I’ve always been terrible at time management, I’ve never really grasped work life balance, I prioritise everyone else above myself, and just generally waste a lot of time on the wrong things. It’s something I’ve struggled with, mostly because bad time management usually leads to me being more stressed, because there’s inevitably something that’s fallen through the cracks.
It’s also I think, pretty easy in life to get caught up prioritising work, friends, family, chores, and for days, even weeks to pass by before you remember to do something just for yourself. I certainly noticed my mental health suffering, I was teetering around the edge of burnout, feeling wiped and run down.
It’s something that came up in a therapy session, the fact I always felt stretched too thin, my priorities were out of line, that I was constantly busy but never achieving anything. And honestly, I think most of those feelings stemmed from the fact I wasn’t actually putting any time aside for myself. But then my therapist said something that changed the way I think about my days. She said ‘in every day humans need three things, positive movement, positive interaction, and positive thought.’
We talked how these things don’t need to be big things. Positive movement can be ten minutes stretching in the morning, or a walk on your lunchbreak. Positive interaction can be a good chat with a friend, your partner, a colleague, or a sweet text sent to a friend you’ve not spoken to in a while. Positive thought can be a short meditation, time spent journaling, or making a gratitude list.
And when I started thinking about my day more carefully, and making time for those three things, well, I felt better. I felt like those three tasks, that accumulatively I could accomplish in under 30 minutes, made me feel like I’d gotten more out of each day, like I’d done something for me in each day.
By finding time for that positive movement, interaction and thought in each day, I find it doesn’t really matter how busy or overwhelming the rest of the day is, it’s easier to handle and overall much more enjoyable. I’ve been scheduling morning yoga stretching and meditation, as well as evening gratitude journalling into my calendar as non-negotiables, blocking out the time at the beginning of the week means I’m much more likely to do it!
I can’t believe how much of an effect this little change in the way I plan out my days has had on my life. I’m more focused, present, relaxed and happy!
How could you work these three positive actions into your day?