How often do you think about needing some “me time”? If you’re married, have children or are employed, you’ve had this thought. We all need time to ourselves. Sure, you live with your spouse and your children but you can’t spend every hour of every day with them.
There are two primary issues with “me time.” The first is finding it and the second is what do you do with it? Do you have a conclusive response to either of these issues? Neither do I. However, the following are some tips to find “me time” and use it productively.
Finding “me time”
1. Schedule it – The best way to get “me time” is to schedule it. Talk with your spouse about your schedule. If you plan your weeks in advance, you have the opportunity to discuss it. Plan time with your spouse (without the kids), plan time to be with your children, plan time for yourself and ensure your spouse does the same.
2. Optimum time – If possible, plan your alone time for the hour of the day in which you are at your peak. If you thrive in the mornings, schedule it then. If you need time in the middle of the day, make it your lunch hour. If you are going to have time to yourself, you want to make sure you can use it productively. Part of being productive is being awake and engaged.
3. It’s important – If you don’t feel “me time” is important, you won’t bother scheduling it, much less at your optimum time. You need to convince yourself of its importance. “Me time” will reduce stress, make you more productive, allow you to focus on other tasks when needed, be more emotionally stable, be more energetic and sleep better. Can it really do all that? Yes it can!
Using “me time” productively
Change it up – Your alone time should not always be spent doing the same thing. Your emotions, stresses and responsibilities will change daily so why should the time to yourself be used in the same way every day? Do what you think is best to help you throughout the day.
“Me time” options
1. Do nothing – Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. You may just need to sit and meditate. Clear your mind. Feel the calmness and the energy around you. Soak it in.
2. Think – If you’re like me, you can’t just sit and meditate. Instead, I’ll sit and think. Sometimes I can be very productive if I just sit and think. Other times, though, I can’t remove myself from my surroundings enough to concentrate. In those cases, if I still want to think, I’ll do something that takes just muscle memory like…
3. Run – Some say they think best in the shower. I think best when I’m exercising. Specifically, running works for me. It doesn’t take any additional brain power to run except the occasional, “You can go farther” you’ll find yourself saying. Running is great alone time. I definitely prefer running outdoors. It’s too easy to quit if you’re on a treadmill. If you are outside, you have to get back home.
4. Read – For the first few years of my marriage, reading before going to bed was my “me time.” It’s harder to do now because we have multiple kids to take care of each evening. I still love to sit and read though. It’s valuable “me time” in which I can either escape to a different life through a novel, get motivated by a great author or learn from a CEO. The power of books is amazing.
5. Drive – I’ve had several conversations lately with clients about the importance of having a commute to work. When I was little, I swore I would never work in downtown St. Louis. It was too far away. Now, I’m so thankful for my 19 mile commute. It allows me time to engage my mind before work and wind down after work. I drive a lot for my job and I love every minute of it (unless it’s raining or snowing).
6. Hobbies – A hobby is called a hobby because it’s something you enjoy doing. If you enjoy doing it, you likely would love to spend more time doing it and using that time as your “me time.” Maybe you like to scrapbook, fish, garden, make crafts. Whatever it is, make time for it. You will feel your life is much more rewarding if you do more of the things you enjoy.
It is okay to be a little greedy and make time for yourself. If you don’t, you will not operate at your peak performance when you are at work or with your family. So, plan a head and schedule your “me time.” Figure out what you will do during that time and stick to it. If possible, get at least a few minutes of “me time” each day. You will be so thankful you did.
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