We all seem to be needing more time. Between family, career, kids, friends, meal time, conflicting schedules, events and travel (just to name a few priorities everyone tries to juggle), how can you make your life easier and get a little extra time for yourself?
There are many tips you can follow to stay organized and on top of everything you need to get done. One concept I hadn’t discussed however in my last post is “investing in your time”, by choosing to hire or asking for help to free up time.
It can be difficult for some to ask for or hire help. “Will it seem like I just can’t manage?”, “I should be able to do it all”, “If I can’t handle it, who else will be able to?”. Negative perceptions, feelings of guilt or wanting to be in control can prevent us from reaching out and asking for help. If you find yourself having these types of thoughts, why not rather think: I’m investing in myself and my time.
I liked the way Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, approached the subject in her book "Lean In". She encourages hiring help, a nanny as an example, and to consider it an investment in one’s career (and life) as opposed to a spend or expense.
Getting child care is one example of what you can do to get some time back, but other types of services can help too: home cleaning, babysitting, pet care, ready made meals, grocery delivery, home organizing – there are plenty of resources that cater to these everyday needs.
In doing research for this post I came across an interesting site: askfortask.com that could also be a useful resource if you’re looking to get one off things completed on your to-do list by hiring someone in your community.
Outside of hiring help however, consider simply reaching out to your partner, friends, family and your close network when you need some time. As an example, if you need a babysitter, but can’t find one, why not ask friends or family? If you are hesitant because your friends may not have kids and you don’t want to impose, have these two arguments in mind: they will get practice and you will return the favour one day. (I think I have accumulated about half a year’s worth of future babysitting because of those very arguments).
Sharing the workload with your partner, or getting your kids to help out at home can also be a way to give you some time back. Sandberg’s “Lean In” speaks to this as well, mainly as it pertains to sharing child care and housework with your partner. One of the examples she gave that struck a chord with me was around doing groceries. I simply could not, until I read the book, let my husband do the groceries, even though he always suggested to do them. It’s not that I didn’t think he was capable (he worked in produce his entire teens) but rather it was more about me feeling, yes I admit, the need to be in control. It’s a work in progress…
Many of you have surely dealt with career and life pressures. Share your experiences, what are some practical tips that have allowed you cope and manage to get the time you needed? And what do you do to make life a little easier for yourself?