It seems like no matter who you talk too, no one ever feels like they have enough time–especially when it comes to having time for themselves. Fortunately, there is an answer–several possible answers, actually–that can help.
The following suggestions may help you to free up more time for yourself. And not only can you find more time for yourself–you’ll also be able to find more time to spend enjoying your family.
Here are a few ideas to start you out:
- Rise and Shine! Try getting up earlier in the morning, before anyone else in your household. This can give you a precious few minutes to yourself. How much earlier you get up is up to you–you can start with just 5 minutes, if you want to slowly acclimate yourself to your earlier wake time. Just imagine what you could do with an extra 30 uninterrupted minutes…read a book, write part of a blog entry, reconnect with old friends on Facebook, work on that novel you’ve been thinking about….
- Get Creative with Your Lunch Break. If you work at a full time job and you’re not paid for your lunch hour, then that time is yours to do with as you please–so make the most of it. If you have–or can get–a laptop computer, you can write pages to a novel or screenplay or compose the text to a blog post during your lunch. Or you can use the time to pay your bills (or start working on your taxes, if it’s close to that time of year)–or even rewrite your resume for that next big job! Whatever you decide to work on during that time, it will free up that much more time that you can later to spend on your own pursuits–or with your family.
- Keep a Notebook on Hand. Assuming you work in an office, keeping a notebook on your desk will give you a place to jot down your thoughts during the day when you remember chores or errands that need to get done. This includes any items you may need to pick up from the grocery or home supply store. As you’re writing down your tasks and grocery/supply lists, prioritize them by deadline. You may have a category that has no hard and fast deadline, which is perfectly OK.These lists will help you to remember important responsibilities in advance, rather than only at the last minute–which will save you money, frustration, time, and a myriad of other problems.If you can swing it, jotting down your lists on a handy new Apple iPad or other tablet is even better. These techie toys are fun to use and multi-functional (they can even be used for video chatting and for reading e-books)-and, you can easily transfer your lists to a desktop computer so they can be stored or printed.
- Get Organized. Have a place for everything. Go a step father by making sure the place for each of your items makes sense and that it will be easily accessible. For example–keep items you use regularly in a spot that’s fast and easy to get to. Nothing that is used frequently should be kept somewhere out of the way or hard to reach like up in the attic or buried in a box in the garage.You may find that some new shelving or other storage will be helpful in getting your organized–especially when you have whole categories of items that have no set place in your home.
- Delegate. If you live with other family members, everyone should be doing their fair share of chores–with consideration given to homework and the number of hours worked at a full time job, of course. Consider what chores the kids can handle (which may be more than you might think), as well as chores for your significant other.If your family members aren’t used to handling chores, you may need to start slow–but this is a necessary step. You’ll have some time freed up for yourself, and the other members of your household will learn responsibility. (And the kids will know how to take care of certain tasks if they move out on their own some day.) It’s a win-win…win!———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Don’t try all these suggestions at once. As when starting any new way of doing things, start out gradually so you don’t feel overwhelmed–and so you can fully incorporate the suggestion into your routine. Some of these ideas may work better for you than others–or you may come up with some that are completely different. If the latter, please share your ideas!
This is part I in a 2-part series. Stay tuned for More Effective Ways to Find Time for Yourself.