Parisian designer Amélie Pichard is devoted to creating and savoring precious moments of freedom in her days. She even named her new accessories collection “Temps Libre” (Free Time); the campaignimages and videoshow Amelie, for instance, smoking a cigarette in an absurdly divine full-length red raincoat. Ahead, Pichard tellsGirlbosswhy her favorite hobby is “to pass the time, have time, take my time, waste my time, and to live out of season, as Francoise Sagan said.”
For me, free time is the ultimate ingredient in the eternal quest for happiness. But “enjoying” one’s free time can be too complex—even unbearable.
For example, I’m swimming on a beach in Costa Rica. But am I enjoying myself enough? I must take advantage! At all costs! Even if the sun is burning my skin red and even if I can’t swim without inhaling tons of sea water, I MUST enjoy!
Being an ultra-productive woman, mother, girlboss, activist, and wonder woman can make us anxious. So my motto is that our free time must be unproductive!
Here is my best advice on how to make and enjoy every little bit of your free time.
I love to wake up very, very quietly. Not speaking in the morning is a great way to encourage everyone to leave you alone. In any case, I don’t know how to do it differently. Going from the dream world to the real world deserves a little adjustment time. A gentle awakening is the first step in enjoying your day.
I exercise for 45 minutes or so every morning, depending on what my body tells me. Because I hate obligations, it allows me to think only of myself before swallowing all my emails and my professional problems to solve. Exercise also makes it possible to arrive at the office a little more Zen and subdue any potential annoyances.
I start the day working from home. You might say that it’s not free time! But for me, someone who lives to work (sometimes too much), it’s a pleasure to take the time to organize my day au naturel before going to the front lines. I can also do it in panties, slippers, or a towel.
I go home to have lunch. I hate business lunches. I prefer appointments around a carrot juice or a tea that warms my body, but consuming food with a stranger—no thanks! Difficult digestion is ensured. So I have lunch alone in front of my cat who looks at me with tenderness. And I take the time to clear my head.
It is possible that I take a little 20min cap nap after that … alongside my second cat. I always wanted to be a cat! What a beautiful life they have! But I would certainly be bored after 2 days.
Quick tip to have a little moment for yourself in an open office space: I sit cross-legged, put my earphones in, and listen to an amazing song that gives me chills throughout my body and makes me want to sing at the top of my lungs! And it’s much better!
Speaking of singing, every evening when I go home, I put music on and I dance in front of my cats. My best audience!
I give myself one free day a week so I don’t dedicate my free time solely to the weekend, where I can be quite indulgent. On Wednesdays, I do not go to the office. I make a break and I will inspire myself elsewhere. One day a man told me that he did something called the “333”: “I work 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, 3 weeks a month.” Dream life goal!
Go out without purpose! Take the air, walk, dream, think, then see where destiny brings you. Stop in a café, shop, look around and find lots of new ideas or don’t—and it will not matter.
I have always been very bad during weekends! I hate doing the same thing that most people do. An exhibition on a Saturday? Never! Shopping? How awful!
On the weekends, you feel guilty about being in Paris and not enjoying the culture at your fingertips! The city, the weekend, it depresses me! Future free-time purchase? A country house! The country is the future of all!
While waiting to find the country house, we do not do anything! I live horizontally, in front of movies. I eat in bed, I laugh, I wander, I play with my cats, I make calls (on my landline) to people I never have time to call.
Speaking of the phone, I never answer the phone. And believe me, it gives you a sense of social peace! Long live texting!