You spend your waking hours as a taskmaster, juggling many roles and responsibilities. Things like cleaning, taking care of others, cooking, mowing the lawn, chauffeuring, working for a boss, running a business, paying bills, and shopping. The list goes on and on. All these things suck away your available hours.
The end of each day brings exhaustion. Or frustration. Often both! Check-in tomorrow, same time, more stress and obligation.
Will there ever be time left over to enjoy life and have some fun?
Set Aside Time for Fun
One common trait of highly effective people is that they set aside time for fun. If you tend to be a people pleaser, this may be difficult for you.
But remember, everyone needs rest, relaxation, downtime, and moments spent doing the things they love and which bring them joy.
How to Take Back Your Time
If you find yourself with too much on your plate and no time left to really live, then it’s time to make some changes. Take your cue from highly effective people. They’re not afraid to take back their time so they can recharge for the next big idea, plan, or activity.
Below are strategies to take back your time and be more effective:
Tip #1: Learn to say no.
It’s tempting to say yes to every request that comes along. Most of these obligations start out sounding like a great idea. And you want to do your best. So you agree to the extra work and time involved. Plus, this obligation makes you feel useful which is the #1 thing that your people-pleasing heart is a sucker for. However, there comes a time when all of that backfires because you’ve got too much on your plate.
When we’re overwhelmed with too many tasks, our effectiveness diminishes. We see this in the quality of our work. Mistakes creep in. Communication gets messy. Everything begins to unravel. This makes a GREAT case for having fun and taking time off, and NOT feeling guilty about it!
Tip #2: Decide what’s not that important, and let it go.
Tell others you can’t or won’t do projects or lead events. Open the door to more free time, relaxation, creative pursuits, and fun. What would you do if you had more time? Exercise? Spend your free moments in nature. Play with your kids? Do those things.
Tip #3: Delegate.
Another way to be more effective in your personal life is to begin delegating stuff. Drop the ego posturing that makes you want to do everything yourself. Instead, pay someone to clean your home, and balance your business books. Dole out laundry duties to kids or significant others. Delegating means you have to let go of control of everything and focus on what makes you happy.
Tip #4: Ditch the perfectionist mindset.
Perfectionism doesn’t work because nothing is perfect. Nothing! So it’s a state that we can never achieve. That’s actually setting yourself up for failure if you think about it. Aim for a realistic outcome, and accept yourself even when you make mistakes. Accept others, too! Move on from mistakes and take note of what you learned along the way.
Tip #5: Lower expectations.
People who lower their expectations to a reasonable level have more fun. They’ve made mental room for fun to enter their minds and lighten their hearts. This is a key to being effective. It’s also easier for them to find joy and satisfaction in a task accomplished. Lower expectations mean far less stress!
Tip #6: Ask for help when you need it.
Highly effective people readily ask for help. There are two situations where it’s almost always the better idea to reach out for assistance from others. One, when you’re trying to accomplish something you’re not good at doing. And two, if you’re trying to focus on something big, but you’ve got all these little details that need your attention. Farm out the details. Outsource the Thing You Can’t Do.
Where to find help and support? Family, friends, local service providers, and virtual workers too. Help is all around, you just have to seek it out and ask for what you need. Again: to get what you need, ask.
Success Tip: Get good at controlling stress.
Control the stress that comes from being overwhelmed, overworked or worried. Effective people don’t allow stress to be a controlling factor in their lives. Worry keeps you from enjoying life. When we spend too much time worrying, we miss opportunities for fun and destroy our health.
How to manage stress? Tackle stress at the source. Figure out what’s causing you aggravation and why? It could be something so simple, like the dog running away every morning before you have to leave for work. That’s a problem crying out for a quick fix. Look for those little fixes that you need to make to eliminate needless stress from your life.
Success Tip: Schedule a day of “doing whatever I want.”
Part of our life’s frustration can be an over-packed calendar. You want to have fun, but now the pressure is on. Remind yourself that it’s not healthy to take on every planned event. If you have to, plan to have no plans! You can book a full Sunday to just let the wind take you where it may. If anyone asks, tell them you’re busy that day. You don’t even have to explain further!
There are many ways to be effective in your personal life that allows you to have more time for fun. Freeing up time means being effective in how you manage your work, your obligations, and your time. It means taking advantage of your own strengths and the strengths of those around you.