When I talk to busy moms, one of the most common struggles they share with me is “I just don’t have enough time to do the things I really want to do.”
Everyone seems to want another hour in their day…whether to work out, to really focus on the kids without distraction, to talk with a friend, or to just read a book without being interrupted.
What I’ve learned is that no one is going to give you more time — you need to take it for yourself. And there are steps you can take to do so, every day and without guilt.
1. Prioritize the things that are most important to you, and then only do those things. Make a list of the 10 things that are most important to you. Then pick, out of those 10, which 5 are most important. And then, I know it’s hard, but pick the top 3 out of those 5. Do those things. Say no to everything and everyone else.
2. Figure out what makes you happy and deliberately do those things during your down time. For me, activities like listening to music and reading actually feel good and make me happy. But it’s so easy to get caught up in time sucks like surfing the internet or watching stupid tv shows. Be disciplined about doing what actually feels good and feeds your soul.
3. Take control of your schedule. Sit down with your planner every Sunday night, before your week begins, and schedule in your priorities. Schedule in your breaks. If naps are important to you, schedule those in too! The only way to ensure you have time for something is to schedule it and treat it like the important appointment it is.
4. Let everything else go. One of the keys to living deliberately and authentically is learning to be ok with disappointing people. When you take control of your schedule, you might let other people down — when I did this exercise years ago, I certainly did (the PTA at my kids’ school comes to mind). Be ok with that.
Above all else, know that how you spend your time is how you spend your life. Your life is precious, and it really is ok to spend it only on the things that matter to you, that make you happy, and that feed your soul.
In the comments below, share your thoughts on how you make more time for yourself in your life.