Everybody knows an important part of wellbeing is taking a break now and then. Recharge the batteries. “Sharpen the saw,” as Steven Covey described it years ago in his bestselling Seven Habits book. Taking time for leisure is an integral part of staying healthy and performing well.
But “free time” is not quite the same thing as leisure. Leisure, properly understood, is time deliberately devoted to activities that are inherently enriching and rewarding. Quality and intentionality matter here. If we’re not careful, it’s easy to drift into mindless passivity with our time off—watching TV, binging on Netflix, just trying to escape the pressures and demands of our “time on.” Quality leisure, on the other hand, often takes a little planning, effort, and growth.
Creating something like an oak bookshelf or a painted landscape is quality leisure that will recharge your batteries; consuming something, not so much. Connecting with friends over a bottle of great wine is leisure; vegging out on the couch alone is not.
Here’s the bottom line: Work hard when you work, and play hard when you play.