Note: I originally wrote this article for the popular Organizing Your Way site. I didn’t want you guys to miss out, so I’ve included it here for you.
We’d all like a little more time for ourselves, right? It recharges our batteries and restores our sanity.
But if it seems we can barely fit in our current priorities, then how on earth can we justify more self time?
In fact, we can make space in our lives for ourselves – simply by applying these three strategies.
Before you can make the most of the focus strategy, you have to face a harsh fact: You’ll never get everything done. There’ll always be projects on your unfinished list, housework on your chores chart, reading on your pile.
The answer, then, is to sharpen your focus to the most important priorities.
For most people, accomplishing their top three priorities each day will move them much closer to their goals, and much faster, that completing a dozen or more of the lower priority tasks.
It can be tempting to busy yourself with your lower priorities – they’re often easier or more routine. But the rewards of making yourself do what matters most – is more time for you.
If you’re in the habit of doing lots of things for others, this might be a good time to re-evaluate, and re-negotiate.
What could the kids be doing for themselves? Are they old enough to make their own beds, put clothes away, or load/unload the dishwasher? Can you link this with pocket money?
What about your partner? Could they iron their own clothes, help kids with homework, or take on some of the weekend chauffeuring? Can you negotiate something to get yourself more time?
What about neighbourhood kids or local services? Could you pay someone to help with errands, gardening or other home or business tasks?
It might initially take a little time to re-negotiate these tasks effectively. But very soon you’ll gain more time for yourself.
This strategy is a simple, but often overlooked, way to get regular self time into your life.
The trick is to ritualize your me time.
For instance, you might:
• Take a relaxing bath every night after the kids go to bed
• Go for a walk with a friend on weekday mornings
• Enrol in an art class on Tuesday nights.
The key to this strategy is to take your me time at the same time. This approach makes it much easier both for you to get into a habit, and for your family to get used to, than if you vary your me time each day.
No matter how busy you are, you can have more time to renew and refresh yourself. Just remember to apply these strategies:
1. Focus on completing the most important tasks each day
2. Re-negotiate with other family members or outsource tasks where you can
3. Ritualize your me time so it becomes a habit for you and your family.