In an age where we are all so busy working, keeping up with life and doing things for loved ones-children, friends, parents, spouses, our local sports club or a community committee we are on - it is easy to miss out on giving time to the most important person in your life, yourself.
Making time for you has many benefits. You will feel better. You will be happier. And ultimately you will be more productive as the 'me-time' will recharge and energise you in so many ways.
Here are seven valuable ways in which you can make more time for yourself.
1. Write down a list of all the things you would love to spend more time on - relaxing, pursuing a hobby, meditating, learning or developing a skill, making changes to your house or garden or whatever makes you feel good or brings joy. You will always be more motivated to change if you have a specific goal and reward in mind. Rank them in order of importance. Then write down how you spend your time. Keep a detailed diary for a few days. You may be very surprised at how little time you are spending on things that are important to you!
2. Minimise distractions. If you need to complete something, close the door. Tell people not to disturb you for an hour. Take time away from the phone. You don't have to answer every text immediately. Turn the notifications off. Take unimportant Apps that distract off your phone. If you can, check email only twice a day not every 5 minutes. Watch only TV programmes that you love. When the programme is over turn the TV off. Studies show that watching TV is much less satisfying than doing activities that engage us more. Spend less time online, on screens and on the phone.
3. Delegate what you can. Get others to help with the housework if you are doing it all. Not everything has to be done to the highest standards. Be ok with doing things well enough but ensure you give time to all the important things. Where possible, outsource things that you are not good at or don't like doing.
4. Get up when you wake up. Many people lose time every day by lying in bed putting off the inevitable because it is too cold or too something... You can fill in the blanks for yourself.
5. Give at least the first 15 minutes of the day to yourself - for meditation, exercise or self-reflection or a few minutes of all 3. Don't short yourself on sleep to do this. Most very successful people give time to themselves every morning. As part of this, make a list of the three most important things to do that day. And give the last 5 minutes of the day to assess how you did.
6. Don't be afraid to drop things off the list if feeling burdened.
7. Now that you have freed up time, allocate it according to how you wish to spend it weekly. Family, work, Sleep, exercise and fun are all important. Plan your family and work time, your 8 hours in bed, your 2 and half hours of exercise and your night out. Always have something to look forward to whether it is a new personal project, goal or a day out. Reassess on a weekly basis. It is easy to slip back into old patterns so it is important to have a system in place to keep you real and focussed.
Wishing you a wonderful week with high quality time for yourself.