Making Time

I don’t have enough time.  I’m too busy.  I’m exhausted.  How will I add one more thing to my schedule?  I’m not a morning person.  I’m not a night person. That person is super human. Does this sound like anyone you know?  All of these were the statements I use to tell myself.  Many of us fill our plates too full without thinking about it.  Saying “NO” to others can be one of the hardest things to do, but why is it that we are quick to tell ourselves “NO.”   No, I don’t have time to go to the gym.  No, I don’t have time to sit quietly and read that book I’ve been wanting to start.  No, I don’t have time to eat healthy.  No, I don’t have time to take that vacation.

We all are busy people, right? And it’s hard to find the time.  Here is the secret…..we all have the same 24 hours in the day.  The question is “How are we spending that 24 hours?”  Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes we all have to splurge and kick back and binge watch our favorite shows, occasionally! “Finding time”, really means MAKING time.  When something important comes up in our lives, we find a way to schedule it into our lives.  Why don’t we do that with our heath?  Don’t be the FIRST person you cancel on your schedule; be the FIRST person you schedule and keep on your calendar.

I totally understand busy. From running my own business, working part-time outside the home, four young children, active kiddos in various activities, a husband that works full time, and no family within a 12-hour radius, here are my TOP 5 time management tips that have helped me and I hope one of them can help you.

  1. I’m very old school and use a paper calendar (don’t worry you can laugh as my husband makes so much fun of me).  I visually need to see our family of six schedule at a month’s glance.  I use different color pens for each person so I can quickly glance to see who has what going on.  We also have a family calendar in our kitchen that helps remind all of us of upcoming events.
  2. Once you schedule a good time to hit the gym, mark it on your calendar and schedule it like a work appointment.   I encourage you to carve out the same time daily to establish that routine.  If it’s a rest day, use that same time to sit and enjoy a podcast, read a book, or something else you normally wouldn’t do for yourself.  Keeping the consistency will help you keep your routine going and you’re less likely to cancel on yourself.
  3. Sundays are planning days in our house.  It helps me to sit down weekly to look at what is coming our way.  I feel like the more prepared I am with our family’s schedule, the more likely we will eat health, have less stress, and find more time for fun.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for HELP!  This one took me a long time to do, as I’ve always been one to get it done on my own.  As our older set of twins got into different sports and practices were at the same time in different directions, I quickly knew I had to start asking for help.  I bet you that other parent would love the help of doing ride shares. Ok, now repeat after me….” Asking for help is NOT a weakness.”  It will make two families lives so much easier!!
  5. Be mindful of what you are saying “YES” to, because it means you are saying NO to something else.  If you have a deadline at work, and you get asked to a coffee or lunch date, but know if you go you will have to cancel the one appointment you set for yourself, the 6pm class at the gym.  Consider rescheduling the coffee date for another day so you meet your deadlines, and keep your appointment you planned a week in advance.

One of my favorite quotes I recently heard is “I Don’t Have Time” is the grown-up version of “The Dog at My Homework.”  Remind yourself that you are just as important as that meeting with your boss.  Don’t cancel with yourself.  When we take time to replenish our spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

-Erica Erickson, Coach

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