Almost three months ago, I wrote a post about shifting my language from “I don’t have time” to the “I don’t make time.” And over the past few months, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make time, especially for the things that make my soul sing!
Now, this is no easy task for someone with a take charge and [kind of!] dominant personality like mine. I’m sure Vishnu could say a lot more about this, but I’ll stop there!
In my quest to make more time, I’ve learned some universal things. What I do think can vary from person to person is consistency. Nothing is going to change overnight. Staying consistent with your habits/decisions is absolutely key.
With that, here are the 5 ways I’ve learned to make time.
Give up on perfection.
As I’ve blogged about numerous times before, perfect does not exist. And as I’ve learned over the past few months, doing the best you can is usually the best way to do things. I’m not 100% there yet, but so far, when I’ve been able to let go of perfection, only good things/feelings have happened. As hippie and cliché as it sounds, I really do feel lighter and happier!
And there’s no easy way to do this. The one (and only) thing that’s worked for me is to have an internal dialogue about the illusion of perfect whenever crazy thoughts pop into my head. I’m always reminding myself that perfect does not exist and that no one expects me to be perfect or do everything perfectly. With time, the internal dialogue sticks and becomes a way of life.
Learn to delegate.
Have I ever mentioned that I’m a bit of a control freak? People like me don’t want to delegate. They want to do everything themselves, and in the process, they drive everyone around them crazy!
While at work, you’re kind of forced to delegate and all that, but at home…well, that’s a different story. Me being me, I didn’t necessarily choose to delegate household duties to Vishnu. I was forced to. I kept finding myself in situations where there was no time to do everything that needed doing and keep my sanity. I was also starting to feel slightly resentful that I was the one taking care of everything…even though it was completely my choice.
Well, one day I broke down and asked Vishnu to go to the store to get our groceries..FOR THE WEEK! This was HUGE! All in all, it turned out ok. Did he get things that weren’t on the list? Yes. Did he buy the more expensive tomato sauce? Sure did. But was I able to save/make an hour of time that wouldn’t have otherwise been mine? YES! And that’s when it dawned on me. Delegation (which is not “do exactly what I tell you how I tell you” as I’ve learned) is one of the best ways to make time. Now I delegate lots of things – cleaning the bathroom, folding the laundry, washing the dishes, etc!! I haven’t asked yet, but I don’t think Vishnu minds my newfound skill. Happy wife, happy life. Right?!
Prioritize your to do list
It’s taken me a while, but I’ve learned that not everything is an urgent priority. I try my best to schedule things according to how important they are. For example, in my paper planner (yes I’m one of those people!), I don’t list my entire week’s to do list under one day. I look at when something needs to get done by and how much time it’s going to take and schedule accordingly.
I’m also much more cognizant about not letting the Parita-centric priorities fall to the wayside. These would be to dos that fall under the “important but not urgent” list (working out, reading, blogging, etc.).
And finally, learn to say no. This could honestly be it’s own tip/blog post, but say no to lunches/dinners that you feel obligated to go to, say no to projects that don’t inspire you, say no to anything that doesn’t light you up. When you start saying no, you’ll be able to say yes to the things that actually matter.
Distractions can take many forms. Most recently, the biggest distraction in my life came in the form of an iPhone game called 1010. My addiction got so bad that I would delete it swearing I was done, and then hours later I would re-download it. CRAZY! I can’t even tell you how many hours I wasted playing this stupid game.
And while distractions can be fun and necessary in small doses, you should actively monitor how you use your time over the course of the day. I think most of us would be surprised by how much time gets consumed by unassuming distractions.
And just for the record, I deleted the game a while back and have yet to re-download it!
Get a good night’s rest
Sleep. It’s makes everything better/easier.
But seriously, I’ve found that when I sleep well, I’m able to focus better, I’m much more rational, and I have the energy to do the things that are important to me…like read before bed! Makes sense though, right? If you’re always tired, the last thing on your mind will be making time for and taking care of yourself.
How do you make time for the important stuff?