One of my discoveries from studying thousands of schedules is that even the busiest people have some leisure time. The problem is that much of it is short or uncertain in duration. Longer patches tend to occur at low energy times, such as after the kids have gone to bed.
Screen time fits these constraints incredibly well. You can spend 2 minutes or 2 hours on Twitter. You don’t need to plan ahead to enjoy Netflix. Consequently, such “effortless” fun tends to fill the bulk of people’s leisure time.
And there’s nothing wrong with that on its own. Effortless fun is fun! The problem is that because such fun is so effortless, it tends to crowd out other leisure activities such as reading, hobbies, or connecting with friends — all things people claim they’d love to find time for.
The solution is Tranquility by Tuesday Rule 9: Effortful before effortless. Aim to do at least a few minutes of more active fun before switching to screens. I believe that doing so can completely change the balance of your leisure time and make it feel more rejuvenating….but you don’t just need to take my word for it!
Gillian Goddard, a physician and mother of four, lives in a suburb outside New York City. In this week’s Tranquility by Tuesday In Real Life video, she talks about how learning Rule #9 changed her life. She began reading more seriously, and doing puzzles with her family. She also chose to make the effortless fun of screens a little more effortful by making various apps less accessible. A smart move!
As you can see in the video, she and I enjoyed a little effortful fun together of taking a walk to her local library. As Gillian has been a commenter on this blog for several years (and a guest on Best of Both Worlds!) it was so fun to get to see her home and her life.
Please check out the fourth installment of my TBT In Real Life video series to see how Rule #9 helped Gillian enjoy her limited leisure time more. If you enjoy the video, please share it around! I’d love to give it a wide audience.
In case you missed them, here are the previous three videos:
I hope you enjoy them all! If you haven’t picked up a copy of Tranquility by Tuesday yet, you can find links to online retailers on this page.