I don’t know about you, but one of the hardest things I find about having a family and working is finding time for those things you really love – your passions, your hobbies and projects.
It’s so important to have space to create, be inspired or to enjoy pursuing your passions though, so today I wanted to share a few ways of finding more time to do just that.
I’m not much of a planner but by actively trying to plan ahead and think about how I’m going to use my time I find I have more of it to use. If you know that tomorrow evening after dinner you’re going to film a video for your YouTube channel, then you’re already one step ahead. You won’t then spend the first half hour of that time figuring out what to do.
If you’ve got kids or a busy life you might not always get a chance to set up a really defined schedule, but even planning a day or a few hours ahead gives you some extra time and prepares you for the day ahead.
Schedule your time wisely
Following on from planning, I’d recommend setting a weekly schedule if you can.
It can even be something really basic – on Mondays you clear the clutter so you can sit down at your desk on Tuesday and work for an hour or two before heading to work. Wednesdays are for date night, Thursdays it’s time to head to the gym, and Friday evenings are for cosying up and watching a movie. I try and keep my weekends really open and free (we all need to give ourselves a rest), but you might find a few hours here to really dedicate a big block of time to your hobby or interest.
If you love being organised and tackling the family admin is your thing, make sure your schedule’s working for you as well as the kids. Give yourself time to work on your projects and schedule time and activities on days and times that make it easy for you to focus when it comes to your time.
Make use of dead space
Do you find there are times in the day where you’re not doing a whole lot, and wish you were being more productive?
I know I feel this way sometimes – usually when I’m scrolling through Facebook yet again, telling myself I’m being an active member of the community… but actually it’s very distracting and I could be using my time so much more effectively.
Take a look at your day or your week and identify some moments where you could answer a few business emails, note down ideas for your latest project or look for inspiration for your hobbies. Stuck for ideas? How about in the morning while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, waiting for your train at the station, or you’re a few minutes early to pick up the kids from school.
Stop doing things you don’t enjoy
Okay, so we can’t suddenly ditch the washing up or stop going to work if we don’t enjoy it, but when it comes to the less critical things in life it’s something to consider.
Maybe you’re spending a lot of time on Instagram but it’s not inspiring you (in fact it’s having the opposite effect), or you feel pressure to meet friends for coffee dates three times a week but you’d feel happy with just the once. If it’s not making you happy and you’re not gaining something from it, why not take back some of that time and put it towards something that will satisfy you.
A major way of creating more time in your week is to delegate or outsource some of the things that are taking up a lot of your time.
It can be as simple as investing in a weekly cleaner so you can use those few hours on a Saturday morning to enjoy your hobby, working with a virtual assistant to handle your emails while you pitch to brands for collaborations on your blog, or even pushing back on some of those life admin or party planning activities and giving someone else the responsibility.
If your kids are old enough you could introduce chores too – ask them to tidy their own bedroom or get dressed in the morning and that gives you a few minutes to update your social media or photograph your latest creation.
Looking for more on balancing life and work?