5 Ways to Find Time for Self When Overscheduled

DSCF1104Each of us can be overscheduled and sincerely desire to find time for things  need or want to do.

Truth is, we will not find time or make more of it. We are each given only 24 hours a day.

We can determine how we spend the time we have; even when we are now overscheduled and stressed to the limit.

Not taking time for self harms our health, emotions, and can steal our joy.

Some of my wonderful readers are caregivers, some caring elderly and children in their homes. Many also have to work a full time job to keep things going.Scheduling time for yourself seems selfish and is too often put on the back burner.

Here are five ways you can “find time” no matter how busy your schedule.

After you have made a list of things you would do if you could find time, follow these same steps I did. It will take a little work in the beginning but well worth it. It can be absolutely life-changing, yet so simple.

#1 SET A SPECIFIC PERIOD OF TIME TO GIVE THIS A TRY. This is NOT time you leave your responsibilities. It will allow time during the week for you to do projects, rest, or meet your greatest need. I suggest you look at at least a week’s schedule to begin.

I chose a three-week period which gave me a good overall view of my life. (I called it my vacation.) Of course, many days I only had 30 minutes, but they were mine to spend as I chose.

#2 WHICH OF YOUR REGULAR DUTIES COULD BE POSTPONED? Do you have  appointments or obligations you could move from your week (or longer) to a later date or eliminated completely? Could some of those calendar dates be grouped together?

Weigh your choices carefully. It’s interesting the things I had on my calendar sapping my time were more habits or my perceived duty than necessities. I chose to delete all that did not fall into my current plans.

#3 WHAT PROJECTS COULD BE DELEGATED TO SOMEONE ELSE?

This was probably the most difficult for me. I appreciate those who offer help, but I felt I was failing in my duties if I accepted it. Do you feel that way? We deny others of the blessings of helping when we insist on doing it all ourselves. Learn to accept from others. (Be sure that you honor any personal commitments you have made to others).

#4 PLAN DOABLE MENUS FOR THE WEEK. Remember, you will be vacationing in a sense—making needed time for yourself. Allow for a few more carry-in meals or meals out. Can’t afford meals out? Get creative. Use fast food coupons for hot sandwiches or pizza, add a salad or fruit and ice cream. Picnic in the yard! Keep it simple.

Prepare ahead for meals in: spend a day stocking the refrigerator and freezer with foods you can prepare in a short amount of time.

#5 DETERMINE YOUR TIME ROBBERS. In the last two days, how did you really spend your time? Planning and shuffling papers, reading Facebook posts for long periods of time, chatting on the phone or at the store endlessly?

When I evaluated my days, no wonder I was stressed with nothing done! I moved from project to project, trying to fulfill everyone’s requests, then go back to a project and have to figure out where I left off. I spent more time than I realized on social media throughout the day. Even many good things were depriving me of the best things.

So, when is your time for self? Did you find an hour a day, an entire morning, even perhaps a day just for you? And what did you do?

This simple plan will work! And it will have long-lasting consequences.

Hugs,

Can’t wait to hear from you as you give it a try! Even ONE day, just one day will help you. Honest!

Surprising Profit from an Affordable Vacation, Part 1

affordable vacationNote: this is a two-part series, trust me on this one; well worth your time to read it all.

Are you over-stressed and desperately in need of an affordable vacation?

Do you find yourself snapping at people, upset over small things, wanting to run away?  Are you dreaming of ocean breezes, comfy motel rooms, sightseeing, no cooking, no laundry? Time to leave cares behind and relax and refresh?

Does that sound like Mission Impossible in your circumstances?

Last month I reached to point of physical and mental exhaustion. My job, my writing and my homemaking all suffered and I could see no way out. I had neither time nor money for a real vacation. Have you been there? Are you there now?

How does that happen to us? Is there help and hope?

Circumstances differ: you may be caring for others and dealing with family, health, weather, financial woes, deadlines, etc.  For me, while still rebounding from my unplanned 40-day hospital stay, a hacker locked up all my word processing files and my photos. For an office manager and a secretary, this was devastating. With no backup on the computer, I found myself struggling to accomplish the smallest tasks. Boxes and stacks of papers added to the chaos.

I longed for a vacation but there was no funds, no time.

Work continued to fall behind, family matters were left unattended, my health began to suffer again. Overwhelmed, I pushed harder only to find myself more stressed. In the midst of this, a wise coach insisted I take a vacation. She said simply stop trying to meet deadlines, and tend only to my very basic daily needs.

In the midst of my muddle, she said, “You have to take a vacation.”

I was told to take at least two or three weeks to organize and refocus my life. I was instructed to call it vacation; to treat it as a vacation, and act accordingly. This worked for me, and I assure you, it can work for you.

I have two assignments for you this week.

#1 spend a few minutes each day writing down your thoughts on a vacation.If someone paid expenses and took care of all your obligations at home, where would you go? What would you do? Would the end result be a band-aid or a real fix to your situation? Would you come home to the same problems, perhaps more so? Is a vacation away from home what you really need?

The second assignment is most important; think it through carefully. 

#2 Take an inventory of your life. What really bugs you about your situation? Are there things at home you never get around to doing? People you need to see? Calls you need to make? Letters you need to write? There will never, ever be enough time to catch up. Next week I will be telling you exactly what I did on my “vacation” and the results. You will be surprised. I certainly was.

Until then, blessings and hugs,

Do me a favor. Share this link with someone you know that could use a little encouragement right now. Better yet, send them a copy of my book (follow the link to the right). And don’t forget to leave me a comment, they are a great encouragement to me.