How to Find Time for Yourself
Deb Wain | DumbLittleMan
June 23, 2011
Today our lives are busier than ever before. Our time is pressed by career, family, friends and sometimes even the things we took on as being “for me” become a chore that saps our precious time. I mean, while your iPhone addiction may be considered ‘a break’, is it really relaxing and does it really do anything to recharge your batteries? Doubtful.
So how do we successfully take time out for ourselves? Where can we look for those little nuggets of time in a world of perpetual task lists? It sounds simple but we all know it’s not. Here are some tips for addressing issues related to the time in our lives and some advice to help you find some time for yourself in your hectic schedule.
Complete a Time Audit
It might sound silly but we often actually don’t know where our time goes. Over the course of a normal week, make an attempt to keep track of what you do with your time. Carry a small notebook and check your watch when you start different tasks at home and at work.
What were the surprises? Do you spend an inordinate amount of time checking emails, responding to phone calls, completing tasks you thought were a minor part of your workload? Try to think about why these things take longer than you thought they would. Are you completely focused on them or, because they are minor tasks, are you doing something else at the same time? As we’ve been aware for a while now, multitasking is not always the best way to go.
If tasks take longer in reality than you expected or allowed for, you will always feel as if you are behind schedule and ‘playing catch-up’. Knowing where your time goes is the first step to finding some time for yourself.
HINT: Allow more than enough time for tasks, including driving to and from various places. Use your audit results and be realistic about the time you’ll need to complete tasks. If it suits the way you work, use your audit results to create a timetable or schedule for your day and don’t forget to include coffee breaks and downtime in your plan.