SelfHelpMe


How to Find More Time, Part Two — Priorities

Posted in self help by Steph Auteri on December 28, 2007
Tags: , ,

clock.

I have read in many a magazine and self-help book the powers of saying “no.” It’s something I have a problem with. Perhaps that’s how I ended up singing at five masses over the Christmas break, while also hosting my family and in-laws for Christmas dinner & dessert at my one-bedroom condo. Perhaps that’s also how I let my priorities slip, and took an extended vacation from this blog, which is still lacking in any sort of regular editorial calendar.

Bad me.

So it’s a good thing that the second part of this series on how to find more time, based upon Laura Stack’s Find More Time, is about Priorities. (Geez louise, that post about Plans was, like, eons ago. I’m awful at Priorities.)

  • Remember those who are most important to you. When I was first dating my future husband, I was unemployed but keeping myself busy, as per usual. I was handing out iced latte samples at Dunkin’ Donuts (humiliating); writing nightlife reviews for Shecky’s; and interning at the Feminist Press. When life became especially hectic, I told darling Michael that we could only hang out if we were being productive together.

And so, we would go to Barnes & Noble together and sit at a table with our laptops as I wrote nightlife reviews and he wrote music reviews.

That was ridiculous.

Remember to make time for those you love, even if it means you need to schedule a weekly date night with your man, or a monthly Family Fun evening with the fam. Create your own traditions, especially around the holidays, that allow you to spend quality time with loved ones, and create fabulous memories that will last a lifetime (I’m sorry if that sounded too after-school-special).

  • Volunteer. It makes you feel good. It makes the person you’re helping feel good. It spreads good karma. I used to be a volunteering fool growing up, lending my time to my church CCD program, Safety Town, the library, the Juniorettes, etc. Most recently, I tried iMentor, which is an easier to commitment to make when you’re short on time yet still want to make a difference in someone’s life. Sites like VolunteerMatch can help you find the volunteer opportunity that’s perfect for you. If you’re strapped for time, there are even projects you can work on from home, at your computer! Check it. And remember (the most important thing ever). You can always change your mind. If you don’t want to be there, it will wear on you. And it will also show to others. No one’s holding a gun to your head. Pick something you enjoy, and that doesn’t necessarily add additional stress to your life. What are some of the awesome organizations you’ve spent time with?
  • Cut out the time-wasters. For me, it’s Minesweeper, StumbleUpon, G-Chat, e-mail, and reality television. And food. I am a weak woman. But knowing is half the battle. Place restrictions on yourself. You’ll find you get a helluva lot more done. Plus, you won’t feel all groggy from staring at a screen for hours.
  • Be healthy. Be sure to be active. No one said you have to suffer through 45 minutes on a treadmill. Pick something you enjoy, like cardio shimmy or hula hooping or callanetics, and make it a priority, rather than an afterthought. If you schedule it in, just as you would schedule in a meeting or a get-together, it might actually happen. Also remember to keep up with those pesky appointments with your dentist, your shrink, your gynecologist, your allergist, etc. And don’t do gross things like smoke or subsist on Red Bull. And get enough sleep. And do as I say, not as I do.
  • Expand your mind. Whether through reading, public seminars, continuing education, etc., it is healthy to keep challenging both your mind and your body. Plus, it’s a great way to meet nifty new people who share your interests!

Okay guys. I’ll see you next when we discuss Personality.

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