How would you describe your free time? What do you do when you have nothing scheduled?
I’ve been faced with the following questions more times than I can count over the last two years: What do you do with yourself since you’re not working? You have a lot of downtime, huh?
At first I was somewhat appalled because it seemed that those asking the questions assumed that I slept until noon every day and watched talk shows while eating bowls of ice cream all afternoon. That is so not true. The fact that I didn’t have to get up and go to a job every morning like most people, didn’t necessarily mean that I was wasting away doing nothing either. No my brain was not turning to mush. I didn’t consider my layoff as downtime.
The definition of downtime is inactive time as in between periods of work.
I definitely was not inactive in any way. In fact, I was taking advantage of the opportunity to invest in something that I loved doing while I had the time to do it. Writing is very time consuming and since I didn’t have a job, per se, to go to every morning, I made it my job to pour my all into my writing projects.
- I wrote business articles.
- I wrote human resource articles.
- I wrote a book.
- I wrote a short story.
- I wrote lots of blog posts.
- I wrote four stage plays.
That’s what I’ve been doing for the last two years in the meantime—not downtime.
The definition of meantime is intervening time.
In the meantime, I’ve done things I enjoy doing and my human resource career can benefit from this meantime experience I’ve had once a door is opened.
What do you do in your meantime situation? Are you making the most of the meantime or are you truly in a downtime period? Downtime is inactive. I can’t be inactive. During inactivity, no creativity happens. No new things are learned. No books are read. There’s nothing to show for the time lost.
It’s like the lemons to lemonade analogy—when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Life gave me a layoff, in the meantime I’ll write until another door is opened.