time management


Fulfilling vs. Time-Filling

Time seems to be of the essence when you retire and what you do with that time now becomes a decision what you will do with it. Yet, there is a big difference between “time-filling” activities and “fulfilling” activities.

With 168 hours in a week, 56 hours of that roughly spent sleeping, leaving you 112 hours to fill. Traditionally work would take up about 55 hours only leaving 57 hours to yourself. By taking away this prominent feature in your life you almost double your time for yourself and your own chosen activities. Have you thought carefully about how you will spend your time?

Psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi first wrote about the idea of flow activities when he observed people getting “lost” in their work and in themselves. There are many terms to describe the feeling such as, “in the zone” or “in the moment”. When you are in this there is no room for anxiety, depression or doubt.

Flow occurs when we are able to direct our attention to one activity and one activity only. People often describe the following characteristics:

  • Feeling of control
  • General feeling of well-being
  • Altered sense of time
  • There is merging of action and awareness
  • There is an integration of mind and body
  • Sense of place

It can occur in the most mundane of tasks similar to reading, exercise, mediation, playing music or gardening. It also does not have to be solitary. Group activities can also create flow such as volunteering, hiking, team sports and conversations. All of these activities bring joy and contentment to a person.

It is always important to do fulfilling activities and fill time in the next phase of life by putting yourself in the zone, relieving stress and getting away from it all. That brings the answer to the question of how will you spend your time, back to another question: What brings you joy?

The content from this blogpost is from our book ‘So You Think You Are Ready To Retire’ a self-guide book to prepare you for retirement, it can be purchased here:

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