There is an epidemic in America of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine!
And this overwork, over-schedule, not-enough-time epidemic winds up hurting us spirit, soul and body. It robs us from moments with our families and friends, or even time spent on self-development in every way, or just plain fun.
Here are some simple ideas of how to begin to take back some of your life:
1. Set aside a certain amount of time each day just to do what you want to do. I know, I know, you think you can’t, and at this point, you might be right. But if it was “prescribed”by a doctor as a life-or-death medication, you would carve out some time for it, wouldn’t you? How about 15 minutes each day? If that’s not “possible,” start with smaller increments of time, say 3 minutes, and work your way up.
2. Learn to say “No.” This is a really tough one for most of us. But it might be necessary. And it will make a world of difference. Even if you don’t want to/can’t say “No” completely, try to set limits around how much you will do and when.
3. Doing part of something is better than doing nothing. Even if you can’t complete a task or a project, it is better to take a small “chunk” out of it rather than letting the whole thing slide until later and getting frustrated about it.
4. Bundle your tasks. Save up non-urgent errands so that you can do those that are logistically close to one another. You might actually find a few extra minutes in your day that way.
5. Delegate. It’s more than okay to ask for help. How much is your time worth? It may be worth the cost of hiring someone to do things like mow your lawn or clean your house… you will be purchasing the precious commodity of time.
6. Do the yucky stuff first. Take care of the tasks that you dislike so that you don’t waste precious mental time ruminating about not having done them!
7. Are the things you feel you “have” to do really necessary? It can be easy to get caught up in the details to the detriment of the big picture. Relax a bit, will you?
8. Take an honest look at the activities and people in your life that are “energy drainers.” Do they need to be part of your life? What would happen if you eliminated or reduced your time spent on/with them?
9. And, most importantly, set aside time each week to do something special. Make sure that, no matter how busy you are, you take time to play. Spending time with friends, outdoors, at the movies, whatever makes you happy, is essential in helping you be the most focused and effective you can be with your time.
One thing I am sure of: if you do some of these, you will be healthier from the inside out!