If you were to tally up how much time you spend in each of the major categories of your life, what would you discover about how you spend your time?
I did this recently; I took an inventory of how many hours in an average week that I spend in each of the major categories of my life: working, sleeping, time with family, time for self-care, daily or weekly activities and chores, and other areas of interest such as hobbies, fun, reading, and volunteering.
I was shocked to discover that I spend an average of 20 hours per week (and sometimes more!) on "daily or weekly" tasks including morning prep routines, cleaning the house, doing laundry, and running errands. That's HALF of a "typical" work week...doing "necessary" tasks that I do not enjoy.
"Time is a gift that most of us take for granted. We get so caught up in the busyness of our daily lives that we rarely stop and take a serious look at how we're spending this gift." --Cheryl Richardson
Is that true for you? Remember that "action expresses priorities” (Mahatma Gandhi). What are your expressed priorities? A simple tally of what gets your attention in an average week can shed some light. Then reflect:
- Am I doing too much? Do I have too many commitments?
- What do I want to spend MORE time on?
- What do I need to spend LESS time on in order to create more time for what I want to do?
- What is one thing I can let go of in the next week to make room for what I want to do?
You can make more time for doing what you want to do by setting or clarifying boundaries, saying no to what you don't want to do (or what isn't yours to do), delegating to others, asking for help, and scheduling less in your day.
Start small and experiment. This kind of change doesn't happen overnight. It took me a better part of 8 months, with help and support from one of my coaches and others in my support network, to transform my priorities around self-care. To move from saying that self-care was a value and a priority for me, to actually expressing that priority through action.
You may find it helpful to review previous blogs for additional tips:
- I'm so busy 10/3
- Live by choice 10/7
- Tips for saying no... 10/9
- Stop doing and just be... 12/17 and 12/19
I love this quote from Bruce Lee. "It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” What are the inessentials in your life? Is it time to let them go?