So my title is a bit of a misnomer. When it comes to time we are always wishing to have more. We talk about time management or multiplying or stretching our time. Even if we had more time we would still probably end up in the same stressed place wondering how to fit it all in. We can’t physically manipulate time. What we need to do instead is change how we look at and use the energy and time we already have in a better way.
You have a lot on your plate. The energy and time to get it all done seems illusive. So what can you do? I get so excited about the idea of stretching time because there is so much you can do when it comes to using your time. Today, I am sharing a few very practical and low time intensive ways that you can make a difference in how you feel about your time and busyness.
Take Care of Yourself
Have a good breakfast: I am guessing that like me you have had days where you got to 10am or later and you realized that you had made sure everyone else was fed and watered, but you hadn’t had breakfast yet or maybe even a drink any kind. You can’t be on top of your game if you don’t treat your body right. Start the day off with at least a small breakfast and a glass of water. If it seems hard to squeeze in a sit down breakfast, make a plan and have things on hand that you can lay out the night before to eat on the go (i.e. water bottle and breakfast burrito or bar).
Ask for Help
More than likely you are stretching yourself too thin and trying to do it on your own. Take a look at your calendar or to do list and ask for help. Sometimes we want others to read our minds and just do something for us. But let’s be honest. Often they don’t know our needs. So that is unrealistic. Ask for help. I am guessing you could use someone to come alongside of you and help you with at least one item. So ask!
Take something off of your to do list
Back to the calendar or to do list. Just like the last one take a look. It is all too easy to fill the calendar and then later realize that you did not want to say “yes” to something that you did or that while an activity would be really fun it is not top priority and other things should happen instead. Take it off the list. Of maybe it’s a household task that is better to hire our or let go of this week (i.e. washing the car, mowing the lawn, or drying the dishes)
Lower your expectations
Really these all build on each other. I love ambition and it’s easy to be ambitious when there is so much going on. But sometimes our expectations and ambitions are just plain unrealistic. Change your mindset about how your household runs and the expectations that you have for it. Maybe it’s good enough to let your kids out the door with their just combed and not elaborately braided hair. Or maybe you would like to be able to workout everyday but it is more stress then it is worth. Ask yourself: Is it Worth It?
Listen to music
Did you know that having music playing in the background that makes you feel a certain way actually impacts what you do? It is so true. I have an energy playlist that I love to play in the mornings to get my family excited and off on the right foot for the day. I also have several Pandora stations that are great to listen to first thing in the morning or anytime during the day when a certain frame of mind is needed. Check out this article from the founder and CEO of the company, Unsplash, on the impact of music on the brain and our activity.
Just do it: Even 5 or 10 minutes a day
You know that thing that you have been wanting to incorporate into your day that haunts your thoughts. You keep thinking about it but wonder how you would actually have the time for it. Maybe its exercise, reading the Bible, or a moment with your spouse. Then just take 5 or 10 minutes to do it.
Put things back when you are done
The final tip is about keeping your environment picked up. You and I both know that when everything has a place and you put stuff back in the place as soon as you are done with it- it takes a minute or less. Whereas if you don’t take care of it, it builds up then it takes longer to find things when you really need them and it takes a really long time to make things neat again.
So what is one thing that you can commit to today to stretch your time? Seriously…I know some of you will read this and agree but not do anything about it. Even one thing can make a big difference!