Prioritizing time to do the things for yourself will not only make you happy and keep you sane, but it will probably also make you more efficient when tackling the less fun aspects of your schedule and to-do lists. We talked to some experts to break down how you can wade through the chaos and carve out some much-needed me-time.
1. Step Back (For a Second)
Figure out why you want more free time. “You can’t win a game you haven’t defined,” says David Allen, a productivity expert and the author of best-seller Getting Things Done . You’ll be more motivated to change if you have a specific goal.
Make a wish list. Write down all the activities that you long to do more of―whether they’re things that make you happy, relaxed, sane(r), or all three. Rank the items in order of importance to you, then pick one or two to focus on. (Once you get the hang of this system, you can address the rest.)
Now write down how you really spend your time. If it’s all one make-lunch-carpool-run-around-like-crazy blur, keep a detailed diary for a few days. You might be surprised by how little time you spend doing things you love most. The key question to keep asking is, “Are you spending your time on the right things?”
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