Find more time for yourself

It makes me sad to think about how many things I have missed out on because I seriously believed I didn’t have the time to fit it in.

You know family stuff or time spent with friends or other important things.

I am fully aware that a bit of careful structuring of the hours in the day could actually mean I find more time for myself. Recover some precious minutes… even hours.

Read this too: How to schedule your day

In my pursuit of making and taking more time for myself, I sat down one night and wrote out a list. On that list I wrote down all of ways I could snatch back some more time each day.

Now whether I use that time to finally getting around to having that wisdom tooth pulled out, losing my ass, relaxing with friends and family or simply staring off into space, is irrelevant really.

Just knowing I have that time up my sleeve to use how I see fit on any given day is the reward in itself. Not to mention the benefit of reducing some of my time-related stress.

How to find more time for yourself

1. Get organised

Yup, keeping the house tidy and organised and preparing stuff the night before will mean less time wasted trying to find things and running around in a tizz in the morning.  I am far less stressed and way more motivated when I am organised and not surrounded by clutter.

You might like this one: A quick guide to organise family life once and for all

2. Write lists

I am a notorious list maker. As long as I don’t waste too much time writing and rewriting my lists (which I have been known to do), then my lists help to keep me on track. Same goes with menu planning and shopping lists – a little bit of time spent in the planning department will save a whole lotta staring off into space whilst I wonder what the hell I’m going to cook and need to buy, blah blah blah.

3. Multi-task like a boss

I have shared before my Sanity Folder which I take with me everywhere. This folder allows me to make use of the time I spend sitting around waiting for kids, waiting for appointments or even sitting in traffic.

Now if I apply that same concept to every day tasks then, sweet baby cheeses, I could be like a God Damn productivity machine! I could clean out the kitchen drawer while I cook dinner, ring back a friend while I hang out the washing… I could even fold the washing while I watch TV…

4. Avoid interruptions

On the flipside of multi-tasking, I’m trying to be more focused on my work and other things that need to be done. I have taken to switching my phone to silent and not having any extra tabs open on things like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook whilst I am working because man, those sites are time suckers.

5. Make the most of productive time

Let’s face it – I never have been and never will be a morning person, so setting myself a schedule that sees me working on an important project first thing in the morning would be about as useful as a keg of beer with no tap. I’m going to schedule things I need to focus on for afternoons before pick-up time and in the evenings. Attempting things in the morning is just a time-waste for me.

6. Take bite-size chunks

Let it be known that I spent pretty much ALL of yesterday cleaning out our house. Now I’ve realised how foolish I was to waste a gorgeous sunny day. Why waste a whole day on something like cleaning when I can tackle it in bite-size chunks? You know like cleaning a room each day or sorting out on cupboard a week.

7.  Get help – or accept help

I am such a ‘nah I’ll do it myself’ kind of gal… but why? No seriously WHY?

Martyrdom?

Control issues?

Probably both!

If someone offers me their help or there is an opportunity to get some help then hello, I am no longer going to turn my nose up at it. Enough said.

8. Say no

Yeah, yeah… work in progress. Say no more.

9. Avoid procrastinating

This one practically hurts to write because procrastinating is literally one of my favourite pastimes. However, if I think about all the added time pressure I put on myself my putting off the inevitable or leaving everything to the last minute… well it’s enough to make my head explode twice over.

Nup, procrastination has to go.

10. Clock off

This one was the biggest smack-in-the-face realisation for me. As a business woman, as a mum, as a friend, as pretty much an everything, I need to set myself boundaries and stick to them.

If I don’t set myself a finish time for work, there is a good chance I will continue to work into the night.

If I don’t insist that the kids do their homework during homework time, then they’ll end up doing it and begging me for help when I’m supposed to be doing something else. Like important relaxing.

And if I don’t want to be on the phone to people at 10pm at night or answering emails after a certain time, then I need to stop taking the calls and answering the emails and reset the boundaries… it’s as simple as that.

I have no idea how this careful planning is going to pan out for me… ask me again in a few months time, but I figure just being more aware of the time I spend doing things or NOT doing things is pretty much half the battle won.

How could you find more time in your day?

How to find more time for yourself

Sonia Stackhouse

Sonia Stackhouse is the founder of Little Lane Workshops, an art, craft and lifestyle studio on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. She is also mum to three boys – two teens and a tweenie. Sonia shares her fabulously flawed attempts at being a mum and business owner on her popular blog Life Love and Hiccups.

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