The 9 to 5 grind can take its toll on the body and the mind, leaving you feeling drained, and in no mood to do much except maybe snacking in bed while binge-watching your favourite series. While this may sometimes be necessary, there is so much more you could be doing.


Here are 3 ways you can make the most of your downtime:


1 – Catch up on your reading

Using your downtime to catch up on your reading is beneficial to many other areas of your life. The type of reading material doesn’t matter; anything from newspapers and magazines to non-fiction and fiction books will all work in your favour. Reading helps to improve your vocabulary, improves your general knowledge, and broadens your perspective. It is also a good way to improve your memory. These benefits, in turn, can all help with generating new ideas that you can use for your business or your career.


Tip: Always carry some reading material with you so that you never miss out on reading time!


2 – Network while you are at social gatherings

The chances of meeting new people while you are out with friends or family at social gatherings are high. Even though you are out to relax and have fun, you can still use this opportunity to network. Meeting new people can provide you with new opportunities and new information, and making new friends is good for your mental wellbeing. Make a point of moving around the room and talking to different people, and where possible, exchange contact details to continue the conversation later.


Tip: After exchanging contact details with someone, follow up soon after to keep the connection alive.


Also read: 5 Tips for Building a Healthy Support Network


3 – Learn a new skill or pick up a hobby

Using your downtime to learn something new is the best way to make the most of your time. There are various ways to do this, but first you need to know what skill or hobby you want to invest your time in. Depending on what you want to learn, you can use tutorials, use manuals from the library, or ask someone else to teach you. Joining online forums and chatrooms for more information and support can also be helpful. Once you have learnt a new skill, it can help to enhance your CV for future job opportunities, or it can help you in your current job.


Tip: Find a hobby or skill that you are interested in, and that is fun for you to engage in. This way, it will be easy to commit to it because you are actually enjoying learning something new!


Also read: 4 Self-Care Tips for Working Students


While downtime is crucial for your body and mind to rest and rejuvenate, it can also be used to benefit other parts of your life. It is a matter of using the time wisely, without putting extra strain on yourself, that matters. Remember, using your time on activities like reading, learning a new skill, and networking can create future opportunities and help you progress in your career. Enjoy your downtime, but be sure to make the most of it!


While indulging in some downtime, click here to read about 7 techniques to reduce stress levels.