Does free time feel like a foreign word to you? Do you feel like you have to sneak up on it, hunt it, stalk it, and then wrangle it to the ground? Oh, and what’s a doing hangover?

Here’s the scene: you’ve been running around at Mach 9 for months on end, you suddenly grace yourself with a work-free weekend. But instead of feeling refreshed, you feel oddly empty, fatigued, and disoriented. You’re doing has finally caught up to you, and BAM!—a doing hangover!

This kinda hangover happens when we never give ourselves free time and instead hastily try to consume and do everything that’s coming at us. In the era of information surplus, instant gratification, high-speed everything, we are on the hunt for more and over serving ourselves.

It’s time to say NO to the extra helping of tasks, information, socializing, food, incentives, meetings, cravings, projects, justifications, and put the fork down already. Practicing portion control keeps you alert and agile versus lethargic and hungover.

Overdoing is used by most as a long-term strategy. But it creates disharmony within. You begin to feel worthless, resentful, and ill. But for whatever reason, as long as you can still stand, you just keep working harder and harder until suddenly everything is joyless. Then you think, “wow that happened overnight!” but it didn’t.

Time. It’s a prized currency. And you only have a limited amount of it in this body.

Crazy thing is, for overdoers, when things don’t pan out like we’d envisioned, we think we must not be working hard enough. So, we turn it up a notch.

In a quest to succeed we try to life-proof time. Tech will surely cure our problems! So we organize with hourly notifications—designed to help us start the day at 5am with a tender but no less jolting rise out of our cozy beds to get cracking. From sunrise to midnight, we multitask. Our “work time” is done in conjunction with calf raises at our desks, headsets in our ears, power bars in our bags, emails in our cars, vitamins in our drinks, to-do lists in our head, coffee in our cups, meditation on our mind, all while we juggle the needs of every living human– real or virtual. However, at 5pm, our day has just started as we dive into that list we didn’t get to the day before. Tired yet?

I often wonder, is there a correlation between how busy we are and how important we feel? We live in a competitive society and we are habituated to carry our overwork, sleep deprivation, and troubles like a badge of honor, often inflating that misery, as a way to show just how dedicated we are.

Glued to appearances and a lost sense of self, we spend hours working for what becomes empty achievements. Looks great on the outside, feels desolate on the inside. You’ve become overly attached. Which drives you crazy, but your confidence rests in being validated by achieving this great outcome, this amazing return, the end result.

We forget all the valuable learning along the way.

So we try to solve all our problems before we can rest, be happy, have peace, or so we think. The trap is that, for every “problem” that gets handled, another one pops up.

Remember this: Productivity isn’t measured by the amount of time you’re in a hasty blur. Give yourself more free time—it really makes everything better. And, I’m sure you’ve heard it before but: Managing time is about managing you.

PAUSE. Let that sink it.

Now, here’s my two cents–we don’t get to the end of our life and say, “cool, now I can finally check dying off my to-do list!” So before you wake up with another doing hangover try one or all of these three options today:


Make a bold move and put some free time on your calendar. Then enjoy the most underachieving thing you can think of: stare at the ocean, watch the rain, sleep in a hammock.


Think differently and ask yourself: What is this busy blur really about?  


Smile more by deciding not to wait until all your problems are solved to have fun. Do it now! Water balloons? Twister? Surfing?

The more you can bring fun back into your life NOW, the less doing hangovers you’ll have and the better your work-free weekends will be.

Photo By Christine Lentz