The first thing I notice when I am away from my kids, is the amount of spare time I have on my hands. Me Time?
Kids are experts at removing spare time from your life. Whether you’ve got one child or five, once they’re in your life, you never seem to have any time to do stuff you want to do. If, like me, your “me time” is important to you, you need to learn to fight for it.
So that said, how do you actually come by it? Well we already have it really, we just don’t use it effectively. By that I mean, we all have the same amount of time allocated to us each and everyday, some people control their day and use their time well and others don’t. People that do fit what they want in their days all have something in common and the great thing is, you have it too, but you might not know how to use it yet.
So why trust me? While I am no expert, I am comfortable saying that my household has mastered the use of our time (most days anyway). We seem to fit more into our days than most people we know. We do the stuff all families do – take the kids to gym, swimming, dancing, music, get homework done, etc. and my wife and I work on our business full-time.
We hold exercise in very high regard and this is where we find we achieve more than most. My wife and I each exercise about 10 times a week. We love triathlon and have progressed from doing 40 min races 5 years ago to 10+hr races more recently. NB: triathlon is a lousy sport for a parent to get involved in because of the tri or three sport aspect: it’s hard enough to get enough time to do well in one sport, let alone three!
So how do we do it you ask? It’s actually quite simple – we want it. Our philosophy when it comes to “me time” is if you want it, you will find a way to make it happen. Finding a way can be hard, in fact it’s likely to be hard, particularly when you’re starting out. There are hurdles everywhere, but hen you really want something, you’ll find a way around the hurdle, or over it, or under it – whatever works.
Here’s my top 5 tips for getting it done.
1. Ditch the complaining, blaming & excuses. Complaining, blaming and making excuses wastes, time and it’s time you don’t have to waste. Ditch your “poor old me”, “it’s not my fault” and “I’ll do it tomorrow” routines now. They do nothing for you except waste more time and stop you from achieving your goal of “me time”.
2. Figure out what you want. This is the most important component as it creates the desire and the desire will push you when you encounter obstacles. Make sure it’s something you really, really want, as it will make you push even harder to make it real.
3. Don’t get mad, get creative. When the hurdles come up, and they will, don’t get mad, particularly when the hurdles are people, you’re going to have to work with the person in question to make your desire happen. Getting them offside with anger is not productive.
4. Sacrifice is a part of success. This is a big one. You can’t have everything. Understand now, your “me time” is always taking time away from something else. Whether it’s missing out on sleep to go for a run or catching a yoga class at night and missing the kids nightly story-time, something is going to miss out.
5. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Whatever your “me time” is used for, you need to be prepared for it not to be easy to come by. Things don’t always work out i.e. your partner works late & you can’t get to the gym, the kids have an event on at the time you have your monthly friend catch-up. These are inevitable. You need to be accommodating of them and not let them get you down. Be patient – your “me time” is worth it.
So there you have it, your “me time” is ready and waiting for you to use, so be sure to use it. Yes it can be hard to use, but it gets easier the longer you try. This said, I personally don’t believe that the best things in life are free, I believe they are generally paid for in blood, sweat & tears, or at least the most memorable and satisfying things are .