Many of us take on more responsibilities as we get older. Working, looking after children and doing household duties such as cooking and cleaning can sometimes leave very little time for pursuing personal interests and hobbies. Not having the time to pursue these personal goals can make many of us unhappy, as we may feel we’re living our lives doing duties rather than doing what we want. Everyone deserves their freedom – gaining this may simply require learning to better manage your time. Here are just a few solutions that could help you to take care of your commitments whilst finding time for yourself.
Make the right sacrifices
Sacrifices are often needed to better manage one’s time. Making the right sacrifices is important as it could determine how happy you are. Most people think that working all hours and sacrificing family and personal time is the way to go, but it isn’t in most cases. Rather than focusing on earning more, it could worth focusing on spending less. This might allow you to work less hours, allowing you to see your family more and spend more time on yourself.
Be wary of sacrificing sleep to get everything done as this is not the way to go either. Being overtired will negatively affect everything else from your job to your family relationships to your personal challenges. Instead of sleeping less hours, try rescheduling your sleep instead. Going to bed early and waking up early might sound boring and horrible to some people, but actually better for us. Instead of free time in the evening, you’ll have free time in the morning, which you might be able to use more productively for yourself if everyone else in your home is asleep.
Find effective ways to multi-task
There are certain times when you may be able to multi-task and fit in some free time. If you have to commute to work, consider turning this stressful and routine trip into something productive and exciting. A commute via train could allow you enough to read a book, watch a TV show, write a blog post or plan the week’s meals. A commute via car might be a little harder to make use of as it requires more concentration, however you might still be able to do a listening activity such as streaming your favourite music, listening to an audiobook or learning a new language via a CD. You may even be able to travel by bicycle and make this your get fit time.
Meanwhile, there are many tasks that you can now do at home to fit around commitments. Many employers are now allowing staff to work from home in career fields that are mainly IT and phone based. You can also study a university course from home nowadays – you’ll find all kinds of courses on the web such as a healthcare administration degree online. You may also be able to exercise at home, rely on online food shopping and host virtual meetings via skype. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t leave the house – relying on these from-home methods might allow you to simply schedule them around your lifestyle rather than waiting for shops and gyms to open or having to travel or relocate to take up a job or university course.
Accept help from family and friends
Too many people turn down help from people around them that might otherwise free up time to focus on personal goals. Family and friends might be able to act as a babysitter occasionally whilst you get time yourself or they may be able to cook you a meal freeing up this chore. You shouldn’t over-rely on these people, but they shouldn’t be ignored.
If you’ve got a partner, you may also want to make sure that you’re both equally sharing out responsibilities. Sharing out household chores and time with the children can give you both more time to spend on personal interests and hobbies. It’s worth also trying to find some couple time for your both so that you’re not always spending time apart – this can often be a danger if you both work different hours.
Know when to seek outside support
If you don’t have friends, family or a partner to share the load with, you can still make time to chase your personal goals – you may just have to rely on outside support. There are lots of babysitting services out there that can look after your children whilst you need to get things done. Some may be inexpensive or even free during certain hours. There are also charities out there that may be able to help with basic but gruelling tasks such as housework, allowing you to get others done. Asking for support is important as you could burnout if you’re juggling too much, affecting everything from your ability to work to your ability to look after your kids.
Schedule time for yourself
Don’t wait for free time to come along. When you have lots of commitments, you need to schedule in this free time. This could be a weekly slot when the children are being looked after or your partner is doing the housework. Having free time scheduled into your life will allow you to plan for it rather than taking it as it comes and not knowing how long it may last (a good example being when a baby is sleeping – you never know how long they’ll be out and what you’ll be able to get done in that time).