Sometimes life is just so hectic that by the time you’ve worked your way through all the tasks in the day there’s no time to devote to yourself. Even if you get up earlier or go to bed later in an attempt to extend your day, it may still often seem like there’s not enough time for you to do everything. And when that’s the case, the first thing you usually give up is your ‘you’ time.
Make the decision
Allocating time for yourself often comes down to just making the conscious decision to take some time out. Why not give yourself a break each day — even if it’s just 10 minutes or so — to do absolutely nothing? Make this a planned daily habit — perhaps at the same time every day — so that you’re guaranteed to have at least some time just for you.
Decline more often
Saying ‘no’ directly to someone can often seem quite abrupt, rude, and awkward to say. There are ways around it, such as politely declining and explaining as to why you are unable to fulfil anyone’s request. This way, both yourself and the other person can leave the situation with respect and dignity left intact. Offering an alternative solution is another option you may consider.
Let others take the strain
If you say ‘no’ to doing some tasks in order to free up some ‘you’ time, then make sure you get others to take the strain. For example, if you’ve said ‘no’ to doing household chores for a change, then make sure your partner or even children actually do them, rather than the chores being left and you eventually doing them anyway. In the case of your workplace, you could start delegating more or even make it known that more workplace support is required.
Avoiding procrastination can help free your mind up and stop you from draining your mental energy unnecessarily. If you continually think about that job you keep putting off, then it will keep niggling away at you and cause an unnecessary drain. Just dealing with a problem in the first place will free up much more of your time.
Some people can be very demanding of your time, and while you might not want to neglect close friends and family members, there will be certain times when you simply need to back off and let them deal with their own problems. You may also know people who only contact you when they require a favour; if so, try to avoid them whenever possible!
If people have overstepped the mark with you in the past, then it makes sense to establish some clear boundaries and let them know that you’re not prepared to put up with certain things in the future. It also makes sense to ensure you stick to these boundaries, rather than let people encroach on your personal time over and over again. Be firm but fair.
Having a rethink of all your expectations of yourself can go some way towards freeing up some time. Your own demands of yourself may be unrealistic, and may be based on your perception of what others expect you to be capable of doing, rather than what you can do in reality. So, learn to retrain your thinking, decide what is realistically possible in each situation, and try to go with that.
Break your routine
Breaking habits can significantly reduce your load. For example, you may have got into the routine of doing things just because you’ve always done them, rather than because you want or need to do them. Routines can be useful provided that the things you are doing are really worthwhile; however, if they’re not worthwhile, then try your best to break them and establish new routines.
Find something you enjoy — and do it!
Family and work can take over so much that you may eventually neglect the fun elements in your life. If this is the case for you, then it could be time for you to find or rediscover something that you enjoy doing — and then do it as often as you can. Make sure you then guard this ‘fun’ time from other demands. It’s not selfish to spend some time enjoying yourself!
Fit your activities in well
Find good times to fit in certain activities during your week, as this can help to free up some more ‘you’ time. For example, think about things such as meeting your friend during your lunch hour, or doing your food shopping on your way back from work so that you don’t have to go out again later. Planning ahead will mean you have that little bit more time to yourself each day.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to take charge of what you end up doing with your day, because if you don’t then it’s likely someone else will. Don’t let others determine the quality of your life, and instead take charge of that process yourself by following our tips here. By doing this, your time will be spent your way and you’ll do more of the things that you want to do