Between work, family, friends, relationships and all the responsibilities that lie within, it can be hard to find time for anyone else – including yourself. Free time can feel like a luxury, especially when every time you turn around, you realize you need to make a run to the grocery store, do the laundry or give the floors a good scrub. Nonetheless, it’s important to carve out some alone time. A 2011 study showed that women today are less happy than they were 40 years ago. A lack of “me time” could be a large part of the problem. Here are some tips to help you turn it all around.

Evaluate Your Life

Pay close attention to your schedule and how you spend your days. If you have time, write down everything you do. If you don’t have enough time to write everything down, make note of the big things, like work, but also the things you do in between the big things. Whether it’s obsessively checking your email or running to the store for things you forgot, it’s all worth documenting.

Make Some Cuts

Once you have a record of how you spend your time, give it a thorough look. Are you noticing any patterns? If you’re running the sweeper on a daily basis, consider doing it every other day or every week instead. If you find yourself getting lost in work emails at home, when you only planned on checking in, set aside a window of time when work can be done at home and stick to it.

Time to Delegate

Yes, you can have it all, but you can’t do it all. Sometimes, it’s important to ask for help. Solicit it from your kids or your significant other, or hire someone to handle tasks like cleaning or tutoring. If work is bogging you down the most, pick someone with the skills to get it done right and hand them the task with clear direction. This means one less thing for you to do!

Learn How to Say “No”

It might be easier to say yes, but you’ve decided to make more time for yourself. It is not selfish, but necessary in most instances. Really think about your answer before you give in. You can’t add more hours to the day, but you can overcommit.

Pencil Yourself Into Your Schedule

Now that you’ve freed up your schedule a bit, fill it back up with some time for yourself. If you want this to last, you have to pencil yourself in and make appointments with yourself. We all have priorities and now it’s time to make you one of them.

Decide How to Spend Your Time

This time is now yours… how will you spend it? Make it something you look forward to, like a little indulgence. Maybe it’s a hot bath, a manicure, a guilty pleasure or a leisurely walk.

These tips for lifestyle reorganization will hopefully put you on a path toward improved health, overall happiness and sanity – so enjoy. Just remember while play dates, doctors’ appointments and meetings are a priority, so are you.

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