Learn how to make time for yourself in 8 easy steps
February is National Time Management month and if you’ve followed me on social media, you’ve seen me offer up tips and tricks to help you slay your schedule. Even though you’ve seen those tips, you’re still busy... I get it. If you’re an adult living in today’s society, chances are that you have a million and one things that you have to do and 24 hours is not enough time to do them.
Most of us tend to think that there’s no way we can cram another thing into our schedules without going insane, but I’m going to ask you to add pencil one more thing in – time for yourself! It’s a challenge to allow ourselves to slow down because society tells us that we need to be busy at all times to prove our worth. Let’s face it – we don’t get too much support if we aren’t accomplishing something, so we often push z'me time" to the back burner. How can we to make sure that our social life, hobbies and recreational activities don’t take second place to all of the other things we have to do?
Here are eight tips that you can implement today to start making time for yourself!
Make a date with yourself and stand firm. Block off space for free time and fun, no matter how limited the time may be. Start off with 10-15 minutes and work your way up to more substantial amounts. Also, be sure that your free time doesn’t get bumped for “more important” things .Treat this time like any other appointment on your calendar – show up on time and be eager to dive in!
Practice doing nothing. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect! Being still and unwinding is just as important as your need to get through the to-do list. Try not to make too big a deal out of figuring out how to relax though, otherwise you’ll be busy again.
Make a list. Set up a fun list of things to do and strive to do at least one thing per month. Include movies that you would like to see, books you want to read, places you want to visit and restaurants you would like to eat at. When you’ve finished that activity, replace it with something new so the list is ongoing.
Change it up. If your free time can only take place on the weekend, make sure that your activities provide a mental and physical change from your work week activities. Often, you’re more productive during the week if you’ve had a restful, relaxing, and change-of-pace weekend.
Have fun! I don’t know who needs to hear this, but please don’t use your weekend for work! Use some of your 48 hours for free time and fun rather than treating Saturdays and Sundays as catch-up rounds of cleaning, cooking, laundry, and errands. If possible, select one weekend a month and set aside time for ‘musts’ that have accumulated despite your best planning, if you absolutely have to do them. Then get them done as fast as you can so that for the rest of the weekend you can reward yourself with free time for what you want to do.
Indulge a little. Make it a habit to do something nice for yourself once a week (or more), no matter how small it may be.
Incorporate family time. Just because you're making time for yourself, doesn't mean that you have to be in solitude. Do things with your family, but when you’re planning fun things for all, make sure they’re fun for everyone.
Make it a vacay! Take a mini-vacation on a weekend if your busy life prevents a longer one at certain times. Even a few days away from the normal hustle of everyday life can recharge your batteries in ways you wouldn't believe!
Ann McGee-Cooper, author of You Don’t Have to Go Home from Work Exhausted says “Play is critical and essential to maintaining abundant energy because it allows the creative right hemisphere of the brain to come up with new solutions and options to situations that are tiring the orderly left hemisphere of the brain. By learning to take a few fun breaks throughout the day, you release tension, open blocked thinking, and simulate an energy boost.” I couldn't have said it better myself!
Take a load off and enjoy yourself, Tidy Team!