Keren Smedley 17th July 2017

Making time for ‘me’

I have been struck recently by how many of my clients have been talking about how busy their lives are. Some work full time and juggle families and elderly parents, others part-time, some retired, some single and some with adult families. It doesn’t seem to matter what the circumstances are they’re busy!  They report that they spend their lives chasing their tail. One strategy they all have in common is a ‘to do’ list which appears to never gets done. This leads to them feeling fed up and anxious. They never get time to relax and do the things they want to do. They feel depleted and lacking in energy. And never have ‘me’ time.

We often find ourselves disappointed when we plan more than we can possibly achieve. Unless you’re really clear about how you use your time, you’ll find yourself perpetually running to catch up.  Many of us plan to do more than is possible in a week so we never achieve our goals and then feel disappointed.

Below are some questions for you to consider that will help you find some ‘me time’.

  • How many hours do you sleep? As there are 168 hours in a week. Subtract your sleep hours. Subtract from this the hours you work and then you’ll have the ‘free’ hours.
  • Write down everything you do in the week. Include all the ordinary things like cooking, shopping, ironing, visiting your parents, watching TV and so on. Now write down how many hours you spend on each of them. Add up the hours and subtract these from your free hours.
  • Check if any of these are leisure pursuits – TV watching, for example – and, if they are, start a list of ‘me’ time hours.
  • What is it that you want to do that you don’t?

Make a list and how long each task would take so you’re very clear what you want to fit into your week.

  • You will now know how many hours you have to play with. If you have some time left, work out which of the ‘me’ activities you fancy most. Choose one and plan a time in your week when you can do it.
  • If there’s no time left over, or you’re already doing more than is possible, something will have to change.
  • Think of who you could delegate to so you have some time for yourself or which activities could be dropped or done less often.

Once you’re really clear about how you spend your time, you’ll be in a much better position to make it work for you.

Best wishes, Keren

Experience Matters is an organisation set up to empower the 50+ and to help us to manage this next stage of life. We offer coaching, workshops, advice and information. 

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