Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time for yourself? When was the last time you spent some quality time with your family? In today’s world, we can get bogged down with busyness. But it’s simple to make more time for yourself and others. Let’s get started:
Are You Overcommitted?
I play mandolin with a small acoustic band at my church. We play about eight times a year. I used to play percussion with the the worship team. That was a weekly responsibility.
I love playing music, but I was overwhelmed. Between weekly practices and performances, it felt like I was constantly running. Music stopped being fun. I needed to take a break and make more time for my myself and my daughter. So I quit. I took a year off before returning in a less-demanding capacity.
Sometimes, even the stuff and the activities we love can get in the way of what’s most important: ourselves and our relationships. But there’s a simple way to make more time for yourself and your loved ones.
Each of us has our own priorities we deem important. There’s no one-list-fits-all list to make more time for what’s important. But there are some common activities that pull us away from ourselves and others.
Intentionally Clear Your Plate
- Work: We all need to make a living. We need to support ourselves and our families. But sometimes we put money over people. We take on overtime or a second job. The extra money is nice, but sometimes we’d be better to review how we’re spending our money and make some simple changes so that we don’t have to work overtime. Each year, I review my expenses and find ways to reduce the amount of money that goes out. As a college instructor, I teach one overload class per quarter. I have a goal to stop teaching overload in three years. That will make even more time for myself and others.
- Volunteering: Some of you can relate with my music story. Volunteering is admirable. I’m currently volunteering in Annie’s 5th grade classroom every Friday afternoon. But if you volunteer too much, it starts to turn into a burden. If you feel burdened you won’t be a good volunteer. Limit your volunteer activities to once or twice a week.
- Hobbies: Sometimes, it’s our hobbies that are the culprits. I’m a big advocate for practicing creative hobbies. I write. I blog. I play music. I exercise. Once in awhile, I catch myself getting too engulfed in one or more of my hobbies. If you’re so passionate about something that it’s stealing time away from your spouse and kids, it might be time to dial it down a notch. Even cutting 10 minutes off your writing or exercise routine can make more time for others.
- TV: I have a small TV in my home. I don’t watch it much. But there have been times in my life when I’ve let TV take over. If you’re watching more than an hour or two of TV a day, you’re wasting your time. If you feel like you’re always stressed out because you don’t have enough time, turn off your TV. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can do. You’ll make more time for yourself. You’ll make more time for family.
- Devices: Similar to TV, smartphones, tablets, and computers can suck your soul. Don’t spend countless hours on social media or playing video games. Set some rules. Create a schedule for yourself. Set time limits. You’ll be surprised at the results.
Make More Time For What Really Matters
I’m a single dad. Time is precious. I want to be there for my daughter. I need to take time for myself to keep my sanity. I’m sure you can relate. Take a little time to evaluate where your minutes and hours are going each day. Cut back where you need to cut back. Soon, you’ll have more time for yourself and your family.