Do you feel that you work all the time and never have enough time for your friends and family? That your time and attention are spent on your clients, employees, family members, or household chores?
You’re not alone!
Our lives are filled with obligations and distractions that seem to every moment of our time.
However, there’s a way to create the space if you’re willing to examine your life and make some changes. You might even make a sacrifice or two, but you and the important people in your life are worth it!
Take control of your time and your life with these strategies:
1. Track your time. For seven days, track every minute of your day from the time you wake up until you go to sleep. This can be easier than you imagine. Every hour, on the hour, write down how you spent the last hour. A spreadsheet is convenient for this, as it will add up your time at the end of the week.
Track your time, all of it. Look at the time you spend on:
- meditation, working out, self-care
- watching TV
- spending fun/playtime with family and friends
- watching your children at activities or games
- social media
- housework, chores, lawn care
- working at work/your desk, client/conference calls
- preparing, eating and cleaning up meals
2. Analyze your data. Where do you spend your time? Are you spending time on activities that are unnecessary and unenjoyable? If so, why?
- Are there any areas you can reduce the amount of time you spend?
- If you were forced to free up 5 hours per week, how would you do it? 10 hours? 20 hours?
3. Consider changes. Are there activities you can remove or minimize? Are there things you can get other people to do? Can you share the work?
- Could your kids mow the lawn? Could you hire a lawn service?
- Could you schedule time for the entire family to clean? Can you afford someone else to clean your home?
- Are your activities really enjoyable or is it just something that you’ve always done?
- Could you prepare meals that require less preparation and cleanup?
- Could you do something with your family instead of watching TV?
- Can you think of activities that would include both your friends and family?
4. Prioritize your schedule. Instead of trying to fit your friends and family around your other obligations and activities, try doing the opposite.
- Schedule time with your friends and family and fit everything else around that time. It’s a simple change of perspective that makes a difference.
- It’s like saving a certain amount of money at the beginning of each month rather than saving whatever is left over at the end of the month.
5. Practice saying “no” to others. The world will steal every minute from you if you allow it to. Your only real defense is uttering the word “no” more often.
- You don’t have to donate your time to anyone or anything if you don’t want to. You don’t have to attend every party, wedding, or other social occasion.
- Keep your schedule with your loved ones and make that your first priority.
6. Be more efficient. Can you do a task faster?
- If you were more focused, could you get the same amount of work done in less time?
- If you had a better mower, would you finish sooner?
- If you expended a little more energy, could you finish a task with time to spare?
- Could you use a better technique?
You can have more control over your time than you’re currently demonstrating. All of those people that seem to have plenty of free time are living the same 24-hour day that you are. If you’re willing to take a hard look at how you spend your time and remain flexible, you can find time for yourself and the people that are most important to you.
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