You Want "Me" Time? You Got it!
Finding "Me" time in a busy life can sometimes seem impossible - but it isn't.
Making time to think, reflect and plan your life and your career is the only way to get what you want out of life.
Also, creating "Me" time is critically important for your health and well-being.
Check out Cazoot's top tips for making "Me" time.
I know, I know. Work is crazy busy, and you are under the pump! Whilst getting “Me” time sounds, awesome, you just don’t see any way of making it happen. Am I right?
Well never fear! There is a way and this page will give you some context, ideas and (hopefully) motivation to create some “Me” time for you.
OK? Great, let’s get into it.
What’s in a Week?
Now let’s just set some scope around what we have to work with. Because, there’s one thing we know for sure, time is the one resource that we can’t make more of.
A 7-day week has 168 hours.
Let’s assume on average you sleep 7.5 hours a night (yeah right!), even though the norm is 7 hours.
This equates to 52.5 hours a week.
Which means you have 115.5 awake hours. That gives us something to work with.
Work time should be 40 hours a week, but we all know that this is a rarity. Let’s say you work a 45-hour week.
Which means we have 70.5 hours not sleeping and not working.
Getting ready for work and the daily commute all takes time. Let’s be conservative and say that equates to 15 hours a week.
Which means we have 55.5 hours a week that is not allocated.
Now I know that there is heaps of stuff that you still need to do like, pay bills, household chores, grocery shopping, eat!! And other stuff. Let’s say that takes on average 3 hours a day, or 21 hours a week.
We’re now down to 34.5 hours unallocated from your week.
Depending on your personal situation you maybe in a relationship, you may have kids, you may have a pet – and these all need your time. Now, some of these are already catered for above so we should not double count time (e.g. meal times), but we will still need to allocate a good chunk of your time to devote to these important parts of your life. Time devoted to others we will allocate on average say 24 hours a week.
We now have 10.5 hours unallocated…. More than 1 hour a day.
But I’m guessing (since you are reading this guide) that you really struggle to find “Me” time. A time where you can do “stuff” just for you…
Even with a conservative estimate of 10.5 hours unallocated time. Hmmmm…. interesting.
Most people are under a constant challenge to keep up with the demands of work, life and family considering it almost impossible to carve out a few hours a week to devote to themselves. Sound familiar?
The point of breaking down the week into hours is to demonstrate that there is sufficient time in a week already to make time. The challenge now is how to find that time and then commit to using it just for you. And guess what? Maybe you might need to compromise or sacrifice a few things to create me time - but it's work it.
I was listening to one of favourite podcasts recently that had an interview with an entrepreneur who was asked how he created time to build his business, listening to his podcasts and read a book a week. His answer, “I don’t have a tv.”
Another interview with an Angel investor providing advice on how “would-be entrepreneurs”, and investors could get into the Angel investment game. He responded by asking if the interviewer had cable tv. The answer was “Yes”. His advice was, “Well if you cancel your subscription that will give you around $1,000 per year, and by removing cable tv, you will get somewhere between 3-5 hours a week. That’s enough to get started.”
If you are like me, sometimes watching tv is a good release where you can turn off your brain for a while, or it might be the only way you can keep in touch with world news. So abandoning tv might seem too extreme. What it identified for me was not that I should get rid of the tv, but if I wanted to make time, I may need to trade off something and prioritise what was really important.
When your schedule is busy, you need to make compromises. I’m sure you don’t say “yes” to meetings that clash with other meetings or simply cancel meetings to squeeze in other meetings. So why would you cancel time you have set aside for something "You" want to do?
Questions for you?
How many hours a day do you watch tv?
How many hours a day do you spend playing candy crush (or any other smartphone game) on your phone?
How many hours a day do you spend on social media?
Now with that knowledge, are any of these activities more important than:
Your personal development?
Your health and well-being?
If the answer is “No” – there’s probably an hour or two you can carve out to create some important “Me” time.
Now you might be thinking that I am sounding a little like a sanctimonious twat and just espousing the bleeding obvious. But I was once like you. Working stupid hours every week, never having time for anything, and definitely no “Me” time was in my schedule.
I carried my hours a week worked like a badge of honour. A living martyr showing the world that my ability to work was second to no-one. What an idiot I was!
To further ram home the point, there was a time when I was a young father with two young pre-school boys at home that I rarely got to see.
In one insightful week when I monitored my time more closely, I realised that I had only managed to see my boys for 3 hours in a whole week. That’s not being present, and it’s barely being a father. My wife was left to carry burden of managing our home, while I worked.
My normal work week during that time saw me eating alone as I got home long after the family had eaten. I usually got in just in time to say goodnight before the boys went to bed. I left before they were awake and got home sometimes when they were asleep. Every night I would fire up the laptop after dinner and work until late in the evening, falling into bed for 5-6 hours sleep then get up and repeat. Not much of an existence is it?
Breaking the habit
When working stupid long hours becomes your normal practice, it becomes a dangerous habit. Even when people try to arrest back some time they can feel guilty for working less hours than they used to. Despite still putting in a solid day’s work (and probably more hours than a standard day), colleagues and staff can start to question “Why have you changed your hours?”
“Are you looking for another job.”
“Do you no longer care?”
“Do you have troubles on the home front?”
“Are you not committed?”
Usually these questions sit in your mind and nobody else even notices that your hours are closer to normal. But in some places, hours worked is seen as a badge of honour and you are judged by your start and finish times. If you are in a workplace like that, GET OUT! Your value is your contribution to the business, not how well you know the cleaners because you are working after hours when they show up.
It might seem a little extreme, but for me I found the easiest way to break the habit was to leave for a different job. I could then set a new baseline without any baggage or pre-defined work expectations.
One thing I know is that your hours worked won’t magically become less unless you take the initiative and make a concerted effort to create change.
No need to panic, we have put together a few suggestions to help you find the "ME" time you need, just like we promised.
Have some tips to share? Tell us how you create "Me" time.