Managing Your Stress: Own Your “Me” Time

j0438621I just frittered away 45 minutes wandering around the internet. I wasn’t having fun, I was clearing out email, following up on things. I’m not really sure what I was doing. All I know for sure is that by the time I remembered the thing I had originally sat down at the computer to do, my time was up and it was time to get back to work.

This got me thinking about how often my friends, my clients, and I complain about having “no time.” So often, it feels like there isn’t enough time to do the things we want to do. Our time IS limited and we ARE very busy. And yet, many of us are not nearly as proactive about how we manage our “me time” as we are about how we manage the other areas of our lives.

We can’t add more hours to the day, but there are some ways we can maximize the power of the ones we have (and I’m not talking about crazed, superwoman multitasking). Here are some ideas for maximizing me-time. Please share your tips and ideas by adding a comment at the end of the post.

  1. Pre-plan and pre-schedule. You know the concept of paying yourself first. It doesn’t sound very sexy, but it works. Get your me time on your schedule and don’t keep it a secret. Put your exercise, lunches with friends, hobby time, and dates with your spouse on your calendar–and the household calendar if it’s not just you, but others as well who will need to know you have a prior obligation. Consider setting aside a time at the beginning of each week or month specifically to schedule time for yourself.
  2. Consider how (or if) you could use your commute for me time. If you have a commute, you already have a consistent time set aside. Have you considered how you’d like to use it? Your commute might be a time for switching gears, escaping into your own thoughts, dreaming about the future, or learning French from CDs. Think about what you would need to increase the quality of your commute time–better music on your MP3 player, ear plugs for the train, or a great novel or book on tape? Could you walk or ride your bike? Make sure you are allowing enough time on either end of your commute so that you aren’t automatically battling stress. If you find yourself irritated by traffic and the commute itself, ask yourself how you could shift your mindset. How could you OWN the time instead of feeling like it was wasting away?
  3. Consider teaming up. Are you doing tasks alone that would be easier and more fun if they were shared? Could you consider partnering with someone else? One of the best ideas I heard was the idea of a gardening co-op. Four women formed a group to tackle their big yard and garden projects. One afternoon a week they would descend on one member’s yard and get to work. Four people were able to accomplish tremendous amounts of labor in a relatively short time–and they had a lot of fun sharing the afternoon and socializing while they gardened. How could you think creatively about your life demands to increase the fun factor and contribute to me time?

What helps you own and maximize your time so that you get more of what YOU need? Leave a comment and share your ideas and strategies.

Take good care,


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