I find it difficult taking time out for myself. I have a never ending list of things to do. I let the list get longer and longer to the point where I drive in a daze dreaming about the fun things I wish I could do in that moment. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few weekends here and there where I’ve planned an outing or get together, but those things get lost in the shuffle of the to-do list and I find myself frantically trying to get myself together to attend the “fun” activity I have planned, not truly taking time out to enjoy the experience. It has become a vicious cycle for me and an intervention is necessary.
I decided to look up the definition of the word balance on Dictionary.com. It was defined as “an even distribution of weight, enabling someone or something to remain up right and steady”. It dawned on me that I wasn’t “upright” or “steady”, nor did I have an even distribution of things “I like to do” with things that “need to be done”. When I realized how unbalanced I was, I knew changes needed to be made. I needed to make myself a priority and, do the things I love to do. I’m still a work in progress when it comes to balancing my time but here are the benefits I discovered:
Increased Productivity: One Saturday in the summer, I spontaneously went to the amusement park with some friends. It was a spur of the moment decision and I was making myself a priority. I had been to the amusement park multiple times but this time was different. We just went with flow. I laughed a lot and made some great memories. The weather was perfect and, we left the cares of work and home in the parking lot and truly lived in the moment. The Monday after, I went into work with a new perspective. I felt like my mind had cleared, I could clearly address problems, I was focused on the task at hand and working more efficiently. It felt like I had been revived and, my work was reaping the benefits of it.
Re-energized: Sometimes, ten minutes to yourself is all you need. At work, I’ll take a ten minute break by taking a walk or buying a hot drink at a place close by. I find taking that small time away from my work helps me feel refreshed, stimulated and motivated to get work done.
Happy: Lets take a moment to get the song by Pharrell Williams out of our head…and we’re back. When you do things you love it puts in a happy place. I love to sketch, its my first love but, I have neglected it so much since I started working full-time and having countless things to do after work. It’s so hard to sneak in time to sketch when I just want to throw myself on my bed and pass out. The times where I have made sketching a priority I started to feel good about myself, I had a sense of confidence because I was reminded that I had a special gift that I thoroughly enjoyed.
So what about you? What thing do you love to do that you’ve neglected cause life got in the way? Where do you need to evenly distribute your time so you make yourself a priority?