It's a really funny old topic of conversation - time.
We all have access to THE SAME 24 hours in each day...
But more and more I hear the 'I don't have time' reason for not looking after your own health.
And I was using it myself for a bit there. Let me explain...
I love a gym class. It doesn't matter what the format it, as long as there are other people in the room, I will work harder and work better surrounded by others.
And for a long time, I didn't go to a gym class. Logistically, I was unable to attend most 'traditional' times - 6am and 6pm classes were out of the question with my husband either leaving for or getting home from work. 9.30am classes were the same - because, be honest, I'm running the best 9.30am classes anyway!
So, the search was on. I had to find someone local running lunchtime classes. And I did. In order to get to these classes, I had to reschedule some client appointments. I am very grateful that these wonderful people agreed to this - most of the time it was only by 15-30 minutes anyway. Thankfully, they all understand that my health is just as important as their's.
Most days require me to be super organised. And this is what I want to talk to you about.
Because I have the same 24 hours as you.
1. Honour Your Own Time
On my wall, I have a weekly whiteboard calendar that is broken into one hour blocks. I make appointments with myself - appointments that can't be broken. The first thing to go in, of course, are TPPT group sessions and client appointments. The second thing to go in, however, is my workout time. I help up at the girls' school for two hours each week, so that goes in. After that, I schedule at least 60 minutes of business admin time. Then, and only then, do I schedule housework and groceries. There's not much time for the 'fluffy' things, which brings me to my next point...
2. Be Honest About Your Social Media Use
This has been a big one for me over the past three weeks. As part of a business development course I took part in, we were challenged to 'unfollow' everything and everyone on our feeds that did not align with our values. This has been very empowering for me! I feel like it's almost pre-2007 again. I still get notifications. I'm still in the groups I want to be in. But I'm not compelled to lose hours scrolling to keep up the the Jones's, because it just doesn't appear on my feed. I'm not suggesting here that you go on an 'unfollowing' spree - but if you feel like your social media is using you (remember, YOU use IT, not the other way around), may I suggest setting aside some scrolling time? Beyond that, put the phone down and get on with life.
3. Plan Ahead
I cannot emphasise enough just how important it is to plan and prepare ahead where you can. You all know I'm a big fan of the four week family menu. But honestly, for something that took me 20 minutes to write (shopping lists included) and will last us for three months, why wouldn't I? Look at your family schedule. Work out the busy nights. Work out the nights where time is a little more flexible. And plan around it. Batch cook and freeze portions. But this doesn't just apply in the kitchen. Get uniforms, lunchboxes, etc. ready the night before. And give the kids more responsibility - please don't underestimate what they are capable of doing. Which swings nicely into my next point...
4. Delegate Responsibility
My girls are 7 and 9. And they get themselves 100% ready for school in the morning. Yep - from breakfast, to getting dressed, to packing school bags, to making lunches, to brushing hair and teeth. They do it all. And if they forget their reader or their homework, the responsibility is their's. Not once will they tell their teacher 'my Mum forgot to pack it'. Instead they will say, 'I forgot to pack it'. Don't get me wrong, we are not perfect. Sometimes, Miss 9 walks out with a birds nest on her head. But that's okay - because she did it herself.
And more importantly, it means that I'm not pulling myself thin by trying to race to get the girls ready and pack my car with whatever equipment I need for our sessions that day. It means we are all responsible for getting ourselves ready.
This is where I will play devils advocate. And for Mums, time and time again (pardon the pun), it's a big drainer of your time. Over-scheduling kids activities.
Can we all just back up the train here on this one? I hear of kids having two activities in the one night - sometimes on more that one night a week.
Two things here - when do the kids get down time? Time to be bored and explore their own imagination? And when do parents (mostly Mums, lets be honest), get down time? These two points here are another whole blog post each.
My kids only have two activities each - and one of those is a summer sport only (Little Athletics). Miss 9 finished up swimming once she had achieved a certain level, and is now enjoying being a Cub. Miss 7 is champing at the bit to start gymnastics - but will only be allowed to once she completes the swimming level that I want her to. Because 1. I'm teaching them persistence and the importance of finishing what you started. And 2. Because my time is precious and I will not over-schedule it.
I'm not here to tell you how to parent. I'm not here to tell you what to do with your family time. But if you're here, and you're reading this, it's because you have some level of concern for your own health.
So please do a time audit. Please work out where you can buy back a little time to invest in yourself. Mum, it's not selfish to do so.
It's important that you do. It's important to fill your own cup first. So then, you have something to fill others' with.