Okay, we’ve heard it all before - “it’s important to make time for yourself,” “fill up your cup, before you fill up the cups of others,” “self-care is key”. But when you’re knee deep in a to-do list, another work emergency pops up, or you hear your child yelling “Mama” for the zillionth time, the idea of “me time” can seem highly unrealistic and unattainable. So, well we may not know the secret to having it all (or if it even exists), we can provide you with five ways that will help you actually make time for yourself - and we promise it doesn’t involve quitting your job or giving up your kid.
1. Tap into technology and the interwebs.
While there are some things you’d prefer to do IRL, there are likely things you dread and take up a few too many of your precious minutes. For example, if you dread hitting up the grocery store on a savage Saturday morning, or hate looking for a parking spot at the city’s busiest shopping centre, consider tapping into your online options. With many grocery stores offering online shopping options with easy pickup, Amazon Prime delivering in seconds (but seriously how do they do that?), and online banking and investing offering automation services, if you don’t want to leave your house, you no longer have to. Use the time you’re saving to attend that spin class, or hunker down with the book that has dust growing on it. If it’s not an activity you enjoy, see how you can minimize the time you spend doing it.
2. Delegate, delegate, delegate.
You’ve heard the saying, “You have as many hours in a day as Beyonce,” and while yes, we do, Beyonce also has a committed team of people working behind the scenes for her. Although you might not have a live-in maid or an attractive gardener, you DO have a community to lean on - and some of these people you might have not even met yet! For example, services like JobJar make it easy and stress-free for you to get those pesky, time-consuming, tedious jobs around the house done, and done well at that! Rather than wasting hours on end watching YouTube videos on how to drywall (to no success) or spending your Sunday slaving away cleaning (thank you, next), you can lean on JobJar and its community of experts for help. All you have to do is create the job you need help with, review the quotes and candidates available, select your preferred skilled doer who you want to tackle the work, and voila, it’s done. You literally can sit back, relax and know your to-do list is getting checked off while you’re checked out doing something for yourself. Now you may be thinking, how can I trust this person with the work? But with JobJar’s brilliant platform, you can rate and review someone before granting them the job. Plus, all payment is handled online through its website once the job is complete, so you don’t need to rush out to the bank and grab cash. As Olivia Pope would say, “it’s handled”. Bless, JobJar. Bless.
3. Schedule it.
This may seem too type A for you, but if you write it down in your day planner, post it on your family calendar or schedule the time in your work calendar, you’re more likely to commit to it. When the notification pops up on your computer or phone, you know to stop what you’re doing and commit to yourself instead. Plus, all your colleagues and family members can see what you’re up to and know to leave you the hell alone. We call that a HUGE win-win.
4. Practice saying a new word.
This tip is one of the hardest to implement, but it will garner you the best results - learn how to say “no”. Say no to things that don’t serve you, say no to things that you don’t have time for, say no to people who don’t deserve your energy, and say no to things that ultimately put you and your wellbeing at risk. This could be as small as saying, “No, I will not tackle that task as it’s just going to frustrate me” and outsourcing it to services (refer to point 3 above), saying “No, I will not book another social activity this week as I’m feeling worn out” or saying “No, I will not volunteer for that task this week as I need time to replenish”. The more you say no to the things that aren’t serving you, the more you can say “yes” to the things that light you up, and bring you joy and happiness. Uh huh honey, it really is that easy.
5. Scrolling down a rabbit hole.
We’ve all said “I don’t have time for myself because I’m too busy” and while we all wear many hats and play many roles, there are ways we waste time without even realizing it. How many evenings have you spent scrolling through Instagram before you realize you’re 72 weeks deep in someone’s feed who you don’t even know? If you added up all the time you spent on your phone in a week, you’d be utterly shocked at the results. So, rather than spending time looking at other people’s lives, spend that time actually living your own. Tips on how to detox:
Turn off as many push notifications as possible
Log out of your social media apps, so you won’t be tempted to pop it back open
Take distracting and non-essential apps off your home screen
Set a timer each night for when to cut yourself off
We promise, Instagram will still be there when you’re ready to log back in. And believe it or not, you won’t have missed anything major anyways.
If you had a free uninterrupted hour, what would you do with your time?