Have you downloaded this eBook, yet? It's filled with great tips for finding more time for what matters most.
The format is answers that bloggers gave to important questions about how to create schedules, routines, etc., that work. Several of the tips I tried are working well for me.
I thought it might be fun to answer the questions, myself, based on what I am learning will work for me, and then, give you a worksheet you can use to write down your own answers as you read the book.
By the way, today is the last day to download the book for free. We're hoping it will come back but I am not sure yet if or when it will.
Get it now, here.
(1) What is one time-saving tip that you use personally to free up more margin for the activities & people you love?
I create an “Ideal Schedule.” It may rarely go exactly as planned, but having those time blocks carved out helps me to focus where I need to. -Laura Shaw
I get up hours earlier than my son does so that I can get some of my work-from-home tasks done while he is still sleeping. I also do my quiet time then because it's so quiet & it's easier to do it without bring disturbed.
What challenges me, though, is my tendency to do just one more thing and to work, off and on, throughout the day. My fix for this is to set an evening cut-off time & schedule things in earlier in the day, so that later time is free for family time.
One idea for this, that I got from the book, is to prioritize the tasks & place the most important ones earlier in the day, so I know they'll get done. That makes it easier to let go of the ones that are less important, in favor of having time with my son.
(2) What are your favorite productivity tools or services and how do you use them?
Using a simple to-do list keeps me focused and on track. When I'm crunched for time, laying out my steps on a to-do list is the first thing I do. -Kemi Quinn
I bought the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning bundle and I use it to cut down on the time and trouble involved in getting dinner in the table, planning the meals, grocery shopping, etc. It has been a big time saver.
I also use a to-do list, so I get my tasks out of my head, onto paper and can see not only the order I intend, but the priority.
(3) What are some refreshing hobbies or self-care habits that you've found can be incorporated into a busy schedule?
I go for a walk after dinner. I like to listen to podcasts during that time, or just enjoy the fresh air. -Sareeta Lopez
For me, it's my quiet time. I find I need two each day, but I make certain to have one, by doing it before I do anything else. I pray and get centered, read something inspirational, spend some time with the Bible and then, go forward with my day.
But I have noticed that I can create a moment between dinner and family time, while my son is doing the dishes, that I can have a second time if I want. I have to decide not to get work done, and it always calls me. But if I need another few moments of quiet time, that's where I do it.
When I don't use that half hour to an hour of time for inspiration, I use it for reading whatever novel I'm in the middle of at the time. Either way, I get to have a moment of Mom time just for myself.
I also make time for tea every morning. It's a great big cup of tea and I use the time to read, to think my thoughts and have a moment of peace.
(4) How do you use the small pockets of free time that appear throughout the day?
Tidying is a great 10-minute task, and if I do it quickly, it’s a mini workout that gives me a burst of energy for my next big thing. -Beth Anne Schwamberger
For smaller amounts of time, I am usually reading. It's so relaxing! And it's a good way to squeeze in more self-care in between things like spending time with my son, or getting work done.
If I know it's more like half an hour or so, I might try to find an episode of House Hunters to watch. How else can you buy a dream house in 30 minutes? :)
One idea I got from the book is to use a free half hour to play a game. I usually only think of that during family time or on weekends. But for those extra moments when we have half an hour that pops up unexpectedly, that would be fun!
(5) What would you say to someone who feels guilty for taking time for themselves, especially when there's so much to do?
Self care is so important, without it, you become a frazzled mess and snap at those you care about, hurting them in the process, which is the last thing you want to do.
I have been there! So my heart goes out to moms or others who feel that way. Because it does or can seem like there just isn't enough time, especially when the kids are little, but often even when they are not.
And making time for myself, and for rest, has been a lesson that was hard for me to learn. I watched my mother exhaust herself when I was growing up. And I never got the impression that time could be used for anything other than helping someone else.
In fact, I often had to wait for what I thought I needed, because my mom was busy helping someone. And when I complained, as children often do, I was called selfish.
So I had to unlearn ALL OF THAT! You might, too?
The truth is, self-care is a sanity saver. And your children deserve your sanity just as much as you do.
I believe we weren't meant to run on empty, and taking time to do what you love is not only something you deserve, it's crucial.
Once you have downloaded the free ebook, you can use the worksheet both to take notes and jot down your own ideas for each question.
I am guilty, sometimes, of reading something that inspires me, and then failing to act on it in any way. But if I can get myself to interact with the information and think through how it could change things for me, I am much more likely to actually try it.
Would that help you, too? Here's the worksheet (below).
See you next time!