If you have lots of spare time but aren’t sure what to do to fill it, then there are plenty of options out there. It is of course important to allow yourself time to relax and switch off, and you don’t have to be doing something all of the time. However, if you do have more spare time than you need, and find yourself at a loose end, then there are many great ways that you can develop or gain skills, be creative, help others or even change your career. If you have always wanted to learn a new skill, or take some time to advance your career, then there are many flexible and creative ways in which you can do this. From online degrees to starting a new business, here are five ways to fill your spare time.
Take an Online Course
When it comes to online courses, there are nearly endless options to choose from. You could take a free short course in a new skill, such as baking or knitting, or even use the time to gain a degree. The great thing about online courses is that they are incredibly flexible, and the majority of the work can be done from home. This means that you can make the course work around your schedule, and access the content from your location at a time that suits you. You can even take a course that will help advance your career, for example taking an online MSN to train to become a family nurse practitioner, if you are already an RN. This is a brilliant opportunity to boost your nursing career and gain the new skills required to work in these more advanced areas of nursing.
Online learning is a great way to gain new skills from the comfort of your own home. It can also be a more affordable way of learning, as you may not have to commute to classes every day, or rent campus accommodation. Many online courses are cheaper than their in-person counterparts, and they are often designed to be studied around your existing commitments. Furthering your skills and education is also very valuable, as it shows that you have a genuine passion about the subject, and are willing to spend your time learning more about it. You will also get the chance to access opportunities, resources and people that you may not meet in your everyday life, without the direct or support of the institution that is providing the course. This is an excellent networking opportunity, and will allow you to work with like-minded people who are interested in the same subjects.
Learn a Language
Learning a second language is an incredibly valuable skill, and has many different benefits. For example, it can help advance your career and open up more job opportunities to you. Learning new languages can also help you connect with other cultures, meet new people and travel the world. It can also help improve your memory, listening skills and your attention span, all of which are great attributes to have in a personal or professional setting. There are various ways that you can learn a new language, from taking a course to consuming media in that language, and you can also learn at your own pace without the pressure of tests or exams.
Using your spare time to be creative and artistic is another brilliant way to explore new or old skills, without the pressure of creating something for someone else, or fulfilling a brief. Whether you are interested in painting, knitting, crafting or pottery, setting aside a few hours a week to create something purely for yourself can have many benefits, and can allow you to develop skills in a non-pressurized environment. If you live with others, this is also a good way to spend time together, bonding and learning something new, or giving you the chance to share skills with others and practice teaching and guiding them.
Start a Business
If you have a particular product or service that people may find useful, and you want to turn it into a career, then starting your own business could be a very rewarding use of your time. There is a lot to consider when taking this step, from website design and SEO to product photography and social media presence, but working on starting a business in your spare time is the first of many steps to turning your passion into a job. Creating a business means that you will be able to work in an area that you are truly passionate about, as well as being your own boss. There are many courses that you can take to prepare you for the different elements that make up a business, such as finances and marketing, and you may also be able to work towards employing staff when your business has grown.
Take Up a New Hobby
Starting a new hobby is one of the most popular ways to use your spare time. There are so many different activities to choose from, and you will be able to find something that you enjoy. If you have ever wanted to learn a new skill, or develop your knowledge in certain areas or activities, then taking up this particular thing as a hobby is a great way to ease into it. This will help you understand if you really enjoy it, before you commit to learning about it and investing in equipment or materials. Many small business ideas start off as hobbies, allowing you to grow your skills, knowledge and network before taking the next step are making your hobby your job.
Using your extra spare time to further your career or to learn a new skill is a very valuable use of your time, and can help you in ways that you may not have thought of. New skills can lead to new friends and even new business ventures, but it is also important to spend time doing something that you love, without the pressures of being assessed or examined on it.