The most important tool you need to create more time for yourself
“Ugh, I’d love to but I don’t have time.”
“I’m so flippin’ exhausted and never get a chance to unwind until the kids are in bed.”
“I’d have to get up at 4am to get any time to myself.”
“Do I have to do EVERYTHING for everyone ALL the time?”
“When can I get some time for what I want to do?”
Sound familiar, mama? As a COO with a traveling husband and mom of four, I felt like a maniac, darting here and there and going to bed exhausted, feeling like I didn’t accomplish a damn thing.
Then I realized I could apply the skills I had honed in my professional life leading teams to my home life.
The first thing I did was get serious about how I managed my time.
Why Efficiency = Calm
Are there a million things to do all the time? Yes.
Is there always going to be tantruming kids and poop explosions and power outages and getting locked out of your car at a pumpkin patch (true story)? Quadruple Yes.
Is there constant chaos in life? Oh, don’t we know it…
But there is a way to manage your time and energy so that chaos-inducing events are way less stressful. And a way to fit in the things that mean the most to you and fill your spirit. Without losing sleep.
Another concept that will help prevent overwhelm is if you begin to monitor and efficiently manage your energy.
Two kinds of energy
There are two kinds of energy that at any given moment we are either depleting or replenishing: Physical and Mental.
Physical energy relates to your body and includes sleeping, hormones, and food. Here’s a handy, comprehensive list of foods that fill or zap your energy.
Notice what times of day you’re most energetic physically and plan your daily activities to take advantage of your turbo-time. Also note what foods make you feel the most physically strong versus what drains you, and stock your kitchen (and purse and desk) with energy-givers.
For example, try not to book a physically intense event during a time you know it will be difficult to muster physical strength. Set yourself up for success. Learn your patterns.
For me, I never book something intense during my (sorry TMI) period. I feel lethargic during that time and give myself grace and rest.
There are a ton of mental energy drainers you may not be aware of. We moms have a stock market ticker going at all times thinking about everything from your kid’s tooth brushing chart (need stickers!) to your mom’s birthday (what won’t she return?) to projects at work (when will I have time to finish my deliverable?) to what’s for dinner (the never-ending dreaded question), all within a 30-second period.
Similar to physical energy, take note of when you feel most mentally sharp, what foods and activities add to your alertness versus deplete it, what habits anchor your mind, and give yourself grace for resting your mind in the same way you rest your body.
Schedule time blocks to think about what’s on your mind, then it won’t plague you in a spinning-nowhere loop or keep you up at night thinking, “I’m missing something.. what did I forget? Omg I need to decide/make/do xyz.”
Being efficient with your time and energy is your most valuable calm asset
In my book, I cover these topics in more detail and help you nail down everywhere you can create more efficiency in your life (which = time for you!), along with many other specific efficiency hacks that save time, from laundry to meals.
Reach out, I’m here for you.