Will you ever see me-time again?

By life coach and mom, Janine Lloyd.

The lack of time and the pressure to do more and more with less and less is exhausting. With hardly any time leftover in a day, I am sure you cannot even imagine having even one little hour of time to yourself?

I am here to tell you that you can! I promise that if you try out these tips – even just one or two of them – you will change the way you look at time so that you can get a little self-love in your life.

Are you ready to shift your thinking about how you are managing your time?

Rule 1: The fact you have no time is a perception

Read that again. Think about it. In a day you have 16 hours available (that is, if you only need eight hours of sleep). That is 112 hours a week or 448 hours a month on average, which is around 5 376 hours a year. Let’s assume you work eight hours a day; take away any travel time from that. You will have 30 hours in the week and 32 hours over the weekend: that’s 62 hours in one week. Before you mention all the things you have to do in a day or how exhausted you are or that you work longer hours, I’d just like you to realise that your perception of not having time is ruling your life.

“Find a way to get rid of it, delegate, or find a better and quicker way of getting it done.”

Rule 2: There is only one thing stopping you from having me-time and that is yourself

You need to be happy, healthy and energised to do all the things parenthood and life demands of you. While you’re giving out happiness, energy and love to others, you also need to fill your tank. Setting aside time that is just yours alone to treasure isn’t selfish; it means that you deserve to find time to do something that makes you feel happy and rejuvenated.

Rule 3: Get real with your time

To see how you spend your time, keep a diary for a week or two where you jot down all your activities for the day. After one week, your diary will provide insight into whether or not there is a problem at home or work, or whether it is, in fact, your perception that you have no time that is a problem. All that may be required is some good planning and management.

Rule 4: Get clear on your priorities

Imagine the day you have achieved balance. What are you doing less of and more of? Be really clear on your priorities at work and at home so that you know where to focus your energies. Look back in your diary and see how you are spending your time versus how you want to spend your time.

Rule 5: Simplify, simplify, simplify

Here I mean all the stuff that is not a priority but is eating away at your time. Find a way to get rid of it, delegate, or find a better and quicker way of getting it done. If someone is eating away at your time and they’re not a priority, find a way to see them less. Learn to say no to extra projects, family or social engagements.

Rule 6: Learn to manage your time

Weekly planning and daily action lists can really make a huge difference to your days. Your weekly plan is a list of all the broader goals you want to achieve in the week.

Weekly plan:

  • To have finalised the family weekend away.
  • Have spent more play time with your child.
  • To have some me-time scheduled.
  • Search the internet for accommodation in Durban/CT or wherever you want to go in your price range.
  • Look through your diary and schedule an hour a day/or a few hours a week of meaningful, uninterrupted play time with your child.
  • Decide what you want to do with your me-time: go to a spa, read, walk, see a movie, take a dance class.
  • Check the monthly calendar and see how often you can realistically have me-time.

Daily plan:

  • Discuss with your partner and decide on holiday venue.
  • Block out regular time in your diary for me time.
  • Call your mother/friend/partner to take care of baby during your Me Time

OR

  • Book holiday venue and pay deposit.
  • Stick to your appointment for me-time.

Rule 7: Don’t sweat it

It is just not worth stressing over the small things. At the end of the day, or when you feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities, write them all down, analyse when you can do them, schedule them or delegate them. Tomorrow is a new day – you can handle it.

Rule 8: Ask for help

We are sometimes too proud and stubborn to ask for help and our need to be independent can do us harm, especially when we are not coping. When you have done all you can to take control of your day and it is still not working, ask your partner, immediate family or close friends for help and support.

Rule 9: Assess

Continually assess where you are. Take time out every three months to see how you are doing balancing your life. Make a plan to do more of what is working and less of what is not. Remember that people are adaptable by nature, so adjust and keep on working towards having the balance you need in your life.