn more about your ad-choices at

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Welcome to teach me something new a podcast from iHeartRadio in front until I'm your host Brent Morin. I'm an entrepreneur a CEO mom and I'm curious about a lot of things. We've already learned so much together, and I can't wait for WhatsApp. My co-host and Dusty and I are back with brand new episodes every Wednesday. Listen to teach me something new on the iHeartRadio app Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcast.

Welcome to before breakfast a production of iHeartRadio.

Good morning. This is Laura. Welcome to the before breakfast podcast. Today's tip is about how to think about time and structure it when you find you have more of it than in the past or more than you necessarily know what to do with now. I recognize that this might seem like a strange problem to have or to talk about in the time management podcast. I get a lot of letters from people took a job at side hustle in a family including kids an aging relatives the idea of having too much time might feel like a joke to these people but it isn't and it's a challenge that can face blocked people and maybe close to everyone at some point in our lives. Maybe you're a full-time parent to look up after years of busyness to realize that all your kids are in school and are reasonably self-sufficient. Maybe your newly retired. I'm trying to figure out how to structure life without a job that had previously been all consuming.

People who lose job suddenly tend to focus their time on finding new ones, but maybe you're consciously taking 6 to 12 months off between jobs after moving for a spouse's job for instance or After experiencing burnout, or maybe you are working but you've noticed that with 168 hours in a week working 40 hours and sleeping 8 hours at night. So 56 per week at least 72 hours for other things that can be a lot. If you don't have big personal commitments this last challenge was one that an Australian Lister Road in to tell me about she noted that I work full-time but outside of that the usual exercise routines in the business of living. I have a lot of time and I feel guilty for not using it better my friends with children are constantly busy and are envious of the long stretches of time I have available, but I feel sort of paralyzed and overwhelmed by having too much time instead of using it's a writer be creative. Like I want to I fall into watching too much Netflix.

Are reading about things that don't really matter to me on the internet. I even dread weekend sometimes because they're long stretches of time with no structure to them.

The Listener wanted to know what I would recommend she do all the first thing I'd recommend to anyone feeling paralyzed as they look at long stretches of time is to make a list of a hundred dreams. This is an exercise. We discussed back an episode 18. It is a completely unedited list of anything. You might want to spend more time doing the reason to go all the way to a hundred is that it forces you to think hard and to keep coming back to the list several times over a week or more the first items tend to be those big bucket list items like going to Tahiti, but by the last third you're really digging you start thinking about that park that's an hour away or you'd like to go for a sunset walk someday, or maybe you'd like to learn to make your own yogurt or join an orchestra. I read all the books of Wendell Berry or in a completely different direction David Foster Wallace, you're not holding yourself to any items on this list. So feel free to list, whatever you want the

Point is just to get yourself thinking of all the things you could do with your time. That might be meaningful or enjoyable.

Then when you have this really long list, you can start choosing a few items to try the key to avoiding. The sense of paralysis is to pace yourself through it your rate of pulling items off your list of a hundred James depends on the situation. If you know you have exactly six months off between jobs you're going to pull stuff off at a faster rate than if you're newly retired and have years in front of you the one like our listener who's working full-time will probably approach this project a slightly slower Pace. My recommendation would be to choose one item a month. That doesn't sound like much if the item is just a one-off experience such as visiting a museum. That's 45 minutes away. But some items such as taking a pottery class might involve a weekly commitment of two to three hours for 12 weeks or so. This is why you don't want to take on too many new things at once. Even if you are facing wide open slots the time.

Then while you're trying things really pay attention to how you feel see what energizes you see what you find yourself anticipating when you find yourself truly drawn to something. You can start incorporating it into your life in a bigger way one pottery class turns into taking others and that turns into joining a local artist group that meets weekly and that turns into volunteering once a month teaching Pottery at an after-school program pretty soon. Your life has plenty of stuff that's more interesting than Netflix, of course being a wise Steward of time isn't just about feeling it was fascinating meaningful things. When you do have wide open spots of time. It can be easy to fill it with stuff that doesn't matter to you people with large external demands on their time naturally become more efficient, or at least lower their standards with stuff like housework and errands.

Arliss never mentioned almost dreading weekends because of the wide open space when that's the case. You can wind up Meandering from store to store just to fill time. So it's as much as possible. I recommend compressing the have to do is to a limited window of time my advice to someone who is taking 6 months off between jobs to help her family move was to do all the tasks such as getting new license plates all on one day of the week. Maybe this all happens on let's call. It must do Mondays, then you can enjoy your other open time guilt-free. There's a time for getting the new bookshelves delivered and now is not that time.

If you've dealt with wide-open patches of Time, how have you approached them? How have you avoided a sense of being overwhelmed or paralyzed as always? You can email me at before breakfast podcast at in the meantime, this is Laura. Thanks for listening. And here's to making the most of our time.

Everybody I'd love to hear from you. You can send me your tips of your questions or anything else. Just connect with me on Twitter Facebook and Instagram at before breakfast pod. That's be the number for then breakfast pod. You can also shoot me an email at before breakfast podcast at that before breakfast is spelled out with all the letters. Thanks so much. I look forward to staying in touch.

Before breakfast is a production of iHeartRadio from war podcast from iHeartRadio visit the iHeartRadio app Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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