what I do with my “free time”

In building a business, motivation, product management, stories by Jay Clouse

Recently I was meeting with a new friend of mine who is helping me with some video work. He just graduated from Ohio State, and he has some down time before he starts his first post-college full-time gig in Washington, D.C.

We were talking about his time off, and what he could do with it. I was recommending things like visiting the desert, or doing a Vipassana Meditation retreat, just making something…and he asked a question that sort of stopped me in my tracks.

“What do you do in your free time?”

It’s a little embarrassing how much this question jarred me. Free…time?

First I had to think about what free time was to me. In the past, “free time” was the time that I wasn’t required to be in an office, or accountable to someone else (an individual or an organization). But I don’t have that anymore.

Now I have full control over my time — when I’m “working” and when I’m not. But “work” isn’t really work to me. And so I find myself “working” just about all hours of the day. If I had “free time” (unencumbered time that I wasn’t already filling with “work”) I’d probably fill it with “work.” I really get excited about the things I’m doing, and I wish I had more time to do them.

So there are two opposing views:

  1. All of my time is free time
  2. None of my time is free time

I prefer to believe in the first option, because it’s far more liberating and more positive. But, in reality, I think it’s true that I don’t give myself enough “recharge” or “off” time. This conversation was a good reminder to give myself that time as both a reward and a measure for preventing burn out.

PS: Matt created a great video from Startup Week, which is below. If you have some video needs, you can contact Matt here on Linkedin.


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