Winning back control of your life can be a hard task if you are not armed with this right mindset and tools. Taking care of business is the main focus, after the children of course, in most people’s lives. What is the tool most people use to manage their time and appointments? Yes, that’s right, the humble calendar.
Your life is arguably more important than any other appointment on the calendar, yet many people don’t even have a calendar for themselves. They will have a calendar for work, perhaps one for the kids and maybe some of the super organised among us might have a shared one with their partner.
What about for you?
Somehow it seems that time to yourself is very scarce these days and even those that do have time scheduled into the calendar for self care will often bump those appointments for work, the kids or just about anything else that comes up.
Why do we do this? Is it some sort of inbuilt guilt chip that mothers (and some fathers) always put themselves last, as if they aren’t a priority? In reality, without us, the household would stop functioning.
As CEO of the household, we have to make the tough decisions on what bills we need to put first and when we can afford to replace that ageing clothes dryer that works but has that strange screeching sound as the drum tumbles the clothes dry. But if the kids want something, somehow we make it work. We don’t want them to miss out, and will put our needs on hold to see to theirs.
If you were not able to do everything you have to do each day to keep not only your life running, but the rest of the household as well, what would happen? Do you have a backup in case you get sick or have to travel for work at short notice? How long can you go on like that before you snap?
Don’t you think that you might deserve a little time to yourself to recharge your batteries to make it through another week? Isn’t keeping you in tiptop shape, ready to face all that you do, worth a small amount of time each week?
How can we take control back over our lives and lead a more balanced and organised life? How do we go about finding time for me-time?
Well it won’t be easy (sorry!) and it won’t be quick but it is doable. It all starts with your calendar. Whether you use an electronic one, a downloadable planner or a paper based one, it doesn’t matter as long as you are making use of a calendar and you are consistent with it.
Schedule in time for all the recurrent appointments in life, some time each week to look at the finances and pay bills, some time for the kids activities and sports, the partner’s appointments and don’t forget a date night every now and then!
Schedule in some time for yourself to re energise, doing whatever you like, as long as it makes you feel good. If you are hesitant to schedule in some ‘you’ time, think about this: there are 168 hours in a week, can you take just one hour a week for you? It’s not selfish to want some time to yourself each week. In fact, it is essential! How can one hour a week be selfish? If you can fit in more than an hour, go for it!
The next important tip for taking back control is to treat your appointments as if they were as important to you as other people’s appointments, because they are. Don’t bump your own appointments off your schedule either.
It’s fine to rearrange your week in advance, but do not cancel your own appointments. This is very important as changing your mindset from putting yourself last won’t happen overnight, it will take practice and persistence.
The practice of keeping your own appointments, as the same priority as others is a hard concept to wrap your mind around and it can be hard to do in practice but it really is the key to helping you to become more organised and effective with your time.
What would you do if you had an extra hour every week, just for you?