Time flies when you’re ….
How many times do you wish you had more time? Time to read, time to go out, time to spend with your family? Life is all about balance and prioritization. So why are we all struggling to balance our family, work, activities, and most importantly find time for ourselves? When you avoid scheduling time for you, you are commonly replacing ‘you time’ with an activity that should fit in your schedule in another time slot. Life is about timing, priorities, and most importantly sticking to your schedule!
As your day ticks by minute by minute here are a few food for thought points that I use daily to separate my many roles and keep my head from running around like a crazy woman.
1. Find a Scheduling App or Method that works for you
What works for Suzy Q or Joe Next Door may not work for you. Try out suggestions, research online, and if one method doesn’t work it is not the end of the world! Try another! Personally my Google Calendar is integrated to show my schedule (both work and personal), my son’s, my boyfriends, and my dog (yes even my dog has her own schedule!). This allows me to color coordinate and know immediately who is responsible for an event, picking up my son, or bringing the dog to the vet. I do not have to worry and I know what is going on with each party on a day-to-day basis.
It is important to communicate with others in your life what is going on with your schedule. If you have a girls night planned vocalize the plans when you first know the date, the day before and the day of just to make sure nobody is surprised. Don’t let your kids or your significant other guilt trip you out of time for you.
2. Give yourself rewards for sticking to your schedule
This point doesn’t just apply to you. Treat your family, your significant other and yourself when you all communicate and give each other the space and freedom to life independently and together as a happy healthy unit. Maybe it’s a date night with your SO, a movie night with just you and the kids, or a special event you all can enjoy together. Make it a point to emphasize that the best family units spend time together and apart and that it is ok to do so.
3. Join a social club or a gym
Participating in activities where there is a scheduled routine will establish order in your calendar. The more meetings or social events you attend the better you will get to know other members and the more rewarding your relationships with the group members will become. Attending meetings or social events infrequently will leave you without a feeling of inclusion or belonging …. Isn’t this the reason you joined the group in the first place?
The GYM …. How many of us either dread going to the gym or don’t know where to start? Roughly 15% of the population pays for a membership to a health club or exercise facility and actually uses it … Where does that leave the other 85% of us? Sitting on the couch …. Dreaming of the day …. Feeling not so good about our selves… My point here is exercise releases endorphins in our brains that make us feel good about ourselves, our efforts, and will increase our daily confidence in ourselves which can speak volumes when it comes to your personal life, personal satisfaction, and the confidence which you can exude to others. This only comes with effort, persistence, and time. If you don’t succeed try try again! **Also if you have kids find a gym where there is childcare offered** This is a HUGE plus and gives you or your SO time away from the kids! Most gym childcare operations have games, activities and movies so your kiddos won’t be bored. Wouldn’t you like to hear ‘Mom, when is the next time we are going to the gym? I really like playing with the other kids and playing games.’
4. Leave work on time
Remember that point about making and sticking to your schedule we talked about above? Well this applies to your job too. Trust me I understand that work pays the bills and I am in no means saying to slack off at your job, but you are paid for a predetermined number of hours, don’t undercut yourself by working longer than you are paid for. Overworking can lead to dissatisfaction in your job, negativity, stress, and an unhappy family life. Who wants to deal with a stressed out mom who just returned home after 10 hours, still has work to do, is dreading tomorrow, and can’t even think about putting in time reading with her kids, helping with homework, cooking dinner, or God Forbid Laughing! Acceptance of knowing you are leaving your work at work is hard, many of us have our email synced to our smart phone, laptops at home, and can receive calls from co-workers or management after hours, but make every attempt to separate your work and personal life. It will pay off in your overall happiness.
Talk to management or address any problems you have with your work duties, operations or policies and address any procedures or responsibilities that conflict with the actual amount of time or effort needed to complete. Be vocal, communicating where your desk is and ask for help if you need help! Don’t bury yourself in a hole you cannot dig out of.
Have you made a personal goal of reading daily? Look into Audible, a subscription service which reads to you as you drive. Make the most of your commuting time by feeding your brain and ‘reading’ a new book .
Ride the bus? Use the time commuting via public transportation to plan your day, week, or month. Finding time to plan your day while you would have otherwise been listening to idle chatter, pointless music, or browsing social media opens up more time later in the day for other tasks or FUN!
Rideshare with a friend or co-worker? Engage in conversation on the ride! Doing so will stimulate your brain in the morning, waking it up, and also make you practice your conversational skills. This can also open up new lines of communication, grow a bond, or if anything help you learn more about the person/people you ride with. Don’t be shy! If you do use the ridesharing time to plan your day try to not be anti-social the entire ride by having your nose in your phone. It’s only nice!
Finding time for yourself is a balancing act between being selfish and selfless. Do not be tricked into believing selfishness is always a negative trait. We all have to be a little selfish to allow ourselves the time we need to elevate and nourish the person we are and aspire to be. Selflessness is an admirable trait, but can lead to jealousy, resentment, lack of self-confidence, and an overall feeling of blankness.
I struggle as do we all with all of the points I brought up … and boy do I forget time for me at times! When I find myself frustrated and feeling like I’m lost I always look back to scheduling, organization and communication; remembering that I need balance and order to be the best Cat I can be.