The Happiness Hunter recently held our first Webinar about how to make time for YOU in our crazy, busy lives. If you missed it, don’t worry! We will guide you through the 5 practical and helpful tips to prioritise your time, spending it doing things that will help you become happier, healthier and more balanced.
Do any of these sound familiar?
“Sorry we haven’t caught up, I’ve just been too busy.”
“I can’t make it on Saturday, I have too much on with the kids.”
“I’ve been planning on going to that exercise class, but I haven't had a chance. ”
“With working and a family to look after, I can’t spend half an hour a day meditating, I just don’t have time.”
The reality is, you have the power to choose what you do with your time.
Let’s be honest, we’re all running around like headless chickens most of the time. There is no denying our western lifestyles are jam-packed and full to the brim. So we get it when you say you don’t have time to go for your morning run, or to go for a sunset walk on the beach with your partner. With full time jobs, kids to look after and houses to clean, it is undeniably tough to find the time to prioritise what you need.
However, the catch 22 here is that by not prioritising time to refill our energy, we won’t have much left of it to give those we need to support. We can’t be giving, giving, giving and not receiving. Think of a glass, the glass of water is slowly drunk throughout the day, until there’s only a sip left. After the final sip is gone, the glass is empty.
If we keep giving ourselves to others or other priorities, with nothing in return, no refills, at the end of the day (or especially at the end of a long week) we will find ourselves feeling empty. Even a bit lost or scattered.
Being balanced mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially is not only important, it is vital to becoming a happier person. Through these simple steps, you can learn how to spend time on what you need, to fill up again and be the best friend, partner, employee, daughter, sister, or mum, that you can be.
Time is a very precious commodity, but we very rarely give it the respect that it deserves. What we do with our time has a direct correlation on the quality of our lives.
We understand that the reality is that there is no more time! You can’t just squeeze in a nap in the middle of your day if your in the office working (as much as this would be amazing!)
Through the 5 tips below, we’re going to teach you how to maximise your time and prioritise your time allocations to what you NEED as you are the one in charge of allocating the time in your day.
Where does your time go?
This first tip is to help make us aware of what we are actually spending our time on in our week.
We can use a simple activity to help us do this. To start, you’ll need a weekly calendar.
Write on your calendar all the activities and things that you do on a weekly basis. Make sure you include everything! Whether it is assisting, supporting or caring for family members, travel to and from work and other activities, work, sleep, meals, exercise, domestic activities, shopping, meal preparation, volunteering, building a side business, social time with friends, watching TV, reading books, scrolling through social media, drinking, even sitting on the couch at the end of the day.
The key to this activity is to be really honest about what you are actually doing with your time. Until you really eyeball it, you won’t be able to see what you can change.
Reflect on your week
When you look at your calendar, ask yourself how it make you feel.
Do you feel like you use your time well? Do you have time for yourself and for the things that are important to you? Not to your kids, not to your partner, but to you.
Do you waste time? Where and how do you waste time? Are there things that you do that don’t make sense?
Put a star next to the activities that you don’t feel like you can change and these are concrete for now in your week. Look at the rest of the week, can you see anywhere where you can structure your time differently to create more time in your day for the things that really matter?
What can you cut out?
After reflecting on your calendar, you may be able to find things in your week that are taking up precious time and may not be so productive to your mental, physical or emotional health. Substituting a not-so-wholesome activity for a wholesome activity can make a huge difference!
If you’re spending 30 minutes on social media on your morning commute to work, why not download a meditation podcast and take the time to sit, put your headphones in, close your eyes, breathe deeply and listen to your meditation. You could also do this on your lunch break to help clear your mind before you tackle the rest of the day.
If you pour yourself a few glasses of wine at the end of a long day, maybe consider swapping this with a warm bath with a few drops of relaxing essential oil.
If you are finding yourself flat out taking out the garbage, cleaning the dishes, cooking and all the rest... Delegate if you can!! Set some chores for your kids to do to help you around the house. Even just having someone else feeding the dog at night can help free up some time for you.
Add more soul-satisfying activities to your life!
What is important to you? What do you want to spend time doing? Is it a yoga class once a week? Do you want to incorporate a short meditation before bed every night? Have you wanted to join an exercise group or spend more romantic one-on-one time with your partner? Take you daughter out for breakfast on a Sunday morning?
We all have things we have been meaning to do and never prioritise ACTUALLY doing them. Now we have created a little more time in your week, or even more time in your day, you can keep this time free for the things you need. As this will keep you balanced and being balanced is our first step to being happy.
Write down the things you are now going to prioritise so you don’t forget and pencil them into your new calendar.
Set healthy boundaries with your time
If you don’t know what your boundaries are, then neither will anyone else. You can’t blame anyone else for what you do with your time. And it is going to happen that people are going to make requests of your time. Your time is your time, and you need to know the best way for you to utilise it to honour your responsibilities and to live your life well.
What do you say yes to? What do you say no to? What do you say yes to and then resent it? Do you feel taken advantage of? Not respected? Take note of some of these answers.
Setting boundaries helps us realise some things we do out of duty or because we think we need to, but these things may actually be depleting us. We need to start bringing in things into our life that FILL US UP. Saying no is really hard for some people. But getting worn down is also really hard and can lead to the falling of relationships, health and other things we need to keep on top of in order to be happy.
It's your job to know what is important to you, and what your priorities are so that you can be clear on your firm, but loving (for yourself and for everyone else) boundaries.
The Happiness Hunter helps business owners and business leaders navigate life and transform their approach to business.