Too Much Free Time? Make it Worthwhile

leisure time

The typical American works an average of just over forty hours per week—some more some less. Salaried positions typically don’t have a set number of hours, so some weeks could be longer than others. It all depends on the time of year and type of business. Either way, there is usually plenty of time outside of the work to do with as you please. But you should make this time worthwhile and productive as possible. It can have a significant impact on your career.

1.)    Work

Everyone could use a little more money, finding a solid part time job can help. There are plenty of options, it all depends on your expertise and geographic location. One excellent option is to try your hand at freelancing. Take your talents to the open job market and create an excellent portfolio that showcases your skills. There are jobs for writers, virtual assistants, translators, web designers, and more. Websites like Elance and oDesk are usually great places to start, although they will take a small portion of your earnings. Make sure you factor this into your hourly or flat rate. There are plenty of other part time jobs out there as well, and you don’t necessary need to spend all your free time at work. Even a few hours per week can make a noticeable difference.

2.)    Learn

Focus on improving yourself each and every day. Find a topic that you are interested and learn all you can about it. There are plenty of careers out there where most workers are self-taught, like internet marketing, SEO, and web design. Try your best to learn something new and take the time to master the skills. It doesn’t even have to be a skill that will earn income. It could be something interesting, like history, art or science. Even a little leisurely reading can help keep your brain sharp.

3.)    Streamline

If you are like most Americans chances are you have a whole list of errands and other tasks that need to get done, but they’ve been placed on the “back burner.” It’s time to change that. Most businesses are transitioning to online systems, making it easier to streamline certain processes. For example, if you’ve been paying your bills via mail every month, it’s time to enroll in paperless billing and automatic payments. It might not seem like something that takes a while, but over time it can add up. Save yourself time and streamline your bills and errands. It will free up time for you to do more. Identify the spots where streamlining is necessary in your life and act accordingly.

4.)    Leisure

You can be as productive as you want, but at the end of the day if you don’t take some time out for yourself your overall mental health might suffer. Focusing too much on work can lead to increased stress levels and lower quality of life. Even if it’s just a few hours at the end of a long week, it can have a significant impact. Find an activity you love doing and stick with it. It will not only extend your career but it will also make you happier.

5.)    Network

Social media is huge, and it’s only getting bigger and bigger. People are connected unlike any other time in history, and you need to take advantage of it. Start reconnecting with old colleagues, and strengthen your relationship with new ones. Having a solid network can work wonders for any career, and it’s something you should do regularly. Clean up all of your social media profiles and start working on strengthening your work relationships.

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Matthew Welch

Matthew Welch is an SEO strategist, content marketer, blog manager, and sports enthusiast from Boston, MA with a collegiate background in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Connecticut.

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