I used to say this all of the time until I made a change about 3 years ago. I would not have enough time available to get my house projects completed (actually my house was a mess), no time for working out and cooking in order to eat healthy (relied mainly on fast food and frozen pizzas), and not enough time to just rest and relax! I would be stressed out with lack of quality sleep which caused me to not be my normal delightful self towards my husband and my health was not ideal at the time. I would get winded just walking up a flight of stairs and I would get sinus infections often.
It was time for a change…
Step 1) Do the math = I calculated out the amount of time I was actually in control of scheduling during my week. I subtracted from the 168 hours per week the amount of time I was commuting to work, time spent at work, laundry, light cleaning, grocery shopping, random errands and sleeping time (6 or 7 hours per night) and found that I had, on average, control of only 40% of my time. Yes this was a shock to me. I expected the number to be higher. The reality check was exactly what I needed.
Step 2) Set reasonable expectations = I took a step back and realized that I was being very hard on myself if the house was not 100% perfect clean all of the time. I was not saying no enough to family and friends who were setting plans for me to attend events or make frequent visits. I was trying to make everyone else happy and making myself tired, sick and miserable in the end. I had conversations with my family and friends and set expectations on how often I would be able to visit. The frequency of visits ends up not as often as either party would like, but my personal time under my own control was limited. I opted for quality visits over quantity.
Step 3) Set up a time budget = Just like with my paycheck and allocating money to different categories per month, I started figuring out a time budget for my evenings and weekends. I broke down a list of things which had my top priority (meaning I wanted to do these things every week) like exercise, cooking healthy meals at home, watching TV shows and spending time with my husband. The remaining items were things that I would get done on a less frequent basis like once a month (family/friend visits, deep cleaning the house, etc).
Step 4) Write it down! = Actually booking time with myself and writing it down helped me a great deal. I started doing this in my cellphone’s calendar but then later moved to an Erin Condren LifePlanner. I found that I was able to book family/friend visits more easily when I had an extra day off of work on a given week or during a holiday week. It gave me something to look forward to and also my weekends were more relaxing since I was actually getting things done around the house and started to feel better with exercise/healthy eating habits.
Step 5) Look for time savers = I no longer go to Target for when I need paper products for example. I order via Amazon Prime and have items shipped free to my house. I even order my bath and personal products along with vitamins from Vitacost.com. This saved me time driving around to different stores and doing errands during weekends when stores were the most crowded. I signed up for Stitch Fix to save time on buying new tops for work.
At the end of the day, it is about being honest with the time you actually have and not over-booking & over-committing yourself.