I am the type of person that is always busy, always on the go, always trying to better myself, always…WORKING. Working is not a bad thing. In fact, we all have to work to earn a living and provide for ourselves and our families. However, working too much can cause some issues. Hear me out. I am all for striving for excellence, financial stability, and “getting things done.” But, what about fun? Ah, this three-letter word. F-U-N. This reminds me of that Spongebob song that starts with F is for friends who do stuff together…remember? Just me? Okay before I go on a tangent, I have to say that although people may think (or just tell me) that I’m fun, lately I have rarely felt like I’ve been having fun or I am fun. Now what does it mean to do something fun? Well, it means to enjoy whatever you’re doing. It means that you’re having a good time with whoever you are with doing whatever. People have different definitions of fun, and well DUH, people are different so of course they would have different ideas of what is fun and what is not.
The reason I’m writing about fun is because I feel like it gets lost in between all of our responsibilities. Fun gets lost in all the work, chores, cleaning, errands, cooking, working out, EVERYTHING! And it doesn’t have to. Life can be enjoyable. Life can be fun. I titled this post ‘Fun First, Work Later’, because with the never-ending list of things we need to do, the solution I’m calling for is to put all of that on the back burner and focus on fun. Now I know what you’re thinking…
That’s easy for YOU to say, you don’t have kids
You don’t have my job
I have so much to do
That’s impossible for me
Sure, it may be impossible to drop everything you’re doing, especially say if you have kids, but I’m not really talking about those super important things that you have to do like feed your kids, go to work, things like that. I’m talking about the list we have either in our minds, in our phones, or on paper that is a never ending to do list, and if that list isn’t complete, then we can’t do anything we enjoy. Can anyone else relate?
This has been my struggle for a while, and I feel like I’m just starting to break through it…just a little bit. Since I have been incorporating more fun in my life and choosing to put some of the fun things first, before my work, I’ve experienced some noticeable benefits. I have experienced an increase in energy, feel happier and more fulfilled, and interestingly enough, feel like I have more time now.
I shared a similar concept in a past post where I mentioned that you should do things that give you energy. I noticed that as I started to do things that I actually liked doing like going on a hike, treating myself to a smoothie at Whole Foods, taking extra time to chat with my friends and family, indulging in some cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies, I started to feel good. When I was finished doing some of the things that I enjoyed, I felt like I had enough energy to take on the rest of the day that would normally be filled with homework, errands, cleaning, etc. I was pretty skeptical when it came to setting aside things I really needed to do in order to have fun. I remember being in high school telling my mom that I don’t have time for fun because I had to do homework and go to extra curricular activities. Looking back, it makes me a bit sad that I prioritized getting stuff done over truly enjoying life.
Do something you enjoy, even if it is just for a half an hour, and it can make you feel just a little bit happier and more fulfilled. Next time you do something you enjoy like taking the time to get a morning walk in or taking a bath at the end of the day, pay attention to how it makes you feel. Does it make you feel anxious and stressed out? Does it make you feel relaxed? Pay attention to how certain activities make you feel, and start choosing the ones that make you feel good, and keep doing them! I’ve made the mistake many times thinking that once I complete everything on my list, only then I will be happy. This is a tricky game to play because getting all those things done didn’t really ever make me feel happier, it just made me feel a bit relieved…that is until I came up with another list of things that I needed to accomplish the next week. If we don’t add in the things that we enjoy to our everyday lives, the reality is that we will never have time for them. Make time for things that you love. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
The last benefit that I experienced from adding in more fun into my life and prioritizing it over work was that I actually felt like I had more time. Did I really have more time in the day? Well, no…the day still consisted of 24 hours and that didn’t change…so what did? I think the combination of added energy and an elevated mood caused me to be more productive. It no longer took me as long to do the work that I needed to. I somehow had the energy to clean, and to clean pretty quickly. I was becoming more productive, and was truly surprised. (Of course, I’m not always productive, and that’s okay too!) This one was a nice surprise…I started realizing that I was able to fit more into my day, both things that I enjoyed and things I just needed to get done.
Learning to incorporate fun back into my life has brought me a number of benefits. Although I’m not perfect, and work does take priory over fun in my life many times, I am continuing to change my behavior and lifestyle and am continuing to see benefits. Do you make time for fun? What do you do to add in fun into your everyday life?