Make Time for YOU!
Time is a funny thing. We only have so much of it, and once we’ve spent it, there’s no getting it back. If you are anything like me, maybe you find yourself spending lots of time on “urgent” tasks that will “just take a minute” only to find yourself having spent hours without doing the more important tasks. Maybe there are leisure activities and hobbies you’d love to do in your downtime, but you end every weekend saying “Oh well, hopefully I’ll get to that next weekend”. Or maybe there are things you know you need to do to take care of your health and well being, but you can’t seem to make time to fit them into your routine.
Better time management has been a focus for me for the past several months, but I heard a piece of advice from a mentor that really hit home last week while Caleb and I were at a fitness business owners mastermind event: “Don’t glorify ‘busy’.” I realized when I heard that statement, that I am definitely guilty of this, and I’m sure I’m not alone. I think lots of us wear busyness like a badge of honor, and use that as an excuse for why we “don’t have time” to do the things we want and need to do to take care of ourselves – and let’s be real, taking care of ourselves is usually the first thing to go.
For example, at the beginning of the year, I made a resolution that I would learn to play the guitar. As a singer I have always wanted to be able to accompany myself and write a few songs. But as July 1st rolled around, I realized the year was halfway over, and I hadn’t even touched the guitar ONCE!! My excuse to myself was that I was “too busy”, and while I do have a very full schedule, that excuse is just crap. As a coach and gym owner I help people all the time with recognizing that they DO have time to exercise and eat well, no matter how crazy their schedule is, so I knew I needed to get myself in gear. I know that taking the time to do things that are fulfilling to me is important not just for my own health and sanity, but will ultimately make me a better coach/ business owner/ wife/ friend/ person in general.
So, here are two super simple ideas that have been helping me lately:
Start the day on your terms. You might not be able to control much of what the day throws at you as it goes on, but you do have control (for the most part) over how the day begins. For me, I know that grabbing my phone or laptop to check my messages first thing in the morning does not allow me to start the day on my terms. Before I know it, that one email I wanted to respond to that was supposed to take five minutes, has turned into half an hour of me getting lost in social media or you tube or whatever… basically doing what Caleb calls “small screening” 🙂 If I give myself a set start and end time for emails and social media, I tend to do a better job of staying focused and leaving myself more time for other important things.
Prioritize your downtime. No one wants their days off to feel overly scheduled, but I find that a completely open ended day usually leaves me frustrated by the end of it. For example, if I wake up on Sundays thinking I have all day to play the guitar, I will usually find at the end of the day that I got “busy” with things and didn’t get to it. I do a much better job if I set myself a specific timeframe, such as, when I’m done eating lunch I will play the guitar for 30 minutes.
Busy is not the same thing as productive, and it’s certainly not the same thing as fulfilled. Make the time to take care of your health (physical, spiritual, and emotional) and don’t let “busy” stand in the way of prioritizing the things that are truly important to you.
Strength and love,