Beware the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates
When was the last time you removed yourself from distractions, turned off the constant chatter in your head, and focused completely on YOU?
If you are like most entrepreneurs we know, you might be scratching your head for an answer.
Our life has transformed into a never-ending to-do list packed with professional and personal obligations. From the moment we swing our legs off the bed in the morning to the moment we finally turn off the lights – maybe at 2:00 a.m. – we are constantly in motion, buzzing like a bee to cram more into our overflowing schedule.
Somewhere amidst this hustle and bustle, we lose ourselves.
And, yet, the most esteemed entrepreneurs never fail to take care of themselves. They are aware that self-care has proven psychological and physiological benefits, including: reduced stress, improved concentration, increased focus, boosted self-esteem, heightened creativity and enhanced productivity.
Why shouldn’t you too lead a pleasurable and successful life without losing yourself in the process?
Following are five ways for making more time for yourself every day:
1. Schedule Nonnegotiable “ME” Time
It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and make your happiness a priority. It is necessary. – Mandy Hale
In a world that glorifies busyness, the sad truth is you will rarely remember to treasure yourself unless this intention is marked on a calendar.
So go ahead and plan your “ME” time. It can be as few as fifteen minutes, but choose a period with no stressors or distractions.
Some people set aside five-10 minutes every hour to regroup and recharge. Taking a break after a period of intense focus helps you “pamper” yourself while still being proactive at work.
Zealously guard this time.
Turn off the Internet, mute your phone and do something that will make you come alive!
Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere. – Ronald Reagan
Entrepreneurs are doers who hate feeling out of control. But if not ceding some unimportant or unrewarding tasks, you will constantly react to life instead of steering it in the direction of your choice.
You don’t have to feel guilty about letting others shoulder responsibilities. When letting go of control, you take back time and feel much less burdened.
- Request help with the dishes or ask for help with the laundry.
- Outsource business-related tasks that take up too much time, are boring or not stimulating enough.
Trust us – your mind, heart and soul will thank you.
3. Say “NO”
When you say YES to others, make sure you are not saying NO to yourself. – Paul Coelho
Most of us don’t know how to say “NO” to unnecessary intrusions on our time.
We are afraid of this two-letter word. Our fear stems from a skewed perception that saying “NO” amounts to disrespecting, hurting or alienating someone.
What if my best friend stops talking to me because I couldn’t help her out with the PTA meeting? What if my colleague spreads horrible rumors about me because I refused to partner with him (or her)?
Don’t we just love to tack on terrifying meanings to a simple word?
More often than not, none of these scary scenarios are true. Au contraire, saying “NO” is an act of kindness setting clear expectations. Understanding your limits enables others to honor them by giving the space you need to flourish.
Do yourself and others a favor, and say NO! You will automatically find more time for yourself.
4. Become Aware of Time-Suckers
My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time. – Steve Jobs
When was the last time you spent 10 minutes without your phone pinging to alert you of yet another social media notification, text message or email?
“Technology overwhelm” is commonplace today. The products and platforms that are bringing global citizens “closer” are also the reasons why most of us feel unproductive!
If you have ever fallen into a social media rabbit-hole, you know what we mean. A two-minute distraction has the potential to snowball into a copious waste of time.
If you wish to maximize your efficiency while still being able to breathe, you need to first comprehend how you are spending time.
Utilize time management software, such as RescueTime (for laptops) or QualityTime (for Android smart phones), to achieve this objective. (Yep, technology can be used for good!) If these tools don’t seem appealing, take advantage of the trusty pen and paper to track your activities.*
Be brutally honest in order to reap the maximum rewards. Being cognizant of your time-suckers will help you make appropriate changes in order to get things done faster.
Voila – you just freed up some space for yourself!
5. Eat the Frog
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. – Stephen Covey
Tackling a challenging task in the morning lends a sense of accomplishment. As a result, you will be more inclined to make time for yourself.
Rank your weekly (and daily) goals in terms of importance and urgency. Do NOT rank them in order of preference. For instance, you might prefer answering emails first, but this might only offer an illusion of progress. Instead, tend to the task that will add the most value to your professional or personal life.
Reward your dedication with any activity that rejuvenates your senses and makes you happy.
Conclusion: If you want to enjoy a fun, fit and fulfilling life, you need to make time for yourself.
When you take care of yourself, you will be able and willing to better take care of others.
Are you ready to cherish YOU?
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