Do you seem to never have enough time for your friends and family? You’re certainly not alone. The world is full of obligations and distractions that seem to take every available minute of our time.
However, there’s always a way if you’re willing to examine your life and make a few changes. You might even have to make a sacrifice or two, but the most important people in your life are worth it!
Take control of your time and your life with these strategies:
- Track your time. For seven days, track every minute of your day. This is easier than you think. Every hour, on the hour, write down how you spent the last hour. A spreadsheet is convenient for this, because it’s easy to add everything up at the end of the week.
– How much time do you spend on meals and cleaning up afterwards?
– How much time do you spend driving?
– Watching TV?
– Housework, chores, lawn care?
– Track it all.
- Analyze your data. Where are you wasting time? Are you spending time on activities that are unnecessary and unenjoyable? If so, why?
– Are there any areas where you could reduce the amount of time you spend?
– If you were forced to free up 5 hours per week, how would you do it? 10 hours? 20 hours?
- Consider your options. Are there things you can get other people to do? Are their activities you can remove or minimize?
– Could your kids mow the lawn? Could you hire a lawn service?
– Could you pay someone else to clean your home?
– Is playing softball really that enjoyable or is it just something that you’ve always done?
– Could you prepare meals that require less preparation and cleanup?
– Could you do something with your family instead of watching TV?
– Can you think of activities that would include both your friends and family?
- Make a schedule. Instead of trying to fit your friends and family around your other obligations and activities, try doing the opposite.
– Schedule time with your friends and family and fit everything else around that time. It’s a simple change of perspective that makes a difference.
– It’s like saving a certain amount of money at the beginning of each month rather than saving whatever is left over at the end of the month.
- Practice saying “no” to requests and offers. The world will steal every minute from you if you allow it to. Your only real defense is uttering the word “no” more often.
– You don’t have to attend every party, wedding, or other social occasion. You don’t have to donate your time to anyone or anything if you don’t want to.
– Keep your schedule with your loved ones and make that your first priority.
- Be more efficient. Can you do a task faster?
– If you were more focused, could you get the same amount of work done in less time?
– If you had a better mower, would you finish sooner?
– If you expended a little more energy, could you finish a task with time to spare?
– Could you use better technique?
You can have more control over your time than you’re currently demonstrating. All of those people that seem to have plenty of free time are living the same 24-hour day that you are. If you’re willing to take a hard look at how you spend your time and remain flexible, you can find time for the people that are most important to you.