I used to do this thing where I'd go out of my way and sacrifice my needs to help my friends and family.
I wanted them to feel taken care of, supported and loved (still do!). But what I found after a while of putting everyone else first, was that my stuff was always on the back-burner...
I'd have hectic weeks because I said yes to something on the weekend and lost my meal prep time.
I'd stay on the phone during my workday for an hour with a friend in need, and end up having to work late.
I love my people, but something had to give because I was always left holding the bag - MY bag, with all the things I needed to do for myself in it.
Recently I did a Facebook Live where I talked about the 3 important realizations that I had about how to make more time for yourself. Check it out here….
Here are some things I learned about how to make more time for myself:
- When I'm clear on my priorities, it's easier to say yes/no to other things because I know what I need to dedicate my time to.
- Efficiency saves the day - I've learned to double up on my time by taking walking meetings or planning my work tasks around the errands I need to run.
- Usually, things can be done faster. Rather than giving myself a whole Sunday to accomplish housework, if I condense the task into 2 hours in the evening I can usually get it all done in that time, leaving more time for something else.
A note on perfectionism - in learning to make myself a priority I've had to let go of some perfectionist tendencies. To be honest, I don’t think I realized I was being a “perfectionist” about things, I just lived by this internal set of rules that I held myself accountable to. It wasn’t until I started feeling overwhelmed by the amount I’d need to do to keep up with all my personal expectations that I realized it was a bit much. So, I slowly started to loosen the grip on some things…
For example, I used to pressure myself to show up “professionally” at all my meetings. It became overwhelming to try to balance a full meeting schedule and get my daily workouts in, or teach yoga. Considering I live my life in yoga clothes (I’m either coming from or on my way to the studio) I've decided it's ok to take business meetings in my yoga clothes.
Now I book my meetings right after a yoga class at the cafe next door. My colleagues understand that I'm prioritizing my wellness and respect me for it. I've come to respect myself for it too because it's one way I prioritize my health vs stressing over superficial details.
So, if you find yourself suffocating underneath the expectations you’ve set for yourself, try loosening the grip a bit. If you do this and put the three tips above into practice, you might just find you have more time for yourself.