Do you wish you had more fun in your life? AND feel like you have more time?
This was the challenge that I was presented with.
After a quick poll asking people what they wanted more of in their life, the 2 most common answers were: 1. TIME and 2. FUN.
When I dug deeper about what was getting in the way of both, it was like the two negated each other. In order to have fun, people felt they needed more time. No one felt they had more time, therefore no space for fun.
But it isn’t just time that gets in the way of us having fun.
Other factors included:
“I am too busy”
“It is too much work”
“I can’t be bothered”
“It’s too expensive”
Fun was considered an “extra” if one was lucky enough to have the time or the money.
Having fun plays a HUGE part in keeping us healthy. It is how we release stress. Fun helps us reflect on, and reframe, our challenges helping us move forward. Fun makes us happy. It creates the space to connect with ourselves and others. It gives us a sense of pause, refresh and renew making us stronger physically, mentally and spiritually. Fun also makes our life more memorable.
So, why don’t we prioritize it?
That is exactly what I set out to do. And I am going to share with you how you can do it too.
The two key steps to feeling like you have more time and create more fun in your life
Step 1.Learn the secret to “slow” time down.
Well, we all know we can’t actually slow time down. What we can do is make our life feel more memorable. Asking yourself this one question not only makes you feel like you have more time, it also helps create more fun in your life.
“What makes today different?”
Asking this question forces us out of autopilot – or “boredom mode” as my kids like to call it. It gives us space to reflect on our day in a different way and inspires us to try new things.
Step 2: Identify what is FUN for you… in the everyday.
We all have different ideas of what fun is and how to participate in it. It became clear listening to people that “FUN” meant big ticket items like far away vacations or radical adventures. These were costly and therefore fun prohibitive. This mindset overshadowed most people’s ability to enjoy daily bits of fun, or even recognize them as that. I am not saying let go of BIG fun. What I am saying is, reflecting “what makes today different?” gives you the space to create, and acknowledge, daily fun rather than waiting for fun in big ticket items, like vacations or convertible cars.
Excited to put these two steps into action, here’s what I discovered on my 3 Day Fun Challenge.
3 Day FUN Challenge
It’s my son’s elementary school graduation – exciting – so, already today is different. However, it also involves a 3 hour(!) ceremony in a sweaty gym with hundreds of people. NOT my idea of “fun”. At the end of the day reflecting on “what makes today different?” my list included: my son was honored by his teachers and peers, I connected with new parents I had never met before, I got to hang out with my family on a week day, I didn’t look at email or talk on the phone for over 4 hours. I was fully present and focused on my son. Upon reflection, it was actually fun.
It’s Friday of a gnarly week and everyone is tired, cranky and I know I have to answer “what makes today different?”. Not fun. With an afternoon to-do list, and desperate to change the mood, I throw out the question “What can we do to make this different?” It was met with a unanimous request to see the opening night of newly released blockbuster movie. Normally, I would have suggested another night and stuck to my to-do list. Today, I give myself permission to be “fun” and embrace the request. I leave my phone at home, pass on the to-do list and we all head to the theater. Upon reflection, it wasn’t the movie that made the day fun (although it was). It was doing something spontaneous, saying YES when I would have normally said no, and letting go of what had to be done to do something we actually wanted to do.
Off to the mall with my daughter to replace my iPhone battery. This results in a 4-hour mall visit, with 3.5 hours of it waiting. Again, not my idea of fun. We had no agenda, no distractions and a whole lotta time. Completely focused on her and being free to do what we wanted in the moment, we had a ball just following our curiosity – looking at new things, trying on sunglasses, fantasy shopping and laughing together. What makes today different? Seeing how happy and free my daughter was. Not be pulled in a million directions. Being fully present to enjoy every moment with her. Upon reflection, I was refreshed, renewed and my heart was full.
My BIG lesson..
My experience taught me fun is a choice not an action item. It’s found in the little attainable things we have control over everyday: being present with my family – turning off all distractions, technology, agendas and to-do lists, and being fully committed to enjoy whatever it is we are doing. Even when I don’t want to. It is super simple and basic in concept and yet so hard to actually practice. Why is that, again?
Most of my daily fun cost me nothing in dollars but “cost” my time in presence. Reflecting on “what makes today different?” encouraged me to look at how I used my time differently, which made my time use intentional and memorable. It helped me look for fun in what I needed to do so that I wanted to do it. Looking back on my 3 days, it felt easier – there was less resistance and more flow. I felt more connected to my family. I was happier and grateful at the end of each day and in the end, there was time for everything to get done. Including fun.
If you want to feel like you have more time, create more memories and infuse more fun into your life, just ask yourself what makes today different?
Co-Founder of The Institute of Curiosity, Co-Author of The Power of Curiosity, Communication Ambassador for Wealthy Woman Warrior™
We specialize in high-quality conversations that build high-quality relationships. That means we help people STOP reacting (to people, emotions, events) and learn to start RESPONDING to engage and inspire others, especially in emotional or high stakes situations.