How’s your day so far?
Perhaps you’ve just woken up and have joined me for a virtual coffee, if so, welcome, I’m so glad you’re here. Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of today’s issue of LIFE.
I’m curious, do you ever pay someone to do the things you don’t have the time or skills for? I do ♀️, all the time. If and when I can, I free up my time to spend on things most important to me, both personally and professionally.
Recently, I have been outsourcing more than I normally do so I’ve been acutely aware of how I spend my time and I am wondering if you are as guilty as me for the crimes listed below… I am not a betting woman, oh, except when in Vegas :-), but I bet every person reading this has done one or more of the misdemeanors below….
. You changed your schedule to accommodate a colleague because their plans changed.
. You agreed to meet a friend somewhere inconvenient for you but convenient for them.
. You make dinner for the family, you don’t even like what you are making, but you do it anyway, just to make people happy; then you had to make something different for yourself which took up more time.
. Some needed you just as you were about to head out for your workout so you missed it.
Is it safe to say you often put other people’s needs before your own?
More often that you would like?
Why, oh why do we do this, when it’s not what we want to do?
Is other people’s time more important than yours? Really?
Do you make excuses for their demands on your time? Oh, but they needed this, or they needed my help, yada, yada, yada……
I know you know this but I’ll say it anyway….Other people’s time is no more important than yours. We are all blessed with the same 24 hours, the same 1,440 minutes every day. So why do you give up yours so readily?
A long time ago I taught my kids (now young adults) that I would not be at their beck and call, I would not jump up at the drop of a hat or a panic stricken text to assist when they needed something.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about their welfare here, I’m talking about the forgotten homework, the lunches left on the counter, the dance shoes or rugby boots still in the cupboard at home when practice is about to start somewhere else.
If they wanted my help I would barter my time for theirs and this was my standard reply…….
”This will take 20 minutes of my (already busy) day, if you would like me to do this, you owe me 20 minutes on Saturday afternoon. Would you still like your xyz”?
Sometimes I would have 40 or 60 minutes a weekend and boy did I put them to work helping around the house!
They hated it and I highly recommend my approach if you haven’t tried it!
The system works two fold.
Firstly: It teaches them the value of time, theirs and yours, equally.
When they were young I honestly think they thought I sat around at home all day watching daytime TV and drinking tea!
Secondly: It teaches them to be more mindful about remembering things.
Who wants to rake leaves or walk the dog in the rain in exchange for a forgotten gum guard or gymnastic leotard?
Just for kicks I decided to create a hierarchy of time pyramid with the aim of helping me identify how much time I spend and how often I do things to please other people at the expense of my own time or convenience.
Where are YOU on the pyramid?
Green: You Win
You come first baby! It’s all about you!
Your needs, your priorities are at the top of your list and you‘re getting your sh*t done. Nothing is going to get in your way, your outcomes are what is most important.
Yellow: You Win, They Can Too
You are still winning, but it’s ok for others to win too. There is some concession in your schedule and you are even known to go out of your way to help others – when it suits you of course!
Orange: It’s Win-Win
You put others first but still make time for things important to you. However, you are often over scheduled with other tasks, like volunteering or people pleasing and you find it hard to say no.
You often have unfinished tasks at work, and home life can be chaotic due to insufficient time available.
Red: Everyone Else Wins
Time, what time? You don’t have any for yourself…..
You put others first and yourself last. which takes a toll on your health and relationships with others. You don’t have enough time to nourish your mind and body because it is spent making sure everyone else has their needs met and your home and work life can suffer.
None of these layers are right or wrong, we interchange them throughout the day, the key is to be mindful as you navigate your way up and down the pyramid, taking each demand on your time on an individual basis, evaluating and proceeding accordingly.
Giving time you don’t have can create stress, resentment and overwhelm, which in turn means you are less able to focus on the things that are important to you, like dropping off the ballet shoes 🙂
I would love to hear from you if this resonates with you, or even if it doesn’t 😉
and for goodness sake, share the love and forward this to your bestie, we can all do with a reminder about self preservation!
About Zoë Dodds
Life, Health, and Fitness Coach
Zoë has a passion for helping and empowering women to the best version of themselves.
With 20 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry, she delivers inspiration and wealth of knowledge to her clients, some of which she shares in her blog and weekly newsletters.
Originally from England, Zoë has lived in Seattle for 9 years with her husband, two grown-up children and a Labrador called Jordi.
Click here to read more.