Retirement may demand
time-management skills to enjoy your free time
Researchers says governments should
begin to teach senior citizens how to manage their time – managing free
time more critical than the amount available
Aug. 22, 2013 – Retirement may not
be the relaxing, leisurely lifestyle you expected. Remember your
struggle back in the work-world to manage your time? Well, you shouldn’t
forget those skills too quickly. A new study says retirees should be
masters of their own destiny, and actively manage and plan their free
time to enjoy a happy and fulfilling retirement.
The study found that the effective
management of free time has a far greater impact on a retiree’s quality
of life than the amount of time the person actually has available for
Wang and his team studied the
responses of 454 Taiwanese retirees to understand if there is a link
between their management of free time and their overall quality of life.
With regard to their free time, the retirees were asked about the goals
they set, their general attitude towards it and how they schedule and
The Quality of Life scale of the World Health Organization
was also adapted and used for the purposes of the study.
Free time for this study refers to
those periods when people are under no obligation and can decide for
themselves what to do. It is usually spent in leisure pursuits in order
to relax after experiencing stress, or to improve one’s health.
Several previous studies have
revealed that leisure time is important for older people, and that it
has a positive influence on their quality of life, happiness and sense
of peace. Other studies have also shown that a lack of planning can
create problems such as boredom and an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle.
Compared to studies that focus on
the management of work and study time, very little has so far been done
on how retirees manage their free time. The current study is therefore
of importance, especially in light of an increasingly aging population
worldwide due to increased longevity and declining fertility rates.
The phenomena of aging, along with
an increasingly aging population and longer life expectancy, implies
that the overall amount of spare time available to people is increasing.
In Taiwan, for instance, nearly 10 percent of its population of 2.44
million people are retired.
“Quality of life is not affected as
much by the amount of free time that a retiree has, but on how
effectively the person manages this time on hand,” says Wang. “Therefore
it is important to educate people on how to use their free time more
effectively to improve quality of life.”
Wang therefore advises that
governments, community centers and service organizations should consider
the introduction of guidance programs or leisure education that teach
people the management techniques that they need to schedule their free
time better and to make the most of their retirement life.
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