One of the biggest struggles I hear from the busy people that come to my courses on time management and also from my 1-2-1 clients, is that they struggle to have meaningful “me time”.
Whilst the busy professional and business owners that I work with might have a grip on their workload, social calendar and obligations, it’s a totally different story when it comes to finding a few precious hours, or even minutes, for a bit of quiet alone time. How people like to spend “me time” always varies, but whether it’s time for a long soak, an uninterrupted yoga flow, getting stuck into a book, blissful time to just be and think or a 100 mile bike ride (is that one just my husband’s madness?), most people say they struggle finding time for it.
Tip 1: Reframe it to “recharge” time
Tip 2: Look for little pockets of time
Tip 3: Put ‘Me Time’ in your diary first!
Tip 1: Reframe it to “recharge” time
Tip 2: Look for little pockets of time
Tip 3: Put ‘Me Time’ in your diary first!
Tip 4: Upgrade current activities to have a more “me time” focus
Tip 5: Cut ten minutes off non-essential chores
The trouble with a lack of “me time” is that is can quickly make us feel overwhelmed, like we’re failing at managing everything and it can make us start resenting what we have to do (like work or family duties) even though deep down we don’t. Dr Eleanor Akaho told me how prolonged high-stress can lead to serious ill health and burnout. Dr Eleanor Akaho explains how to recognise burnout and how to deal with it in the article Burnout – What it is, What the Warning Signs Are and How to Prevent it.
If you have read Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you will know about P/PC Balance. People think that the more you produce, the more you do, the more effective you are. However, as Covey explains “true effectiveness” is really due to two things – what is actually produced (the golden eggs), and the thing that produces it (the goose). It is critical to have a P/PC balance. P is for production, and PC is for production capability. What happens if you own a car and drive it long miles every day but don’t check the oil or take it to the garage to be serviced? Yes, you can stay up all night, every night, to get your work done and not take care of your health or give yourself any ‘me time. However, you will face diminishing returns as your health and productivity capacity fades and eventually you will suffer burnout.
If you follow me on any of my social media platforms (Instagram or LinkedIn), then you’ll know I have always been an advocate of ensuring that no matter how busy your schedule gets, you have to make time for you. I don’t know if it is the only-child in me, but I have always enjoyed my own company and “Alice time” despite being a party girl and extrovert at heart. This “me time” is a chance to do a whole range of things from relaxing and pampering, to advancing my personal development or having time to think and plan.
Happify Daily reports that “me time” is important for helping us unwind, rebooting our brains and making us productive – so you can see why as a time management and productivity expert and geek, I am such an advocate of us all having “me time”.
Here are five simple tips you can implement right away to help create “me time” in your busy schedule.
We often feel guilty for taking “me time” and this can be the first hurdle! If you subconsciously feel that it is a bit selfish, you won’t have time for it or you will attach some guilt to it and then your conscious isn’t going to allow you to make it happen!
So let’s reframe that shall we? Change the name of it and the meaning behind it to “recharge time”. After all, “recharge time” sounds like a necessity more than “me time” and this will help alleviate some of the guilt. You don’t expect your phone or laptop to keep working without a charging so why do you expect you to?
With a busy schedule, I make sure I have regular “recharge” time, whether that is breaks in between meetings or whole weekends to ‘rest and recover’. This is crucial if you want to live a full life and avoid burnout.
If you are struggling with fitting any sort of “me time” in to your busy daily schedule, then start small (you can always build up to more). As a the 15 Ways to Find Your “Me Time“ blog published by American Express said, “it doesn’t have to be a whole day at the spa. In fact, just few minutes squeezed into the middle of the day works if that’s all you have. You can (and should!) find a little time every day to relax and recharge”.
Rather than looking for bigger chunks of time, like a whole afternoon or evening, look for ten-minute slots. This can then be squeezed in throughout the day no excuses. For example, take ten minutes to read a book before you get the kids up, engage in some meditation and breathing exercises on the bus to work or go for a quick walk in between the busy schedule of calls and meetings at work.
I always say that if you want to achieve something then it has to go into the diary, otherwise it will always be put off to “one day” or when you find time (which FYI will be never). You have to make time, and you have to put it in the diary first! Make a list of all the things that constitute as “me time” for you. Include the shorter ones as as well as the glamorous longer ones. Factor one of those activities a day into your diary before you start filling the diary with appointments, calls, work, commuting and everything else!
“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”
– M. Scott Peck
If you are still struggling with find “me time” in small pockets (tip two) then how about ‘upgrading’ your current routine to include a little “me time” and something else a little special that will make you smile.
For example, if you don’t have the time for a full-on relaxing soak in the tub, then get yourself some quality scrubs and shower gels to elevate your daily shower into something a bit nicer. Or if you’re someone who really enjoys food, then makeover your lunch so it becomes “me time”. Ditch that same-old-same sandwich for something a bit nicer on the taste buds and make that a bit of quality time for you, even if it is just 15 minutes.
If you’ve seen any of my time management tips before, you may have seen that I advocate cutting from your to-do list as much as you can. Productivity and effective time management is NOT about cramming as much as you can into a day but doing the right things. One way to find a little “me time” is to shave just a smidgen off some of your daily chores such as housework. One washing load less (i.e. maybe every other day not daily) or looking to make one-pot meals for dinner to save on washing up can help save you a precious ten minutes that you can put towards essential “me time”.
I know it doesn’t sound a lot but that adds up to over an hour a week, and if you adopt tip two of little pockets of time, this will make the world of difference. After all, you only get 1440 minutes each day, no more and no less, exactly like everyone else. The secret to having more “me time” time is making better use of those 1440 minutes.
Remember, “me time” is time to recharge your batteries. You’ve reframed the notion “me time” so it represents recharging your batteries which is crucial to ditch any guilt, but it is also important to remember why this time is so important. If it helps, write a quick list of 5-10 reasons why this is sacred time, not selfish. Whenever you are tempted to skip it, pull out your list and remind yourself the importance of “me time”.
Are you still struggling to allocate your self “me time”? Are you a secret self-sabotger? Me too! Here are my tips for how to stop self-sabotaging today!
Habits are what gets you success. Develop the habit of allowing yourself “me time”. My blog 4 Insanely easy ways to create good habits explains four easy ways to start creating good habits.
Do You Want to Create Your Own Guilt-Free ‘Me Time’?
I have always been an advocate of ensuring that no matter how busy your schedule gets, you have to make time for you.
As a life coach, I can support you with tips and techniques to create the time you need to be your best self, and all that guilt free!
Other topics I specialise in include:
If you’re looking for a coach that is down-to-earth, supportive, and knows when to challenge and push you to help you be your best, then let’s chat.
Click the link below or feel free to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What My Clients Are Saying
“I initially signed up with Alice to help me with my time management and productivity in my business and everyday life. Alice is a fantastic coach. She is supportive, kind. I love her honest, no bullshit approach. Since working with Alice I have discovered so many new ways of doing things. She has helped me uncover the root of some of my habitual tendencies and transform them. The amount of care and support she offers is priceless. I highly recommend working with her.”
Oonagh English DipNT mNTOI – Life Coach and Nutritional Therapist
“The time management course has been a total eye opener for me – I have learned so much, implementing ideas and strategies I just never thought I had time to do! Just goes to show – if you have support by the right people in your life you can achieve anything! ”
Jacqui C – Oxfordshire, England
Unfortunately, you have missed the highly successful and transformational January 2022 “Own Your Day” time management course. But you can get your free copy of the mini-training – “The Perfectionist’s Guide to Boosting Productivity and Finding Balance” HERE.
The Health, Habits & Happiness 12-Week Coaching Programme being held in February 2022 in collaboration with “gut-health queen” and nutritional therapist, Amani Kaite!
Are you ready to be your healthiest, most productive self? “Health, Habits & Happiness” is a transformational 12-week programme that will empower you to eat your way to productivity, feel more energised, and being fit & healthy in your busy life.
We created this program for overworked and overwhelmed people who want to work SMARTER not harder. The frameworks, resources and tools we teach you will help you find balance, clarity and renewed focus to accomplish your goals.
We created Health, Habits and Happiness just for you, and we know that this investment in your mental and physical wellbeing will reap benefits that will transform your life, just like it has for hundreds of other people just like you.
See what others have said!
“I saw several doctors but none could help me, so I read a lot of books and listened to podcasts, but the information was too much to deal and none of my symptoms went away. Amani helped me learn to listen to my body, explained the role nutrition plays in my health and gave me tools to take ownership of my nutrition. Now, my symptoms are almost gone, and if they appear, I know how to deal with them”. – T (Graphic Designer)
“I joined Alice’s course to challenge my mindset, improve my productivity and build healthier habits. I couldn’t believe what a positive experience this was – the content was delivered with such passion and enthusiasm, I felt invigorated and compelled to take action! I have loved every minute of it and felt supported every step of the way”. – Sarah (Business Founder)
Success Box is your revolutionary monthly membership book club combining the learning and community you expect from a book club with the empowerment and growth you gain in a group coaching environment. All through the effortlessness of a monthly subscription box. You can find out more about Success Box by clicking HERE.
Take inspired action from reading personal development books (not just reading them for the sake of it)
Accountability with others to prevent procrastination
Be introduced to new personal development books that you may not have chosen
Be confident in their worth as all books are vetted
Empowering and support with a like-minded, driven, inspiring community
Are you ready for a life-changing monthly meeting, support and community that will inspire you, challenge you and grow you, all through reading and sharing ideas?
Have you ever wondered what does it take to successfully work from home? My latest book is a hands-on guide for everyone working at home. It will show you in easy to read tips how to work from home, whilst staying productive, healthy and sane.
In informative, easy to read chapters, you will learn how to set up your own dedicated workspace, select the right office equipment and tips for video calling and conferencing. You will also learn the importance of setting and maintaining boundaries inside the home, managing distractions, avoiding procrastination and learn how to establish a routine that suits your lifestyle.
With many people working from home for the first time, this book is a practical guide to show you how to work from home, whilst staying productive, healthy and sane.
Click below for more information!
This article is written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach of Alice Dartnell Limited. Alice empowers busy professionals to be successful, transform their lives and achieve more by improving their confidence, mindset and time management.
For more information please see www.alicedartnell.com
Copyright ©️ 2022 Alice Dartnell Limited
This blog is published by Alice Dartnell Limited solely for educational and entertainment purposes. The author and publisher are not offering it as legal, accounting, health care or other professional services advice. While best efforts have been used in preparing this blog, the author and publisher make no representations or warranties of any kind and assume no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be held liable or responsible to any person or entity with respect to any loss or incidental or consequential damages caused, or alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the information contained herein. Every person and company are different, and the advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. Alice Dartnell or Alice Dartnell Limited is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised in this blog. You should seek the services of a competent professional as appropriate. You are responsible for your own choices, actions, and results. Always consult your own General Practitioner if you’re in any way concerned about your health.