Want to find the time to do stuff you really want to do? The stuff you really love? Over the next ten days I’ll share my top ten tips based on my own experience of finding time in amongst the childcare, full-time job, and the hectic-ness that comes from running a household. By the way, if you can grab half an hour today – in your lunch hour, instead of watching TV, in bed, on the bus – great. Spend it writing down what it is you want to do. I want to learn the guitar, I want to grow and cook my own food, I want to run a marathon, I want to spend more time with my kids, I want to write a memoir, or whatever it is. Then write down why. That’s it. Simply WRITE IT DOWN. Then come up with at least one reason why. By the way, all the tips in this series are linked out from here.
Tip number one
So, here’s tip number one. I think you’re going to like it:
- First thing to do is to have some time off. Sounds counter-intuitive when I’m talking about productivity but it is absolutely essential that you make time for yourself. Aim for half an hour a day, half a morning a week, a whole day per month, and a few days of me time once a year. Plan it, don’t just wish for it. Write it down. The timings are just guidelines and if you can’t get to the ideal right now, at least try for one day or one morning off a month. Make the arrangements. You don’t have to go out anywhere, and if you do it could be somewhere free. It can be as simple as going to a cafe, curling up with a book, having a mug of cocoa in the bath, your favourite crime drama plus no childcare responsibilities, a wander round a museum, or a walk to the sea or into countryside.
Let yourself off the hook
If you’ve just had a big change – you’ve had a baby, moved house, changed job, or anything of that kind – give yourself some breathing space. In fact, the most important thing you can do whatever stage you’re at is to let yourself off the hook and be kind to yourself. Self-criticism for not finding the time to do X is not going to create the time. You can’t go back and edit the past, although you can try to make a difference now.
Give yourself the time to set this up
In order to find the time to do the stuff you really want to do, you need some setting up time, and the setting up is likely to be hard, because you’ll have got into habits and routines that involve other people and are hard to break. BUT once you get through the setting up stage, you’ll have automated some tasks, meaning things will most likely get a whole lot easier than they are now.
Next up: Tip number two.
Top Ten Tips for Increasing Your Productivity
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