Why Having Time for Yourself is Good for Your Health

It’s not about ‘having’ time. It’s about making time. If it matters, you will make time. – Unknown

We’ve all had the experience of going to bed thinking “Where did the day go?” or wishing we had another three or four hours to get something done or to relax.  I guess it’s a universal experience to feel that time is really flying by. 

I spent many years feeling this way.  Days spilled into the next as I scrambled to catch up on late papers, late bills, and commitments I had made but not completed.  I was always “busy,” but rarely was I truly productive, where I would sit down and actually work well.

I was always “busy,” but rarely was I truly productive, where I would sit down and actually work well.

The years moved on in this way until I decided I wanted my future to be better than my past. 

My own journey towards a simpler life and schedule started with decluttering my physical environment. I really couldn’t think well because I was surrounded by stuff that was in the wrong place! This was a slow and slightly painful process, but the end result was amazing. I could walk without tripping, and I then set my sights on fixing other mixed-up areas of my life.

Why Having Time for Yourself is Good for Your Health

In the hopes my story might help you, here are 5 more simplifying tips that helped me tremendously to straighten up my life:

Simplify Your Schedule 

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Make your schedule your friend. A very close friend. Don’t overbook yourself. Allow for breaks in between appointments and work sessions. Preview your next three days to make sure you can take care of what you have planned. Use your morning hours to get your difficult work done so you can relax and socialize in the later half of the day.

Simplify Your Closet

Take an hour or two and fix what’s going on in your closet. Purge what you don’t need, use, fit into, or love. Make room for the clothes you do like and use. Donate or recycle the rest. There are many payoffs for doing this, including getting ready faster in the morning and knowing what you need to purchase the next time you’re out shopping for clothes. Once your clothes are well-organized and simplified, it becomes much easier to move on to other areas for simplification.

Simplify Your Social Media Usage

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This is the age of social media. Many of us are involved in using social media throughout the day.  It’s important to make sure our social media usage doesn’t get in the way of living our actual lives. Begin to carve out more time away from your phones and laptops by shortening your e-mail and text replies, avoiding lingering on your screen just because you can, setting time limits, and turning off notifications so you’re not interrupted throughout the day.

It’s important to make sure our social media usage doesn’t get in the way of living our actual lives.

Reduce Your Negative Thinking

Negative thoughts drag our focus away from what we need to manage in the present moment. Negative thoughts cause us to hesitate instead of encouraging us to figure out how to act.  Negative thoughts cause us to quit at the first sign of stress instead of persuading us to stay the course for another 10 minutes. Be mindful of how you talk to yourself and guide yourself away from the negative nagging voice inside of you.

Say “NO” Until You Are Ready to Say “YES” Again

You have to remind yourself on a daily basis that YOU are the priority in your schedule and life. When we forget to monitor our priority status, we risk falling into the second class status and then finding ourselves at the mercy of other people’s schedules and needs! One of the best and most efficient ways of protecting ourselves from feeling overwhelmed is learning how to say a solid “No.” Once you get used to it, you will see how effective this tool is for getting more time and sanity in your day.

These techniques have not only brought me more time in each day but also a greater feeling of calm and satisfaction into my life.  Try one of the suggestions above this week, and watch your possibilities and opportunities expand!

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Christine Li
Christine Li, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Procrastination Coach. She learned how to recover from chronic Procrastination for herself, and she is committed to helping others learn how to do the same for themselves.  She blogs at Procrastinationcoach.com and also runs on-line accountability groups for Procrastinators who are ready to make small, but important steps towards dumping their delay, avoidance, and stress.  To find out more about the 28-day Procrastination to Productivity Program read this preview.
Christine Li

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