Join 100 Readers

What Will You Do With Your Extra 50 Minutes a Day?

by Laura Spencer

on December 29, 2014

in Freelancing Life

Learn how to earn $125 or more per hour as a freelancer - Free Test Drive

Freelancing is risky. Freelancing is hard. Many freelancers fail.

We publish warnings so that potential freelancers don’t start freelancing without knowing the drawbacks. And there’s a good reason for those warnings. Some freelancing hype makes freelancing sound almost like a get-rich-quick scheme (which it’s most definitely not).

While freelancing has its drawbacks, it also has its benefits. One of the biggest benefits is not driving in traffic every day.

I should know, before I started freelancing I drove nearly two hours every single day just to go back and forth to work. I’m not the only one either.

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics from WNYC, the average commuter drives just over 25 minutes a day to get to work. That’s nearly an hour–an hour that home-based freelancers don’t spend in their cars.

In this post, I’ll take a look at how that extra 50 minutes a day can make a real difference in your life.

If you like this post, you may also like Finding Your Balance as a Freelancer.

15 Ways 50 Minutes Can Improve Your Life

Now that you freelance and work from a home office, the time you used to spend commuting is yours to spend as you please.

Of course, you could just roll all that extra time into your freelancing business and work nearly an extra hour a day. But I think the time is better spent raising your quality of living.

Here are 15 ways to spend your extra 50 minutes to make your life better:

  1. Prepare home-cooked meals. Most of us could eat healthier meals. It seems like we are always in a rush–grabbing fast food and pre-prepared meals every chance we get. But all those quick meals can add up to health problems if you’re not careful. Use the extra 50 minutes you save by working at home to prepare a healthier home-cooked meal.
  2. Take a class. 50 minutes is about the time it takes to attend an online class. Improve your skills or pursue an interest. If you’re really adventuresome, sign up to take a class in person at your local community college. You’ll learn and you’ll meet other students.
  3. Go to your kid’s practice session. If you have kids, you may wish you could spend more time with them. As a home-based freelancer, you just might get that wish. If your child is involved in sports, music, or any other after school activity, consider using your extra time to attend a practice session once in a while. Nothing says “I care” like being there.
  4. Read a magazine. There’s nothing like reading to relax. Get offline and read an actual magazine. In 50 minutes, you’ll be able to read at least one or two of the main articles. If it’s a smaller magazine, you may even finish the entire issue.
  5. Call a friend or family member. A strong support network is important. It takes time to build relationships and to keep them healthy. Use the extra 50 minutes you’ll save by not commuting to pick up your phone and call a friend or family member.
  6. Exercise. When you commuted, you didn’t have much time to exercise. But exercise is exactly what your body needs after sitting at the computer for eight or more hours a day. And it’s also a great way to relieve stress too. That extra 50 minutes is the right amount of time to take walk around the block, jump on you bicycle, or do some stretches.
  7. Meditate or pray. As a freelancer, your emotional health is important to your success. Safeguard your emotional well-being by spending time in meditation or prayer. Studies show that people who engage in these practices often feel better than those who don’t. 50 minutes a day can go a long way towards improving your mental health.
  8. Start a hobby. Do you want to collect coins? Are you interested in stamps? Would you like to create same craft items? 50 minutes a day is enough time for you to get started on any of these activities, or on any other hobby that strikes your fancy.
  9. Clean your house. Does a messy room make you nervous? When you look around, do you see chores and tasks just waiting to get done? By dedicating your extra time to housework, you are free to dedicate your work hours to work. Plus, you’ll feel better when your environment is more organized.
  10. Volunteer. People who give back to the community are often more balanced and happier. As a commuter, there wasn’t enough time to volunteer for those causes you care about. As a freelancer, you can pick a cause and spend the time you would have spent in traffic making a difference instead.
  11. Get to know your neighbor. Who lives in the house or apartment next to you? Do you even know? If you live in an urban or suburban neighborhood, you may not know who your neighbor is. And that’s a shame. In just 50 minutes, ring your neighbor’s doorbell and introduce yourself. Try bringing a small gift such as a plate of cookies.
  12. Recycle. Are there things in your house you no longer need? Rather than discarding those old things, why not donate them so that others can use them? In 50 minutes, gather a few things together to take to your nearest recycling bin or thrift store.
  13. Plant and tend a garden. Imagine having fresh vegetables for your meals. Or maybe you would like fresh flowers for your table. A garden needs regular care. 50 minutes a day is enough time to water a small garden and pull some weeds.
  14. Get a pet. I know from experience, a pet is good company. When you worked in a traditional environment, you couldn’t have pets at work. Now that you control your work environment, pets are okay. And 50 minutes is enough time to feed a pet, take it on a walk, and otherwise give it some attention. Be warned though, you’ll want to spend more time with your pet.
  15. Take a nap. Studies show that those who take short naps during the day are more productive. In a traditional work environment a nap is a big “no no.” As a freelancer, you can take a nap whenever you want to. 50 minutes is about the right amount of time to get some shut-eye. Be sure to set your alarm, though, so that you get back up.

Your Turn

Do you have more time now that you no longer commute to a traditional job? What do you do with that extra time?

Learn how to earn $125 or more per hour as a freelancer - Free Test Drive

About Laura Spencer

Laura Spencer is a freelance writer from North Central Texas with over 20 years of professional business writing experience. If you liked this post, then you may also enjoy LauraĆ¢??s blog about her freelance writing experiences, WritingThoughts. Laura is also on Google+.