Is Your Work Life Taking Over? How to Make More Time for You

I have noticed lately that my work has been taking over my whole life. The responsibility of owning my own business, paying bills, etc. has meant that I have been spending less time with my friends, family and hobbies. Last week I realized that it was getting out of hand and made a decision to find some ways to spend more time on me and my loved ones. In this post I want to show you how you can find more time for you.

How to make more time for you

It is very important to make time for yourself and the things you deem to be important. If we allow it to, money will take over our lives and we will have nothing of substance left. I see this happen to people all the time with work, study, etc. The focus only on that at the expense of everything else.

Here some things I have been doing lately to make more time for myself.

1. Get up early
A while ago I made the commitment to get up at 6am everyday without exception. At the moment the most important past time in my life is my meditation practice. However, between working and paying bills I never seem to get the amount of time to meditate that I would like. So I decided to get up earlier.

The reason this was so important for me is because I was making myself anxious. During the day I would think to myself “Oh I am going to have NO time to meditate again” and get really stressed. By waking up early and meditating I am taking a lot of pressure off my routine because I know I have done the most important thing in my day first.

If you think you might want to get up early you should read this post on how to wake up fresh. Many people don’t wake up early because they struggle to get into the routine. However, with a few handy tips like these you might find it a little bit easier.

Waking up early is also the perfect way to get some exercise into your day. Take a look at this post on how to exercise before work everyday.

2. Work only designated hours
These days it seems as though the 9 to 5 job is becoming rarer and rarer. At least in my life, I seem to think about work 24 hours a day. If you run your own business you will know what I mean – you think about the damn think every moment of the day.

It is very important, however, to only work in designated hours. If you allow yourself to think about work all day you will drive yourself mad!

What I decided to do was work until 4pm and then not think about it until 8am the next day. I effectively banned myself from working after 4pm. This was a very positive move. It means that I am now able to forget about work when I am not at work and as such give my family, friends and hobbies 100% of my attention. This is vital for successful relationships.

3. Give yourself specific time for things
Now that you have given your work a specific time in your day it is also a good idea to do the same for your other activities. The point is not to make your life 100% planned out and structured but to give you some guidelines so you can see when things are going to occur.

You see, if things are written down and planned you usually stop thinking about them. If you can see a calendar on your desk that shows you when you are working, when you are going to the gym, when you are having rest, etc. you will be much less worried about trying to fit all of those things in.

4. Plan specific time for doing nothing

Creative Commons License photo credit: Josh Russell

One of the most important things you can do is give yourself planned time for doing nothing. This is not lazy. This is healthy. Laziness is when you don’t do things because you couldn’t be bothered. Actually planning time to do nothing is an important part of any healthy work life.

I like to give myself an hour after dinner. I eat my meal and then sit down with Mrs. Daily Minder and watch television or go for a walk. During this time I am just with her, not thinking about work and not stressing about life. This has really helped my mind.

5. Become more efficient at work
One of the main reason my work takes over is because I don’t work as hard as I should during work hours and then I stress about how little I have got done. I am sure we are all guilty of this.

Becoming more efficient at work is one of the best things you can do if you want to stop your work from taking over your life. If you get more done during the day you will be less likely to have to take work home with you or think about it when the day has finished.

Some tips for becoming more efficient at work include:

  • Work for 20 minutes and then take a three minute break
  • Eat only light and healthy foods so your mind stays clear
  • Get into a better sleeping pattern
  • Don’t take on more work than you can handle
  • Meditate

Work is only part of life and should not become the main focus. Family, friends and our passions should always come first otherwise we run the risk of living a life that is not what we intended. If you have any other tips that might help someone stop their work from taking over their life then please leave a comment.

top image:Creative Commons License photo credit: daviddave

2 thoughts on “Is Your Work Life Taking Over? How to Make More Time for You

  1. I currently struggle with this. For instance, my blog which I want to make an income with one day – there’s no down time! I mix up ME time with Internet time.

    You make some valid points here

    Oh – and I recently started working on taking little breaks – I have to admit, it really just works!

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