Category: Me Time

I recently sent an email out to my list giving them a chance to borrow my brain and get any question they had about productivity answered. That week questions came from other places too. One question I was asked while on the phone with a colleague was, “How is it that I’m productive for three days in a row then have no energy or the right attitude to get things done?” What she shared with me was that during the last few weeks she found herself in a space where she was able to focus and get things done for about three days and then she just couldn’t bring herself back to that space again. She couldn’t stay focused and definitely wasn’t in the frame of mind to do so either.

Each of those days she had started working mid morning and worked until after dinner, sometimes stopping to eat dinner and then coming back to work and at times burning the midnight oil. She was burning herself out, which many women entrepreneurs do. What I suspected was that she wasn’t giving time to herself as was the case. No breaks to grab a healthy snack or take a quick walk or just breathe. She may or may not stop to eat lunch so she could continue to work her way through the things on her list and be farther along with her project. Plowing through those days got things done, but depleted her physically and mentally and it took a couple of days to get things moving again.

If you don’t have time during the day when you give to yourself, now is the time to start doing it. Create a morning routine that allows you space to breathe and to get grounded and focused. You might add a work out or some yoga and meditation. Let the focus be entirely on you. Not your family, not even your business, but on you. Create times during the day when you stop to take a break from work. Step away from your desk or out of your office and again focus on yourself. What do you need in that space? Maybe you need to fuel your body or take the dog for a walk. You will find that those breaks leave you refreshed and ready to knock off the rest of the things on your agenda for the day. Finally, know where to draw the line. Choose a time to end your work days and honor yourself and your time by sticking to it. This will give you the energy, focus and frame of mind you need and will put an end to the weeks where you run out of steam.


MeTimeClockI bet that if I were to ask my readers, radio show listeners and potential clients when they last had time to themselves,  they probably wouldn’t be able to tell me. That madness has to stop right now! How can you expect to give to things and other people, when you haven’t made time to give to yourself? Well, you can’t.

When you plan, you should be the first thing that goes onto your calendar. You do not belong in the spaces that are left vacant after you fit in your clients, children, spouse and other people and things. You have to be the top priority and make sure that you come first. This is one of the things that I teach clients in planning sessions with them. When we’re looking at their entire upcoming year or the next six months, we acknowledge where the holidays are and then the first thing we do is add in their vacation days, down time, long weekends and me time. It’s something that takes them a while to do actually because most are not accustomed to thinking or placing themselves first. There are times when I’ve needed to stop to get them past that hurdle before we can continue with the process, but it’s necessary. Everything else gets put into the mix after those days are in her calendar and not a moment before. Oh, just so you know, holidays don’t count as down time or me time.

Starting right now, I want you to look at your calendar to see where you can put time for yourself and as you move forward in your planning or your days, weeks and months. Be bold, put yourself first and add the chunks of time for you. When you look at what you have scheduled now, shift things around to accommodate yourself. You would do it for a client, so do it for you. As you move forward, make it your rule to schedule your me time first. You’ll find that those chunks of time to yourself allow you to recharge so that you can give to the things and people who mater most. It will also help boost your productivity.


Time Out!

TimeOut-WomansHandsNo matter where in the world you live, or at what time of year the summer happens in your hemisphere, it’s the opportunity to take time out.  Everyone looks forward to summer because it means goodbye to work and school, at least for a portion of the season.  It means putting your feet up and relaxing, days at the beach and making time for the things that you don’t make enough time to do during the rest of the year.

So many people only use the summer and vacation time to take a load off and for the rest of the year they go full speed ahead, all cylinders firing, not even making the time to take breaks during the day.  If you’re in the habit of stopping during the course of your work day to take a quick break,  you know that short period of time gives your mind and your body the break that they need and also allows you return to the task at hand with a clear and fresh mind, rejuvenated and ready to go.

Just like the quick 10-15 minute or lunch break will help to revive and rejuvenate you, so will time off from work.  If you’re not in the habit of taking time off, it’s time to start. Be in the habit of taking a day, two days or a week off at least a few times a year.  You don’t have to go anywhere, just catch some R&R and make the time to be good to yourself.  The habit will support you in being at your top productivity level and your mind and body will appreciate it too.  When I work with clients on planning their year’s activities, the first thing I have them determine is when they will take time off for themselves in addition to the existing holidays and vacations with family and those dates get plugged in first before any work related items hit their calendar.  If you don’t know when your next time out is, look at your calendar right now and determine when you’re going to make it happen.  It can be just a day off work to do something special that you want to do, or just to spend time home alone when no one else is there.  Trust me, it will work wonders for you!

When was the last time you a break from it all?  Before summer is over and you get back to your usual routine, schedule your days off for the rest of the year.  It will revitalize you and have you ready for a fresh start when it’s time to get back to work.  Taking breaks is a necessary part of life.  Time out isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.


Sunday, November 7th is Zero Tasking Day.  This day takes place each year on the same day that we end Daylights Savings.  This day was created by Nancy Christie,  author of The Gifts of Change.  According to Christie, this day is to fill that “extra” 60 minutes with nothing.  In other words,  give yourself a break from your everyday life.

When we set the clock back an hour we, say, get an hour back.  Not really, but you get my drift.  If we look at that time as if it were a gift, a time for us to take a step back and relax, it becomes an opportunity for us to create time in our calendars for doing absolutely nothing.

Look at your schedule. Do you see specific blocks of time that you have designated for doing absolutely nothing?  If you’re like most, probably not.  We spend so much time scheduling everything and jamming it into those precious 1,440 minutes that we get every day.  We put ourselves last, and it’s necessary for that to change, so that we place ourselves at the top of our priority list, not just to set aside time to do things for ourselves and to treat ourselves to the things that we enjoy, but it’s also necessary to spend time doing absolutely nothing.  It’s just as important as doing the things on our list that we designate as important.

When was the last time that you did absolutely nothing?  Do you need some “zero tasking” time?  Click here to take a quick quiz created by Nancy Christie to find out.

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