How planning regular freetime makes you more productive and happier.
We live in busy times. We run from one appointment to another, counting down to the next few days off from work, or even a weekend without planned social gatherings, sports events and family birthdays. We try to figure out when we can afford our next holiday, so we can recover from the stress, break away from this daily treadmill for a little while...
In the meantime we rise before dawn, to squeeze as many activities as we can in one day, in an ongoing battle with our to-do-lists. It goes without saying that we try to give our best at work, to our family, to people who depend on us for care, to friends and neighbours.
We value our friendships, so we regularly block some time in our agenda's to spend with friends. We need to stay fit (or we made resolutions to finally become fit ), so workout time needs to be scheduled. If we are lucky, we have a good friend with a subscription to the same Gym or sports club, so we can combine two important activities and win some time.
We want to know what's going on in the world but don't have time to read a newspaper, so we listen to a news channel while commuting, if nobody calls us on our mobile phones. On top of all this, we take a course, to learn something new, for our personal development.
Everyone tells us that partners grow apart easily if we don't invest in our relationship, so we need to fit in Quality Time for Two as well. Being too exhausted to make love for three months in a row isn't a good sign, we guess....
We schedule, run and plan, and get most things done. But we build up an almost unbearable tension inside, a continuous feeling of stress and need for control, that ruins our love life, our libido and our overall joy.
Am I exaggerating? I wish I was!
Many women that I work with, have completely lost the balance between Work and Relaxation. They are so busy controlling their life 24/7, that they forgot how to unwind, let go, surrender, enjoy or play. And since their focus is on being a good employee, mom, daughter, friend and partner, there is a complete lack of free time in their lives.
Of course I help them with prioritizing, delegating and setting boundaries. But to give other people energy, our own batteries need to be fully charged! Therefore, my primary focus of attention is to help this women create some daily free time, or as we call it, Me-Time.
We work hard on a daily basis, we're serious about getting our tasks and goals done. We like our accomplishments, we push ourselves a bit further every day. We become stressed and tired during this process. Nothing wrong with that, as long as we don't wait with recovery and leisure time untill we're retired!
Take one hour for yourself every day!
This is your next holiday, right here, right now. Use it. Enjoy every minute of it.
There is no need to wait untill you saved enough money for a week on a beach resort on Bali. (although I like the idea... ;-)) Please, start unwinding and enjoying life now.
I made a habit of planning my daily holiday in my agenda, to make sure that it is a priority. What things do I do during my Me-time? A few examples:
- I take a walk on the beach
I love the sea and it always calms and pleases me to be on the beach, even if it is just for 20 minutes. In every weather, in every season.
- I read! I don't read a study book during my precious Me-Time, it's my holiday, remember... A great novel or an inspiring travel journal and a nice cup of tea, who needs more? Right now I'm reading 'Himalaya' by Michael Palin, while I'm saving money and daydreaming about going back to this gorgeous mountains anytime soon.
- I do some 'gardening'
I don't have a garden, but I have a balcony, with some nice flowers and afternoon sun. It's the perfect place to relax!
- I lie down on the couch in the middle of the day with my MP3-player and just relax listening to my favorite music. There is a beautiful tree in front of my window, perfect to stare at, until I close my eyes for a short nap.
- I lie down on the couch to listen to Ocean Concert - a CD with binaural beats and nature sounds, that really quiets my mind. I use it instead of meditation if I'm too 'hyper'. (I also listen to this CD if I can't sleep, it works better than sleep medication for me).
My list of things-to-do during my Daily One Hour Holiday can go on and on, but I think you've got the point. Just do something that you really enjoy, something that is in no way related to the words 'must' and 'should'....
And you know what the real beauty of this One Hour Holiday is?
You become much more productive during all the remaining working hours!
I couldn't believe this effect at first, but it is true; if I'm stressed out and hyper-busy, nothing works better than taking a break. Afterwards I'm happier, more focussed and a lot more energetic. On top of all this benefits, I get things done in a shorter time span, so my Me-Time doesn't cost me a thing, not even time...
Start today with your own daily holiday, your Me-Time.
I can guarantee you that you get results, in happiness, in focus, in flow. Life is too short not to enjoy it. Happy Holidays!
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