Let’s begin with trying to understand what leisure is. The definition is still a bit blurry but there are 3 primary ways to define leisure:
1. As time – Time free from obligations, work (paid and unpaid) and tasks required for existing (sleeping, eating, life maintenance), a time when you can do whatever you WANT to do.
2. As activity – Activities that people engage in. Usually experiences done for their “OWN SAKE”.
3. As a state of mind – oh! This is the tricky one…. A state of mind is your mood or mental state at a particular time. And that is something we have control of, or at least can learn to control, like a muscle, a happiness muscle.
When we hear the words “leisure state of mind”, most of us will immediately think of the weekend or our next vacation. That’s because most of us still have a strong conceptual distinction between work-time and leisure-time.
But if we think this through, that’s not the case anymore…
Let’s start with work, ok? At one time, people would step outside the office at 5 o’clock and the work day was over. With modern technology, the concept of 9 to 5 is less and less relevant, we take our work home with us, on our computers, on our phone and even on vacation. There is no longer a total separation between work and “life”.
Furthermore, we work to get paid. Yes, yes, some of us also like what we do (yours truly included). But most of all, work is a means to an end. It is not the purpose itself. It should allow us to acquire more leisure…
The technological breakthroughs of the past centuries should have freed us from endless work and make our lives easier, freeing up time for leisure – to do whatever we want, to enjoy hobbies, indulge in recreation and so on.
Technically, this is true… New technologies have made our lives much easier, freeing us from countless tasks and reducing the amount of time certain actions require. In reality, the exact opposite has happened, we are all busier, buried under thousands of daily tasks or duties, barely finding time to breathe not to mention, time to leisure. The paradox is that even though we have more than the previous generation, we are less happy and are in a constant pursuit of time.
It seems that free time is becoming more expensive than ever.
In the past, leisure was the virtue of the wealthy. A “man (or women) of leisure” were those whose money and/or social position allow them to pursue pleasurable social, cultural, and athletic activities. In other words, you needed (a lot) of time and money to leisure.
Today, this doesn’t have to be the case.
You can leisure, or peruse what makes you happy easily and even affordably, for some part, due to modern technologies. Today, things are much more accessible, therefore, easy. If at one time you had to go all the way to the library for your favorite book, now you can get the same book, probably at half of the price, without getting up from the couch.
OK OK, so it’s easier to get the book but when will we find the time to actually read it? we are all so busy… The bright side? blurring the lines between work and “life” is a two-way street! Leisure no longer has to be “before” or “after”, it can be during…
We should be able not only to work well but also to leisure well | Aristotle
You just need to make the choice. Make leisure a habit and also a priority. As Robin Sharma says: Stop managing your time. Start managing your focus.
At this point you might think, I don’t have time for all of this… I barely had time to read this post. But at the end of the day, your happiness is a choice you have to make. If you want your life to be more then about work, if you want to add more value, fun, and pleasure to your life you can definitely do so. you just need to make up your mind.
Yes, you do need time and money, and in our society that is lacking in both, you have to take your leisure seriously in order to keep your “leisure state of mind”. Nowadays, the possibilities for leisure are endless. It can be either big or small as long as it lights up your soul.
The “leisure hacker” is dedicated to inspiring you to cultivate more leisure in your life and to find creative, Cost savings and easy ways to do so.
I’ll share with you tips & hacks on how to easily sprinkle some happiness on top of different aspects of your life with the time and money you do have, how to find more time and money for leisure, thought-provoking self-development articles, book and app recommendations and lots and lots of good vibes!
What do you do in your free time? how do you keep a “leisure state of mind”? Let me know in the comments!