In my last blog we talked about detoxing your schedule and creating free time for self. Now that you have created white space in your calendar or even blocked off time for self-care, you may find it challenging to keep it that way. In our crazy busy lives and our tendency to put everyone and everything else ahead of our own needs and wants, it is easy to fill up that white space or delete/cross out time set aside for self. What to do?
If you just have created white space on your calendar, consider actually scheduling time for self, family and fun. Putting an item on the calendar is at least a reminder of your intention for that time making it less likely to taunt you as open time on your calendar that yearns to be filled. If you’re your calendar is available to be viewed either by family or co-workers, blocking off time instead of leaving white space can be all the more important to make it clear that X time to Y time you are unavailable for being scheduled for something else. If you use an online calendar, i.e. Google Calendar or Outlook, you can adjust settings so that those with whom you share your calendar only see that you’re busy and not necessarily what you’re doing.
We still find it easy to delete or cross out our free time or time scheduled for self-care. After all, seeing “Exercise” or “Make Dinner” on the calendar isn’t very awe inspiring. I heard author and speaker Lisa Nichols share a fantastic idea for keeping personal time sacred on her calendar. She renamed those blocks of time. So consider using fun names that are really about your intention for that time. “Exercise” may become “Get My Sexy Back.” “Make Dinner” becomes “Fueling My Family.” Unplanned white space becomes “Fun Time for Me and Mine.” It is a lot more encouraging when the calendar alarm pops up on your phone and says “Get My Sexy Back” versus boring old exercise…wahwah.
Do the same with the rest of the family. Help them detox their schedules and create time for fun, alone, together or with friends. If your kids are younger and overscheduled ask them what they really want to do. Sure, sports, ballet and music lessons are all great, but give them time to just be kids.
I challenge you to create free time. Make yourself as much of a priority as anyone or anything else. Set your intention for time that is unscheduled, set aside for self-care or for family and friends. Use that intention to craft fun names for your calendar which will help you keep those times as sacred. Time is a commodity you can never get back, so make the most of it. Enjoy!