Ask almost any woman what she craves most in life and she will likely answer with one simple word: “balance.” Whether you’re a busy mum, a career woman, a friend, a wife/partner or a mix of all of the above, there’s a good chance you’re not getting enough space and “me time” in your life. That’s about to change with this expert advice to help you take control of your life in five simple steps.
Most of us feel like we’re constantly busy, regularly overscheduled and are always trying to tick off tasks on an endless to-do list — and that’s because for the most part, we are!
We’re quick to blame the chaos of modern life for our cluttered schedules, but according to experienced life coach Shannah Kennedy, the solution is within our own reach. The secret is to take ownership of what we want to feel, she says, by understanding the consequences of each of our activities.
“Some people — in fact, I’d hazard a guess that most people — spend more time planning their annual holiday than they do planning their life as a whole,” Shannah says.
“It’s important to value time and to understand what it’s doing for you, not just when you’re taking a break, but in each and every moment. How you structure your activities will either give you a sense of achievement, fulfilment, energy and success, or it will make you feel stressed, out of control and exhausted.”
Shannah, who recently authored the book Simplify Structure Succeed to help people restore balance to their lives, says it’s not as difficult as we may think it will be to replace feelings of being rushed, anxious and stressed with a serene lifestyle that is calm, unhurried and relaxed. To help us on our way, she shares her top five tips to get into the driver’s seat of your own life:
Book in personal time as if it’s an appointment
“Book personal time in, as you would for a meeting,” she says. “For example, your first hour at home each evening [after coming home from work] is your most important meeting of the day.”
Plan your health and wellbeing
Exercise, food, fun, mental breathing space and time out should be shaped around your work hours. Again, book regular health and wellbeing activities like massages and shopping for fresh produce into your diary as appointments.
Schedule time for drainer-busting
Don’t just add to your to-do list, but actually carve out time to attack it! For example, Shannah suggests that you set aside time to update your finances, keep the house inspiring, spring clean every six months, service the car, get haircuts, etc.
Delegate non-essential tasks
Don’t try to do everything and be everything to everyone. “If there are things on your list that can be easily delegated, then delegate — there are no rewards for being a control freak!” she says.
“Take a deep breath and relax, knowing that now you don’t have to think, as your critical list is taken care of — and you own it,” Shannah adds.
More life management tips
Your body clock advantage: the best time to accomplish everything daily
Benefits of journaling: why it pays to write it out
How to recognise and correct negative thinking