Time: It’s the one thing that we can’t seem to get enough of. Not having enough time is one of the biggest excuses that we use in our day to day life. We didn’t have time to cook a meal. We didn’t have time to go to the gym. We didn’t have time to watch the movie or read the book. Sometimes it’s just an excuse for something we didn’t want to do, but oftentimes we skip past the things we love because we can’t seem to fit them into our busy schedule. If this sounds like you, then read on for 6 tips on how to find time for yourself during a busy week.
1. Wake up early
Sleep is important, but if you are the kind of person who hits the snooze button several times over the course of an hour before actually getting out of bed for the day, then maybe consider doing something more productive instead. Early mornings can be a great time to enjoy some quiet time for yourself: you can read, you can work out, you can enjoy breakfast and slowly get ready for work, and so on. Plus, doing something you love first thing in the morning can help put you in a positive mood for the day.
2. Utilize your lunch break
How do you spend your lunch break? I have no doubt that while reading this, many people’s responses will be ‘what lunch break?’ and that alone proves my point. It’s all too common to skip lunches or have working lunches, but maybe you should actually use this time for what it’s meant for: a break. Enjoy your meal without checking your emails. Pull out a book and read for 30 minutes instead of mindlessly scrolling through your social media apps. Bring a pair of running shoes to work and go for a 20-minute walk. Using your lunch break to do something for you that you actually enjoy will help you relax and be more productive for the rest of the day.
3. Schedule ‘me’ time
If you can’t seem to find time for yourself, then outright schedule it. Book the time off and mark it in your calendar. Let people know that you will not be available for a certain period of time on a certain day and make any necessary arrangements to ensure that your schedule is cleared. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy (although if you want weekly trips to the spa, then by all means, go for it!) – instead, it could be something as simple as an hour to yourself to watch your favourite tv show on Thursday night.
Is one of the reasons that you struggle to find time for yourself because you do it all? If you answered ‘yes’ then it’s time to let go and pass off the responsibility onto somebody else. Moms especially seem to feel like they need to do everything around the house, when that’s really not the case. Ask your partner to step in, or even your kids if they are old enough to help out with chores. The same mentality goes for workplace settings. If you can pass something off to relieve some of your workload, then do it. Oftentimes we focus so much on unnecessary perfectionism that we end up creating more work for ourselves. We need to learn how to let things go.
5. Set boundaries with work
Many Canadians these days are workaholics. Even if you work a typical 9-5, chances are you sometimes go in early, stay late, and reply to work-related messages/calls/emails while at home. Most of us don’t have boundaries with work - and we need to. Having a healthy work-life balance is key to ensuring you have more time to yourself. So, how can you do this? Leave the office when you are supposed to. Don’t check work emails outside of work hours. Let your staff/co-workers/clients know that you are only available during certain hours. If someone does try to reach out and get a hold of you outside these times, then tell them you will discuss it the next day during business hours.
6. Learn to say “no”
We’re often told to be “yes” people. Say yes to new opportunities or experiences because it will be great! You’ll learn! You’ll grow! There is absolutely some truth in this, but that doesn’t mean you should say yes to everything all the time. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to put yourself first. You need to be your number one priority, which means that if you want more time to yourself, you need to take it – and sometimes that can be as simple as saying “no.”
Hannah Logan is a Canadian travel writer who dreams of being just like Indiana Jones. You can follow her travels on her personal travel blog Eat Sleep Breathe Travel where she shares her travel tales and (mis)adventures around the world.
Hannah Logan is a paid spokesperson of Sonnet Insurance.