Though retirement years have a reputation for being leisurely, this isn’t true for everyone. These days, more people than ever are choosing to continue working into their retirement years. Regardless of whether you fully or partially retire, you may also find that you’re even busier in retirement than you were when you worked full time.
All of this means that it might be more difficult to manage time in retirement than you initially thought. After all, it’s just as difficult to manage too much time on your hands as it is to manage having too little time. These are two different issues that can eventually lead to the same problem, which is that you’re not spending your retirement time how you would like to.
The solution? Better time management and prioritizing the activities you actually want to do. You’ll probably find that this is easier said than done. However, a simple place to start is to make a list of 100 things you want to do in retirement. Maybe some of them are big things, like “take a European cruise,” but you can also include smaller things like “go hiking once a month.” By prioritizing the activities you want to do, you’ll probably waste less time on mindless activities.
Another strategy? Incorporate regular activities and start building a routine. This can provide that necessary structure to your day and help you focus on the things you want to do. Of course, for everything you want to do, there will be things you don’t want to do. But, you can pair chores like laundry with enjoyable tasks like listening to music or an audiobook. They almost certainly won’t be so bad then! You can even dedicate a day of the week to the most dreaded chores. That way, you can get them done without feeling guilty for ignoring them.
With that in mind, it’s important not to multitask too badly. When you’re trying to do too many cognitive tasks at once (like paying bills and listening to an audiobook) you can’t fully focus on either. This makes them take longer than they normally would have and wastes your time. Multitasking is another way to feel busy without actually being busy. Unfortunately, it also uses up a lot of your brain power, which ultimately causes a lot of stress.
Regardless of whether you’ll have a lot of free time or none at all in retirement, these simple strategies for time management can help you make the most of it.