Do you find that your work-filled days are passing by you in a blur? Is your limited free time spent dealing with your towering responsibilities, chores and numerous tasks? And, do you feel guilty and uneasy whenever you sit down to read a book or watch TV because it isn’t “productive?”
If the answers to these questions ring true to you then the chances are you’re in need of devoting some time to yourself. If this is a concept that feels incredulous to you then it’s definitely time to figure out how to re-focus your time and how it’s spent.
Don’t have the faintest idea of how to go about that? Well, lucky for you we have a few tips to get the ball rolling and hopefully you’ll soon be back on track to having an overall more relaxed life.
In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.”
1. Identify a goal
Ask yourself why you want more alone time. Having a reason and a goal to bear in mind might be just what you need whenever work and responsibilities feel like they should override that quiet 30 mins reading that you’ve been looking forward to. Whether it’s to lead a less stressed out life, or you’re simply fed up of not having the time to do the things you enjoy, having that goal and reason at the back of your mind will make dwelling on work and responsibilities feel less tempting.
2. Write a list of things you love
What are your passions and interests? How can you incorporate them more into your life? Never underestimate the power of a good list! Perhaps you love playing guitar but it has been gathering dust the past few weeks, months or even years. With no time to yourself you will have likely become disconnected from your passions and interests. Reaffirming what you’re passionate about and falling in love with your interests and passions all over again is an important step in actively making the time to spend on exactly that. So make a list of them! When you start to focus on what you love you’ll feel happier and more energised for the other important tasks in your life that have started to feel more and more difficult.
3. Keep a Diary
Writing a diary will help you to garner an idea of the tasks that are taking up the most energy in your life and the ways in which these can be reorganised to fit in that all important time for yourself. Not to mention, taking the time at the end of the day to reflect on the day’s events and finding the memorable amidst the mundane in day-to-day life will be a therapeutic and energising task. You might find that the days pass you by in quite the blue they were before when you take a few minutes to note down small things.
4. Free up time
Once you’ve had a diary for a couple of weeks you’ll have a fair idea of what your time is being spent on. What tasks can you reorganise to free up time? perhaps you wash the car every weekend - can this be changed to every other weekend? Or maybe you go out shopping a couple of times a week - could you order online instead every once in a while? Small changes to your routine will make a big difference.
5. Get rid of distractions
It’s almost certain that there are plenty of more “productive” tasks left undone whilst you’re taking time out to yourself. Take care of yourself first, and ignore those niggling unfinished tasks until your personal time is over. By dividing up time to yourself and to the tasks of everyday life, your time will feel more manageable. It just might take a while to train yourself to focus on yourself when there’s so much else that needs done. Be safe in the knowledge that this will always be the way. There’s only 24 hours in a day and you can only get done what is manageable.