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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With New Free Time? 299

Posted by timothy
from the when-you're-finished-gloating-at-least dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After 25 years of doing IT (started as a PC technician and stayed on technical of IT work through out my career) I've been moved to a position of doing only on call work (but paid as if it is a normal 9-5 job). This leaves me with a lot of free time... As someone who's used to working 12+ hours a day + the odd night/weekend on call, I'm scared I'll lose my mind with all the new free time I'll have. Any suggestions (beyond develop hobbies, spend time with family) on how to deal with all the new free time?"
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With New Free Time?

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  • so many things (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:48AM (#43994869) Homepage Journal

    write apps, contribute to open projects, write a book and or books, volunteer with a non-profit. Or read reddit a lot and play starcraft or something. So many possibilities.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'd say start your own business. This situation of making money while doing nothing is the perfect time to build something that will allow you to becoming financially independent.
      • Re:so many things (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:19AM (#43995357) Homepage Journal
        Seriously?

        Is this actually a problem for people? Nothing to involve their lives?

        Geez, if I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd walk outta work without a backwards glance, and be overjoyed to have time for ME to do all the stuff I like doing when NOT having to come to work.

        Are there actually that many people that are so tied up in their jobs, that they don't have a personality and a life outside of it?

        If so.......sad.

        • Re:so many things (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:36AM (#43995569)

          It happens, I knew a man, a lifer in one of the byzantine public sector warrens hereabouts, he worked 40 years doing the exact same thing day after day after day and then retired. Two years later he was dead, just didn't have any direction or drive in his life, and couldn't cope with it. I believe some long term prison inmates face the same problem. Personally I'd have gone completely insane living like that in the first place.

          Anyway to keep things on-topic, learn my friend, learn all you can. The internet is chock full of information about all sorts of amazing things, use it! Use it hard. I have ~140 tabs just on educational subjects open at any given time.

        • by xtal (49134)

          Depends if you have a job or a career. I'm so tied up in my career that it does define who I am - of course, I love every minute of it. Winning the lotto sure wouldn't change that - but I'd certainly take on different projects.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AvitarX (172628)

          Winning the lotto implies you have the money to do those things.

          If I had 40 more hours of free time, but the same amount of money I have now, I'd love it, but I certainly wouldn't be able to just do more of the things I love. Also, I like doing things with the people in my life, and they'd still all have jobs. It can see how it'd get tedious.

        • Re:so many things (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:53AM (#43995837)

          Indeed, my dad's been retired for 20 years and says he doesn't know how he ever found time to work. I retire next year, people ask "but what will you do?" My answer is "any damned thing I want!"

          Some people live to work, I work to live. In eight months I'll be shouting Martin Luther King's phase "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, free at last!"

          The first thing I think I'll do is take a hammer to my alarm clock.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Seriously?
          Is this actually a problem for people? Nothing to involve their lives?

          Geez, if I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd walk outta work without a backwards glance, and be overjoyed to have time for ME to do all the stuff I like doing when NOT having to come to work.

          Are there actually that many people that are so tied up in their jobs, that they don't have a personality and a life outside of it?

          Well, given work takes a major chunk of your time, yes. Especially if you add the commute.

          Sure there's a bunch of

        • by morari (1080535)

          Most people define themselves by their jobs, no matter how trivial of a task it may actually be. They have no hobbies, no hopes, no dreams. They go to work 9-5, then come home to their white picket fence and 2.5 kids. The only thing they truly look forward to is mowing their lawn for the third time that week. People are thoughtless automatons that fall apart without orders. You'd think they could pick a creative outlet to use their time for. To learn and ponder the bigger picture, but they won't. Most simpl

        • by bonehead (6382)

          Agreed.

          My biggest source of stress is lacking the time to do the things that I would love to do. I would love to hike the entire Appalachian Trail start to finish, but given that that is a 4 to 6 month undertaking, I can't. I would love to spend some time sailing the ocean. I'd like to spend more time fishing, camping. I don't get to spend nearly as much time with my family as I would like.

          It baffles me that there are actually people who *fear* free time.

          Hell, one of my biggest fantasies is to have a da

    • by c0lo (1497653)
      Assuming the necessary condition are met: find yourself a mistress and arrange a "leak" about her to your wife; the life will become a lot less boring (a lot more screwing?)
      • by hedwards (940851)

        Yes, but somehow I don't think giving all your income to the ex-wife in the form of alimony is the kind of screwing that the submitter is interested in.

        • by c0lo (1497653)
          A valid solution for the problem of spare time: a second job will bring back those 12+ working hours that are so direly missed.
        • I think the solution to that problem is to move to Florida first.
      • by TWX (665546)

        (a lot more screwing?)

        Uh, does divorce court count?

        In all seriousness, pick up some non-computer hobbies if your living arrangements give you the space.

        I've tinkered with cars, played musical instruments, built model rockets, played with small machines and appliances, learned to dance, gotten a ham radio license, worked on the house, etc.

        I found I don't do too well mixing my career and my hobbies. I did it for computers and now I really don't like computers like I did before.

        You could start a

    • Update your skills (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:22AM (#43995379)

      If you only exercise your IT skills when called, you'll probably find yourself a lot less marketable if/when this new gig dries up.

      Assuming you're on the verge of retirement, I'd work aggressively during this time to stay marketable.

      • by MadChicken (36468)

        This. Observe carefully the direction of the industry and apply yourself like a student to some upcoming tech. It's easier (less outlay) with software/programming but you can probably keep yourself occupied with learning admin tasks as well.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Those sound a lot like hobbies to me.

      • It all depends on your point of view. Making and selling mobile apps could be a lot more than a hobby.

        Contributing to a FOSS project - is that a hobby? I'd say the number of hours a week put in determine that.

        I got to sit and have a long conversation once with Louise Solheim. Her husband was Karsten Solheim [wikipedia.org]. He had passed away by the time we met, but she told my wife and I the story of how he started his business and transitioned from being an engineer to selling golf clubs. A lot of what he did for a very

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Or post on /.
  • get a library card (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jehan60188 (2535020) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:48AM (#43994871)

    get a library card, and learn about something you've always been interested in.

    • When I'm interested in something, I Google it. Sometimes I do buy books, but Googling is generally a better first step than going to the library.

      The library would probably be better if you have no idea what you're interested in, and want to find something completely random and new..

      • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:20AM (#43995359)

        The library would probably be better if you have no idea what you're interested in, and want to find something completely random and new..

        Isn't that what the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button is for?

        • Haha.. the weird thing is that I'm not sure if you're kidding.. I wonder what percentage of people actually know what that button does..?

      • I am finding Massive Online Open Courses better then Google or the Library. The problem with those 2 is you tend to get a scattering of knowledge. The MOOCs I have taken march you from start to end covering all of the bases.

        I have worked with some brilliant self-taught programmers but they always had gaps in their knowledge which resulted in some interesting kludges.

        • MOOCs are usually first year level stuff though, and in my first two years of Uni I didn't learn anything that I hadn't already picked up myself (okay so my dad gave me a couple of lessons too, but I got most of it from books, before the internet was available to me..).

          Someone talking about some software I wrote when I was ~16 referred to it as working well, but "twisted hacked" :p

      • When I'm interested in something, I Google it. Sometimes I do buy books, but Googling is generally a better first step than going to the library.

        The library would probably be better if you have no idea what you're interested in, and want to find something completely random and new..

        That sounds backwards. You google when you don't have a clear idea of what you're interested in. It is the first step, but not where learning happens. Roughly 15 minutes into your googling and wikipedia one of the things you should have found on your research of the topic is a list of books which sound interesting if you want to have a deeper understanding into the topic. At that point, you head to the library with a very specific book in mind.

    • by Russ1642 (1087959)
      I went to a library once last year. It felt like I stepped back in time to when I was in high school. Nothing had changed. The books hadn't changed, the computers hadn't changed, their sense of relevance hadn't changed. On top of that it was noisier than hell as people were using it as a meeting place so it was an awful place to study. I backed out of there slowly and I'll probably never visit a library again.
      • by gauauu (649169)

        I went to a library once last year. It felt like I stepped back in time to when I was in high school. Nothing had changed. The books hadn't changed, the computers hadn't changed, their sense of relevance hadn't changed. On top of that it was noisier than hell as people were using it as a meeting place so it was an awful place to study. I backed out of there slowly and I'll probably never visit a library again.

        Your city must have a poorly managed library. My small-city library is always getting new interesting books (I look through the computer & technology books and magazines every month, and there's always new stuff on the shelves). If they don't have a book you're looking for, they'll request another library to mail it to them, and so you can borrow just about any book you can think of, without any sort of fee. They're always working to incorporate new technology (they lend out kindles, they have an ebook

  • Life (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TemperedAlchemist (2045966) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:49AM (#43994881)

    Has work so drained your soul that you have forgotten how to live?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by junq316 (935454)
      As someone in a similar position as the original poster, I'm facing the same issues he does. I'm about to change jobs and will have a lot more freetime in the future compared to now. Going from a very demanding job working a minimum of 12h a day to a 9to5. And yes, if most of your waking hours are spent working and you sleep with one eye open in case an alarm goes off, you do tend to forget how to live. It won't be an easy transition, so best of luck to timothy on figuring this out. For me, I'm trying to
    • by Quirkz (1206400)

      This, I think. I would have actually said "go back and time and learn to work 8 hour days and fill the rest of the time with something else of your choosing."

      That said, and despite the fact you dismissed it, hobbies and pet projects are the way to go. This could include technical hobbies, which might even be part-time businesses, if you're really driven to work. I spent five happy years running a web-based computer game on the side when I was a PC tech, for instance. Trying your hand at some new technologie

    • This person, "anonymous," clearly needs to read Walden. E-text http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/205 [gutenberg.org] Full audio version http://librivox.org/walden-by-henry-david-thoreau/ [librivox.org]
      • Speaking of audio books :), what about making some? There are plenty of subjects lacking in audio books. Choose one that you think is important and have at it -- leave something significant for others after you shuffle off planet #3.
    • If you remembered what life was all about you wouldn't be working 12+ hours a day in the first palce. Add sleep, commute, basic living like hygiene, meals and basic housekeeping and it's obvious you don't have a life outside work. I could do it for a short while for lots of money, but in general life's too short to live it later. Not that I'm doing anything "useful" with my spare time in that sense, but I'm certainly enjoying it. You want to be an old geezer with money because all you've done in life is wo

      • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:43AM (#43995667) Journal

        Not that I'm doing anything "useful" with my spare time in that sense, but I'm certainly enjoying it.

        To me, this is very important. I've seen a few people around me who so got in the habit of always being busy at work, that they crammed what little free time they had with activities and hobbies as well. And I've been there myself. Of course, hobbies are fine, but I am a lot happier overall after I started "pissing away" (as I used to call it) some of my free time. Just doing whatever I feel like, which includes doing nothing at all except lying on the lawn with a beer, gazing up at the sky. A little down time for the brain, no distractions, calls, or tablets near at hand, helps me perform better at work as well.

    • Re:Life (Score:4, Insightful)

      by korgitser (1809018) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:14AM (#43995277)

      It is common for an it guy to get stuck waiting in the main loop when there is no new input. Beyond ones existing hobbies, i would recommend turning to your wife for recommendations. She is supposed to know you well.
      something like
      ssh wife "dd if=/dev/urandom bs=1M count=1" > /dev/null
      should fill up your own entropy pool quite nicely and refresh your imagination.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:49AM (#43994883)

    When I am faced with similar problems, the first thing to do is go on slashdot and brag about it to all the people without my priviliges

  • by cod3r_ (2031620) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:49AM (#43994889)
    Bottom line. Get to work on that golf game.
  • by phayes (202222) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:50AM (#43994893) Homepage

    All that free time would be well used if you could finally go on a date with a real woman...

  • Porn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:51AM (#43994909)

    Porn. Furious amounts of porn.

  • An Understatement (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Splitterside (1983872) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:51AM (#43994921)
    To say I wish I had your problem would be an understatement.
    • by xmousex (661995)

      it is exactly how i feel, my every last moment is jammed packed, one second smashed up tightly against the next. Projects at work i have to put away for the projects i have to hit at home, and then the weekend its mostly just deciding in what environment im going to pound the shit out of my keyboard on the next project.

      Seriously i do not understand people who have technical training and abilities and not spasm out at the endless possibilities of things that need to be built immediately... i likely have les

  • You don't really need to worry about what to do with your new-found free time. Nature abhors a vacuum and whatever you already do will expand to fill it up like it was never there.
  • Volunteer work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by edsousa (1201831) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:55AM (#43994971) Journal
    Use your skills (or learn new skills) to help people who can't pay you back.
    I am a volunteer firefighter/EMT and the biggest joy is when the frail old lady you just helped thanks you. I'm sure you can find a number of places where you can make a difference.
    • by dubdays (410710)

      Use your skills (or learn new skills) to help people who can't pay you back. I am a volunteer firefighter/EMT and the biggest joy is when the frail old lady you just helped thanks you. I'm sure you can find a number of places where you can make a difference.

      Absolutely...MOD UP!!! I've been an EMT, and I completely agree with this. I love IT, but if I could be an EMT full-time without having to worry about making money, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

  • Electronics (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:55AM (#43994975) Journal

    Learn how to make electronic devices. It's never been easier to get started with this stuff than today. Start out with a breadboard, some transistors/resistors/capacitors/common IC types like the venerable 555, work with AVR or PIC microcontrollers, and perhaps work up to designing digital circuits in CPLD and FPGAs. You can even get four layer PCBs made in a factory for your projects in small runs.

  • by redmid17 (1217076)
    Develop hobbies, spend time with family, and work on expanding your technical skills. Fuck even if you don't want to do any of those, just catch up on some TV or something. Read a book. How did you pass your time before you got this position?
  • uh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by houbou (1097327) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:57AM (#43995011) Journal
    why is this on Slashdot? why are YOU on Slashdot if you need to ask a question like this? not being disrespectful, just curious... and then again, not really all that curious, perhaps just sarcastic.
    • Re:uh... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by idontgno (624372) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:08AM (#43995187) Journal

      Because it's a question... and this is "Ask Slashdot".

      Think about it. If I had to ask any community for advice on slacking, Slashdot has got to be the absolute optimum target.

      Just be grateful this particular "Ask Slashdot" isn't asking us to engineer his sound system or solve his failing interpersonal relations at work.

      • I disagree - at least there he'd be asking "I need advice on subject X. What should I do?" on a specific topic instead of "I have too much time on my hands. What should I do?" which is so vague as to be meaningless.

  • develop skills (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KernelMuncher (989766) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:58AM (#43995033)
    In the current job market it's always desirable to keep up one's skills. Learning a new language like Python or (if you haven't already) Java would be great. If your language skills are good contributing to an open source project is smart. Both of these document your continuing education. It's good to show you can benefit the company in multiple ways (or be prepared for another job if necessary).
    • - Learning a new language like Python or (if you haven't already) Java would be great. -

        Or Spanish...

      Or Portugese... mmmmm yes.

    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      Yup. Your current position sounds like a trap. You need to either diversify income sources or add skills or something, assuming you aren't ready for retirement. If you are 45-50, it seems like those are the danger years.

      If I was in your shoes I would get a realtor's license.

  • polish your CV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lfourrier (209630) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:58AM (#43995051)
    not sure your job will still exists in 6 month...
  • by mepperpint (790350) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:00AM (#43995077)
    Go post your question on a forum for stay-at-home parents. They should have some pretty good ideas as they have a lot of mind-numbing boredom to deal with.
  • by ChromaticDragon (1034458) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:00AM (#43995081)

    Nice try boss.

    I really don't have any free time.
    (these aren't the droids you're looking for)

    I'm totally swamped... really...

    We have so much work, you shouldn't even begin to think of headcount reductions. But if you are, I hear Jimmy may have some free time...

  • Bragging. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:00AM (#43995089)

    I can't help but feel he is only asking us to show off.

    Dear /.,

    I want some advice. Every time I leave the house more women proposition me. It is getting difficult to find the time to spend with all these ladies. What should I do?

    N. Joe Face

  • Develop hobbies, spend time with family.

    How the heck are WE supposed to know what you'll enjoy doing? Try a few things and figure it out.

  • ...you mean besides masturabte?

  • Education... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by David_Hart (1184661) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:05AM (#43995151)

    Check to see if your company has an educational program where they reimburse their employees for taking university courses. If so, see if you can sign up for a degree program (i.e. Masters in IT or an MBA). Taking 1 Masters level course at a time, while working, will eat up a lot of time, taking 2 will eat up most of it.

    There are a lot of people on here who do not understand the value of university education, so don't let their opinions sway you if it's something that you would like to do. After all, if the company is paying for it, why not take advantage of the opportunity.

  • by wbr1 (2538558)
    Lots and lots of porn.. the last refuge of a bored neckbeard.
    • Oh yes, with that much free time you can really get into the sub-sub-sub-genres where it gets really interesting. There is a whole world of porn out there, and without the couple of months I had between jobs I would never have even scratched the surface. So scratch that surface my friend, and find the world of wonders awaiting you.

  • Get another career or position going REAL QUICK!

  • It's simple. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by azav (469988) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:13AM (#43995267) Homepage Journal

    Learn shit.

    Do shit.

  • by mooingyak (720677) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:14AM (#43995281)

    She ain't getting any younger.

    • by InitZero (14837)

      His current wife may not be getting any younger but his next wife is already half her age.

      Cheers,
      Matt

  • by bdwoolman (561635) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:18AM (#43995337) Homepage

    Meditate.

    Learn how to be.

    Once you know how to be.. you will know what to do.

    Hint: Start with the breath.

  • by Sez Zero (586611) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:19AM (#43995355) Journal
    Just do it.
  • You can't afford to get complacent, resist the temptation. Your 25 years into your career, which could easily mean your in your 40's and have another 20+ years to go. Your far from done with your career and need to prepare for the next job. Your in IT, that means you have one of the few fields that demands more education after you graduate than before. Look at industry trends and start training for your next thing.

    There's a five year difference between someone on the bleeding edge and a dinosaur. Experience

  • Nothing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:20AM (#43995363)

    A few friends of mine have recently switched jobs so they are working less time. Let me share something that has worked well for them: Make no plans for two weeks.

    When you first find yourself with free time you may think you need to fill it up with a hobby or visiting people or getting a part-time job or starting a new project. Don't do that right away. Give yourself a few weeks where you daydream or consider options, but make no plans. Your body is in the habit of working and you will feel a drive to keep moving. Don't. Relax, let your mind and body adjust to your new schedule.

    Eventually, two or three weeks into the new gig, you will probably find you naturally gravitate toward certain activities. Maybe you end up playing ball in the park or reading about history or you learn a new language or you start hanging out at the pub. Whatever it is, let it happen naturally. Don't go out into the world with a set plan, let yourself wander aimlessly for a few weeks and something will catch your interest.

  • Yes: develop hobbies, spend time with family.

    I'd do that.

    Otherwise, be creative. Start by being creative enough to come up with some ideas to spend that free time creatively.

    If all fails, go volunteer.
  • Hitch up your pants. Air whittle. Make friends with a Chinese man!
  • What if you didn't have to work for a living?
    Suppose you inherit $5 billion from a long-lost uncle.
    What would you do ?

    Some people I ask say they would "Move to a tropical island and drink margaritas all day."
    Some people I ask say they would "Travel around the world."

    Fine... I have trouble imagining doing anything like that for more than 30 days tops.
    What would you do with the rest of your life?
    What cause would you work for?
    What language (human, or programing) would you learn?
    What skills would you
  • First, learn. Learn anything you can. History, languages, geography, philosophy, any and all of it will enrich your life and expand your mind.

    Second and perhaps even more importantly, get outdoors, in nature and remember what it is to be a human on planet earth.

  • by InitZero (14837) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:31AM (#43995497) Homepage

    When you say 'Any suggestions (beyond develop hobbies, spend time with family) on how to deal with all the new free time?', you're missing the point. Free time is all about hobbies and spending time with the family. It isn't about finding more work.

    When I was, more or less, unemployed for ten months, I rode my bicycle. A lot: sometimes more than 200 miles a week. Lost 30 pounds. Felt great. By the time I had to go back to real work, I was in the best shape of my life, was relaxed and had spent wonderful amounts of time with my wife and kid. (Now I'm a fat slob again. But I'm making money. So, I've got that.)

    Whatever you do, don't feel guilty about having free time. Don't try to fill your free time with more day-job-type work. You've done day-job-type work for 25 years and are, apparently, valuable enough that you don't have to do that 40 hours a week anymore.

    Cheers,
    Matt

  • Cycling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ZorinLynx (31751) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:36AM (#43995575) Homepage

    Step 1: Get a bicycle.

    Step 2: GTFO.

    Seriously, get out there. I've so enjoyed cycling, exploring new places, taking pictures, getting kicked out of places I shouldn't be, etc.

    Even better if you can find someone to do it with.

  • by StripedCow (776465) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:39AM (#43995605)

    Time == money, after all.

  • Be love. The dream is over. Start a new dream. Dream again, dream better. You are the player. Wake up.
  • Things that you may have avoided doing when you were younger may not be as difficult as you think and there are few things as satisfying as mastering something difficult.
    Pick two - something that you've only ever been average or below average at doing and something that you've always been terrible at or that terrifies you.

    It doesn't have to be technical, it could be a sport or learning to sing or dance.

  • by Torvac (691504)
    nt
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@lynx . b c.ca> on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:48AM (#43995737) Journal
    ... but I find myself far too flooded with feelings that almost qualify as psychotic jealousy about your working hours (while still being paid as a full time worker) to be able to answer your question productively.
  • by holophrastic (221104) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:52AM (#43995807)

    there are countless activities which consume vast quantities of time and thus are only feasible for a select few. Painting comes to mind. Cooking comes to mouth. I love cooking. It takes very little time to learn how to bake fancy desserts at home.

    go grocery shopping at farms. that's a pleasure in itself. aside from supporting farmers, the food is just so much better.

    if you've got a motorcycle or a convertible, learn the pleasure of long relaxing drives on spectacular roads -- go find those roads near you.

    learn to work on your own car. if you like that sort of thing.

    learn to work on your house. learn to work on your neighbour's house.

  • by sinij (911942) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:52AM (#43995809) Journal
    First, you have to realize that people are not paid to do nothing. Your situation is unique and very likely temporary. You have to consider the very real possibility that at some point in the near future process that lead to your unique arrangement will get optimized and you will be out of job or back at the desk doing 40+/week.

    Time is money, and you were given a sizable gift, so your choices conceptually can be categorized into two categories - a) spend it b) invest it. Spending would be anything that you find enjoyable - this will be from browsing cat videos 10h/day, to learning new personal skill (language, music, mechanics, crafts). Investing would be anything that would make you more employable. Polish your skills, take couple coursera online classes, take community college course, study for and pass certification...

    My personal suggestion is to not worry about this and just spend days playing computer games and browse cat videos. After all, it is all those other something-wrong-with-them people get fired, and it won't ever happen to you because "PEOPLE SKILLS!". Right?
  • Any suggestions (beyond develop hobbies, spend time with family) on how to deal with all the new free time?

    Pretty much everything boils down to those two, don't they? How you spend your free time is pretty much the definition of hobby, no?

    But, a random list of stuff: golf, painting, photography, topiary, bonzai, knitting, cooking, model rocketry, robotics, sculpting, social/political activism, volunteering, write a book, astronomy, swimming, jogging, macrame, recreate the cold fusion experiments, starrin

  • Or even sell it.
  • Write an Edward Snowden biography.

  • Why are you rejecting out of hand the two best suggestions I could think of? I'd encourage you to reconsider that position.

    * Everyone I've ever heard express regrets about their career started with "I wish I'd spent more time with my family".

    * I can't think of a single time-wasting activity done outside of work that wouldn't qualify as a hobby. Exercise? Yep. Gaming? Yep. Home improvement? Yep. Writing a novel? Yep. Fishing? Yep. Transcendental meditation? You betcha. [1]

    For each person the answ

  • Obviously, pick something that hasn't been written about before, but you can find a niche and become the definitive book on the subject.

    Alternately, get into creative writing - poetry, novels, short stories, etc. Even if it never gets published.

  • 25 yrs. of what can go wrong in the realm of software environments will serve you well in framing a future that's not much different but uniquely designed and engineered.

  • by Nyder (754090) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @11:45AM (#43996621) Journal

    Let's be real here. Work was your escape from life. And now that the work isn't there, you are scared of life. Nothing anyone suggests is going to be good for you.

    You don't want to hear about hobbies and family, so that suggests that you don't have any hobbies and don't find them interesting. As for family, you worked to hide from them. So what sort of things do you really want? I mean, obviously you could try to find another job, or volunteer. Except that isn't what you want to hear.

    Look, you will probably become a drunk or druggy and die in a few years. It's okay, some people are just one track minded and can't think beyond what they have been doing for the last 25 years.

    I'll tell you what, life isn't that bad, it's the people in it that suck, can't escape that. But you can blow them up, or stab them with a sword online. If that doesn't make life a bit sweeter, I don't know what could. Oh, yes I do. Start smoking weed. It's a gateway drug.

  • by hendrikboom (1001110) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @12:15PM (#43997077)

    Read Rivelli's book on Loop Quantum Gravity. Then explaiin it to the rest of us.

  • by davidannis (939047) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @03:09PM (#43999263) Homepage
    when I sold my software company and went from a 60+ hour work week to a variable one with maybe 35 hours. A few of the more rewarding things I've tried are learning a foreign language (in may case Japanese), taking a class on Udacity, coaching middle school debate, and doing gifted and talented math pull outs in an inner city elementary school. I'm starting a chess club in that same school next fall. I know the plural of anecdote is not data but learn about things that interest you and give back by teaching things that interest you.

To do nothing is to be nothing.

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