Finding Time For Yourself

Two men playing golfJim was really happy with his practice.  It had grown rapidly and now he had to turn away clients because he was too busy to accept them.

He was determined to remain a solo practitioner but in order to maintain the income he needed he worked incredible hours often from  8am to 10pm.  Consequently he found it difficult to keep up with other parts of his life.  Doctor, dentist and accountant appointments were kept but he told me there was no time for anything that was fun. He was just too tired.

Jim was doing work he loved.  It was fulfilling and meaningful work.   What he did need was a way to make more space in his busy schedule so he could have some time to enjoy himself.

There was a time in my life when I was busy raising a family and doing volunteer work. I felt what I was doing was important and meaningful to me but I knew I wasn’t happy.  I had no idea why.  I looked at what I was doing every day and I thought I should be happy.  I just couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy.

This isn’t just a problem for those who have found meaningful work.  It can be an even bigger problem for those who are not doing work they find meaningful and fulfilling.  Working many hours doing something you love is one thing but working those kind of hours doing what you hate is depressing! Even more reason to put aside some time to enjoy yourself.

Jim complained he had no time to think about what he wanted for himself and no time to do the things he loved.  At least he was aware that there was something missing from his life.  That is a big first step. His next step will be to carve out time for himself just like he does for his doctor, dentist and accountant.

In my case I thought I had what should be “a perfect life”.  Instead of being happy I was angry at myself for being unhappy and resented anyone who was enthusiastic about what he/she was doing.  These feelings really puzzled me.  It never occurred to me that I needed to make time for myself.

I spent quite a bit of time being angry and resentful until I found a coach who could help me to understand my anger. When I finally realized that it was not selfish to spend time on myself I started doing things that were fun for me.

An even bigger problem for me was to figure out what was fun for me.  I had spent so much time doing the things everyone told me I “should” do that I never thought about what I wanted to do.

It took some experimenting to find what I loved but when I did it made a world of difference to me.  Not only did I feel better about myself but I came to my other responsibilities with a new energy and creativity that was missing before.

Take Action

  1. What activities do you enjoy doing? Here is my list: Gardening, Improv, Singing, Seeing musical theater, Reading for pleasure.  What is yours?
  2. How much time do you devote to those activities?
  3. What is the right amount of time to spend on yourself so that you will be in top form?  Experiment if you do not know.
  4. How can you make a habit of taking care of yourself?  (Taking care of yourself is the most important job you have.)

Copyright © 2014 Parker Associates. All rights reserved.

Not sure what would be fun for you?  A coach can help.  Not sure how to find the time in your busy day to have some fun?  Again a coach can help.  Sometimes because we can’t see a way to have fun we block out any possibilities.  If you are doing that you are punishing yourself.  Instead reward yourself by opening yourself up to the possibilities of fun.  You’ll be a happier person.  If I can help you please email me at asparker@asparker.com or call me at 781-598-0388.

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To ignite the spark within you, get your free values assessment, newsletter and tips list to be happy at work.