7 In Autumn Mantra/ Daily Living/ Simple Living/ Time Management

Rest Better (5 ways I’m learning to leisure intentionally)

I’m all about leisure time. Give me a hot cup of coffee, a cozy spot on the couch, and a few good books and I’m in my happy place. I value downtime and take breaks on a regular basis. But sometimes resting well is a challenge for me. Maybe it is for you too?


It is hard to sit down and use your valuable time doing something with no visible results. It is hard to carve out time for something that doesn’t seem to benefit anyone else. It is hard to justify a nap or a walk or a few minutes quietly doing nothing  when a million things are left undone.

The thing is, though, we all take time off. None of us are working 24/7. We all rest, one way or another. The question is not really do we have leisure time but rather, how are using our leisure time?

Some of us work until our brains are fuzzy. We inhale fast food on our drive home and walk in the house with only enough energy to kick off our shoes and collapse on the couch. We spend the rest of our evening scrolling through Buzz Feed while and surfing through 900 TV channels. We have a few more projects we’d like to accomplish so we don’t want to get committed to an actual activity. An hour or two after our ideal bedtime we scoot ourselves off the couch and crawl under the covers. Did we forget to brush our teeth? We’re asleep before we can remember.

I’ve been here. Unconvinced that I can stop for the day – I probably should get a few more things done today – but too tired to get going on anything beyond Facebook. So I don’t work, and I don’t rest.

My resolution for this fall is to leisure intentionally.

I’m done with the half-hearted resting and I’m done with needing to always feel productive. I want this to be a season in which I work hard and rest well. Here’s how:

Make clear work goals for the day

If I know what I’m trying to accomplish then it is easier for me to move from one task to the next without losing time in the transitions as I try to remember what I else I needed to do. It’s also helpful to put the list in order of importance.

Stay on task

I often set a timer when I’m working at home. I allot a certain amount of time for each task and work diligently (no Instagram breaks, no sitting down to read an article, no getting waylaid by trying to accomplish something else) until I hear the timer go off.

Have a quitting time

It has also helped me to set a quitting time for each day. When I get to a certain time in the evening I will stop working – even if I haven’t finished everything on the list, even if there are still some dirty dishes.

Put down my phone and pick up a book

I always want to be reading. But then I catch myself looking at dumb snapchat videos when I have the chance to get a chapter or two in. If I was really enjoying my time that would be one thing, but usually I am just mindlessly scrolling through my apps without much pleasure.

Take a day off

Sundays usually, or Saturday evening through Sunday evening, is my time off. I sleep until I wake up, we have Netflix marathons, we get pizza, and if nothing really productive happens I don’t care. God was smart when he set up a Sabbath for us – why don’t we take advantage of it more often?


I think intentional leisure time might save my life. It keeps me filled so I have things to offer, it keeps me happy as I do things I really enjoy, and it makes the busyness of each day  stay at a manageable pace. How are you making space for intentional leisure this fall?


{This is my final installment in my Autumn Mantra series. If you missed the past posts you can find them here. Now that I’ve unpacked all the words and phrases I am embracing this fall it is time to live into them! Onward and Upward!}


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  • Reply
    September 29, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    This is so interesting to me. I feel like I am either way to lazy throughout a day or completely booked and can’t even sit down. I like how you make this intentional. I need to make my life more organized so that I can do this.

    • Reply
      October 3, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Yes, I completely understand that feeling! Glad you stopped by!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Thank you for writing this, I love the idea. I am off to do some intentional leisuring finally away from it all with some peace and quiet. Whatever way you find to relax, enjoy.

  • Reply
    Priyadarshni Palanikumar
    September 30, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Brilliant and perfectly timely with respect to my life! I’m going to take this advice and turn off the constant Instagram peeks! Will probably save my sanity like you predict!
    Thank you!!

    • Reply
      October 3, 2016 at 10:30 am

      So glad this was a well-timed post for you! Happy resting!

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