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What is quality 'me' time?

Have you ever felt so busy and overwhelmed that you've simply let everything build until you are at breaking point - you know you need 'you' time, but you have no idea what that actually is or how to achieve it? Or when it finally comes, what to do with yourself?

If you've said yes, then keep reading, this article is for you...

Step 1 - Identifying what 'me' time means for us.

We all know we need quality 'me' time to maintain some Life Balance, but how much is enough? and what does quality 'me' time actually mean? Is it really as simple as a certain amount of time to sit quietly on our own to breath, or is it something else?

What we normally find it that the issue isn't that we simply need more 'me' time, it seems to be that we need a better Life Balance for ourselves overall. We've looked at Life Balance before, but to recap, we know that we need to feel fulfilled in 4 core areas of our life to feel calm, happy and fully alive.

The-4-core-human-needs

But how does this fit with actually getting more time for ourselves? Well, when we have a great Life Balance, we won't need any more time for ourselves because our 'me' time will be included in one of our 4 core areas above, and if we are meeting our needs in that area, we will feel refreshed and ready for whatever the other areas of our life throw at us.

So the first question to answer is, when we look at quality 'me' time, which area of the above does it fall into? And if we regularly feel like we need more 'me' time then could it be because we are not - regularly - meeting our need for Life Balance in that one specific area of our life?

To look an example, a lot of mums focus so much on the Love/Connection area (looking after their family, checking they have everything they need and are happy and content) and the Certainty area (our daily routines to make sure our kids get to school on time, get fed, have fun and get enough sleep) that we sometimes neglect the Variety area (hobbies and fun - simply to get the blood pumping and make us smile) or the Significance are (doing something that gives us that immediate sense of significance and purpose).

This can then be interpreted by our minds as simply not getting enough 'me' time but sometimes we don't fully understand what our minds are trying to tell us with this feeling. However, by thinking this through using the framework above, we can see we may need some more focus on, for example, the Variety area of our lives. Scheduling something fun, which pushes us out of our comfort zone and gives us something different to focus on, during our week would then help to meet the need for Variety, making us more content and happy with the rest of our life.

Step 2 - Understanding the difference between Time Management and Task Management

So now we have identified the reason we feel we need more quality 'me' time and what this actually means to us, lets think about how we go about getting a better Life Balance and that all important time for ourselves to meet our needs in all the 4 core areas of our life.

For me, when we talk about time management, everything gets a little confused. Time is simply time, it comes, it goes and there is nothing we can do about it, so the term 'time management' actually means nothing and confuses our subconscious mind.

We start to have thoughts such as 'Why is there never enough time?' or "Why can I never find the time to do something for myself?" The problem with this is that it sets our subconscious minds the task of coming up with the answers to these questions and then evidence to keep proving these questions true.

It also implies that the 'time' element is the problem and makes us focus on how we can change this, for example by creating more of it, which everyone knows is ridiculous. So we need to always try to shift the focus onto Task Management and start to ask ourselves productive questions, such as 'How can I fit my tasks (including the ones I need for a great Life Balance) into the time that I have?'.

We fill our time with tasks, so the more important element here is how we manage our tasks within the restraints of time - not mulling over the fact we can't seem to 'find more time'. Once we understand this, we can start thinking more productively and use the subconscious area of our brain to work it out for us.

Step 3 - Learning to prioritise the Tasks which matter most

Now we know that it's not how much time we have, it's what we do with it that counts, we can start to learn to prioritise our tasks to make sure we schedule everything we need to into our week.

We need to stop filling our time with the endless tasks like washing and cleaning and working those extra hours so we can give 100% to every element of our life and stop, take stock and give it all some thought.

Most of us will have heard of the 80/20 rule when it comes to our work. Where putting in 20% of our effort normally gets us to 80% 'done' and where the last 20% to get to our own version of perfection, normally takes us an additional 80% of effort. We also may know that in most scenarios our 80% 'done' is actually fine - hell - even good!

But have you ever thought about using the same 80/20 concept in every day life, maybe when it comes to washing and cleaning and all the never-ending chores we spend so much time doing? So our first question for ourselves is - is there anything where 80% is good enough but will save us a significant amounts of time?

The second area we need to look at is where is our Life Balance we fall short, what area is it we need to focus on most? And what do we need to do to meet our need in that area? Looking back at Step 2 and coming up with a plan to meet our own need.

Now we need to make a conscious choice - a big decision for ourselves - are we going to prioritise our basic needs for a good Life Balance, in order to allow us to be the mother/wife/employee/business owner we want to be?

To work more on Life Balance and Prioritising Ourselves and the tasks that matter, why not join me in my private community 'More to Me than Mum' by clicking here

Jenni Donato

Jenni now works as an Award-winning Life and Mindset Coach, helping mothers to reconnect to who they are by blending simple psychology and science to design their new beginning.