Do you feel it’s sometimes hard to carve out time for yourself and your own ideas? Life can feel overwhelming at times and after managing work, family and friends even a holiday break doesn’t seem to offer peace and quiet many of us long for. Even when you have a strong longing in your heart to do something for yourself every day life circumstances keep pushing you off track. And as days turn into months time passes and you haven’t had a chance to spend time exploring new directions or working on your new passion project!
Let’s face it, and I think about this often, if I could simply extract myself onto a dessert island leaving all my everyday responsibilities behind I could get so much more done! For sure the book I’m writing would already be finished by now.
It’s hard to fit everything in and extract yourself from the demands of other people for your own agenda.
Whether you have children or not, we women tend to be in charge of the holiday schedules, feeding everyone and keeping things moving. And as if that wasn’t enough we feel responsible for everyone’s wellbeing including their feelings and emotions. We try to manage and manipulate relationships as we think it’s our duty to keep the structures together and things running ‘perfectly.’
I’ve been consciously eliminating any controlling behaviour in recent years as I can see it completely drains my energy and wastes my time. After hearing stories of over thousand women in our Lifeworking groups I have identified five key areas you can pay attention to if you want to gain more energy and time for yourself, without travelling to a dessert island!
Let them fail
Whether it’s making sandwiches for a road trip or briefing a new trainee at work, you can let other people take charge even though it’s obvious the end result is not going to be according to your standards. Keep preparations and briefings short, focus on the essence, do your best and then let go of the outcome. I do this all the time. So what if my husband forgets to pack the carrot sticks for the road trip. It’s double serving of greens at dinner time then!
Don’t step in
In our efforts to absolutely maximise our perceived control over things around us we tend to exhaust ourselves feeling responsible for everyone and every relationship. When family, friendship or colleague dynamics raise their ugly heads, stay conscious and stay out. It’s not about you. It’s more important to protect your own energy than to manage things around you. At the next family gathering, don’t start arranging the seating plan and see what happens, even if it means things may flair up.
Trust the weather
I used to spend enormous amount of energy trying to figure out the best day or timing to do a holiday trip or a business meeting. Now I simply give a window of options and let things simply fall into place. If you keep too tight leash you prevent Universe’s natural organising power to do half the work for you.
Have you noticed that people under stress get agitated and a smallest thing can throw them off course. Nothing wastes energy and time more than bad temper, so developing your ‘zen’ skills will gain you heaps of time which you can then put into good use for your own purposes. Be kind and things will generally run much more smoothly.
I’m writing this on a semi-holiday (half work, half play). I managed everyone’s expectations and a full working day was created for me. Mum was going to be working all day during a holiday, yippee! I got my family out of the house, grandparents to do their own thing and the house to myself. After working a full 8 hours on my business I was back in my role as a mother and the Pillar Of Everything. As soon as I was back in the thick of it I felt the demands of my family just wash over me. “Where’s my swimming suit?” “I’m hungry!” “Did you not read my whatsapp message about the cooler?” (Family had caught a fish!) and so on.
I was just about to blow up thinking why do they need me for everything! But then I got a hold of my inner ‘zen’, changed my mindset and smiled. For that moment I was very proud I can do this. I can serve them breakfast, get them greased up with suncream, I can work on my business and I can be again fully in charge for dinner. And I stick to my running schedule and meditation no-matter-what to keep me in a good space mentally and physically.
So rather than feeling ‘oh poor me’, and booking the trip to a dessert island, I quietly celebrated the moment and settled back into the ‘mother has it all under control’ mode and went for a lovely swimm.