How to make time for what matters to you
The age old question, how do I make time for what matters to me? Finally, I am here to answer that for you, starting with writing this blog to you as I return home from a lovely lunch with my Mum.
We all have the same 25 hours
You will have heard it before and it’s true in some sense, that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. The reason this isn’t completely true, is that those 24 hours can look very different to each of us, dependent on our lifestyle, commitments and work.
With that said, I believe we all have the ability to take time for what we love, all it takes is a strategy and a plan. It simply comes down to how we use that time.
Take when I wrote this blog for example. I knew I wanted to see my Mum and that doing so would require at least five hours out of my day (allowing travel time and the aforementioned lunch). I also knew that I didn’t want to be disturbed or distracted by anything whilst I was with her as we don’t see each other often and I want the time to be quality time. Here is how I made that happen.
Steps for making time
I selected a date in my diary that I knew my Mum would be free. I did this in January, planning to meet her in February. I had a few work commitments already in my schedule, but I knew I could get up earlier and take care of those before needing to catch my train. This was step 1 - planning the time.
Second, I confirmed the date with my Mum and chose the location. I wanted to make it easy for both of us and to avoid my Mum travelling in peak times as this causes her anxiety. Lunch seemed the perfect solution. I blocked the time out of my work schedule and ensured clients knew there would be a small delay in my responding to them in this time. This was step 2 - communicating my plan.
On the way to meet my Mum, I made use of the onboard wifi to complete some admin tasks and finalise the plans for celebrating my Wedding Anniversary the coming weekend. This was a task I would have had to allot additional time to had I not already planned time out of my working day. A huge tick in the personal box which leads us to step 3 - combining tasks when opportunity arises.
When I left my Mum to return home, we spoke about making our meeting a regular date, so we both had something to look forward to and we didn’t go so long between seeing one another. Here comes step 4 - scheduling. If we commit to something in advance of it happening, we can easily accommodate it when making plans going forward, without having to make last minute alterations or leave requests for work.
How you can create time
You may be reading this thinking, ha, well, I can’t do that, *I work full time/have a lengthy commute/childcare commitments (*delete as appropriate). I hear you, but I challenge that you can do this. And here is how.
When working, we all have a leave entitlement (if employed) or the ability to schedule our own working hours if we are self-employed. Equally, as a parent, you have the choice to take your children with you, ask someone to look after them, or arrange things around the glorious hours of school or nursery times. This also applies to taking time out for yourself.
The key thing in all scenarios are the four steps above: planning, communicating, identifying opportunities to combine tasks, and scheduling.
It sounds overly simple and it really can become that way once you’ve flexed your muscles in this area, the key is to simply start practicing the steps. You can start with one step at a time, seeing how much time you can save by planning as much as possible in advance. From here you will start to identify even the smallest pockets of time that can start to add up to larger chunks of time.
Why not try it now. Pull up your diary or open your planner, flip to March and see where you already have clear days. Do the same for June. Can you see how you can begin to make more time for yourself already?
Next it’s good to start looking at how you are using the time you have now, but that is a whole other blog post in its own right. Start small by making those plans and the rest will follow. If you are finding getting started hard, remember, I am always here to help and only an email or message away.
Until next week, remember that I believe in you, you deserve this time and I am here to show you how to make it.
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