Stop Over-committing Your Time
Meetings. Car pools. Sporting events. Girls’ nights. If your calendar has one event after another scheduled, leaving you little to no time to yourself, you might find yourself getting less enjoyment and satisfaction out of your busy schedule.
“This is a really busy time of year, and it’s so easy to say ‘yes’ to everything and find yourself really busy, but not very happy,” said Dr. Amy Hammers. “Sometimes we have to remember to schedule ourselves first and to place a bigger priority on self-care.”
The following tips can help you clear your schedule and your head:
—Pick your priorities. Take some time to determine what really matters to you – and if making your kids’ Halloween costumes by hand isn’t on the list, then consider heading to Target this year. If you focus in on what lights your fire and what fuels you rather than drains you, your schedule will start to reflect that.
—Break it down. You simply can’t accomplish 28 hours’ worth of tasks (not to mention eating and sleeping) in a 24-hour day. Tally up the hours you spend on sleeping, eating, getting ready and other basic necessities. How much time is left? Then determine what is needed for work/school/self-care/relationships/pets and any other categories. This will give you an idea of how much time you physically have to give.
—Choose yourself – and treat yourself. How often do you put yourself first? If you find that you’re coming at the end of the line, you might need to remind yourself that your needs are important, too. You don’t have to get a massage every week (unless that works in your schedule and budget), but if you do something nice for yourself even once a month, you will reap the benefits of self-care.
—Streamline your schedule. Where can you be a little more efficient? Without trying to multitask too much, can you visit your parents on your way to your daughter’s soccer game or hit the gym and the hardware store in one trip? Schedule 20 minutes every Sunday to try to plan and organize your week, noting where things might get hectic and where you can streamline.
—Ask for help. “We aren’t always great at asking for help, even when we need it, “Dr. Hammers added, “but friends and family are often more than happy to help and sometimes we just need to open the door and let them know that we could use a little assistance.” Ask for help running errands or babysitting, hire a cleaner, order groceries online or tell your partner that you need a couple hours every weekend to recharge.
Saying no and cutting back isn’t always easy, but when you do it from a sense of self-worth and priorities, it makes sense. You only have so many days and so many hours – how do you want to spend them?