Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Self Care & Time Management

Apologies for my silence in the last week. I had a HUGE long weekend (and did the Queen proud) and then found the internet is not working on my computer! For a blogging nerd (reading & writing) it has been horrible! It is still not working, but the lovely (and sick) Kym has set me up on his teeny tiny notebook. Not ideal lng term, but for now it's easing the withdrawal. 

Get yourself a few blank pages & a pretty little pen. This one requires some notes!

watch by plastic elastic

Today in the Self Care series, we’re talking time management. I’ve talked about this a little in the resource How to Save Time & Money, where I discussed:
·          Starting your day well
·          Using autopilot for mundane jobs
·          Not sweating the small stuff
·          Hiring the professionals
·          Taking time out, and
·          Remembering what is important

It’s too easy when talking about time management to promote increased productivity. That is not what I am interested in at all. What I want to talk about is time management to better look after yourself. This is about doing less, not more! Ever found yourself saying
·          I was tied up with other things, so didn’t have the time to finish that task
·          There’s not enough time in the day
·          Why does everything take so long to do?
·          I swear if there was one more day in the week…
It’s time to rethink time and take responsibility for how you use it.

Choosing that which can’t be chosen

I need about eight hours sleep a night to run at my peak. Any more and I start to overtire, any less and I’m not functional. I am employed to work four days a week, nine to five. I need [at least] three decent meals a day. These are all necessary to my survival. And still, I find myself running late to work, staying up later than I really should and eating cheesymite scrolls while on the go.

Too often we compromise on the necessities. We forget their value.

Write down a “Must Have” list, that identifies all the things you need to survive and the amount of time they use. These are your non-negotiables. Understand that in every 24 hour day, the time allocations you have written next to these items are the most important parts to your day. When you identify these as necessities, it helps you to realise their importance and allows you to spend guilt-free time on them. No longer are they responsibilities or a chore, they are essential components of looking after yourself.

Add up the amount of time these items take from your 24 hour day. What’s left is now your free time! This is the space where we can really make changes.

Meeting your needs

If you’ve been following the Self Care Series, you’ll remember the first three topics were about identifying and meeting your needs in your relationships, your environment & through your diet. Today is about challenging you to put that time aside to meet those needs. Under your “Must Have” list, write three headings
·          Relationships
·          Environment
·          Diet

Under each heading, write down your relevant needs & the amount of time you think they’ll take. You might find some things that surprise you. For example, I need to snack every couple of hours to manage my energy levels. As I don’t eat meat, I need to cook balanced meals to maximise my protein, which generally means more food preparation time! I’ve also accepted that a clean and tidy home is necessary to my sanity, so try to clean the house about once a week. I know that if I am serious about looking after myself, they aren’t things I can put aside. I think you’ll find the same.

So, what’s left?

Time to get real. Write down a list of everything else you spend time on. Consider, are they really necessary? Do they give you strength or weigh you down? Is there something about these things that need to change, or do they need to be scrapped all together? Be hard on the list. Be honest about the necessary and unnecessary parts of your life that you’re willing to use your time on. Cross out everything that doesn’t fit. I give you permission to cull.

1970 Burroughs C-3350 Electronic Calculator Featuring Nixie Tube Display and Original Carrying Case
calculator by leaping lemming

Adding it all up

Do a quick sum. If you add together all your needs (survival, relationships, environment, diet & existing commitments) together, can you really fit it in the 24 hours you have in a day? My guess is you probably can’t. That’s ok. This exercise isn’t about guilt tripping you into leaving your job and giving away all your possessions. While the survival necessities in your time table are non-negotiable, your relationship, environment & diet lists are there as ideals that you can start working toward. They reflect your ideal world and your ideal lifestyle.

The most sustainable way to make steps toward those needs is not to make a dramatic lifestyle change, but in small, measured changes. All I’d like you to do today is commit to one small change to your routine to better reflect your relationship, environment & diet needs. It takes 30 days to develop a habit. Give this one change 30 days and at the end of this time, review. When you’re ready, revisit your list and choose another area for change.

You have more authority over your life than you realise, so chill out! Life doesn’t have to be a rat race.

Next week, Self Care & Balance.

Kate xxx


  1. I sooooooooooo need to do this. Feeling a bit overwhelmed this week. Always have grand plans to do my art and so far zilch since you were here! I also want to do things like go through all my digital photos and delete the bad ones and also all old unnecessary documents to free up memory on my computer as its going so slow and driving me bonkers. Well this is how I think I might solve the problem. Who knows lol. Also want to organise to get photos printed... And the list goes on and on! Tomorrow is a new day! I will share what I do based on your formula to improve my time mgt (not coming on comp till all my chores are done is number 1 I think! lol)

  2. Glad this one helped :) It's too easy to feel guilty about the non negotiable's, and I need to remind myself all the time that it is ok to spend time on the things that are driving me crazy (like house cleaning) even when there's something more fun (because I generally don't really enjoy the something fun until I have my life sorted)


thanks for your comments, I love to hear from you!


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