Sometimes I wish that I could slow down time. There is always too much to do, and rarely enough time to get everything done. I constantly have this nagging anxious feeling that I am somehow missing something, and it drives me crazy! Despite the hectic day-to-day routine between serving on two nonprofit boards and trying to advance my career, I have found a few things that have helped me to slow down.
Meditate in the morning- I know what you are thinking, “I don’t have time as-is, how in the world am I going to cram meditation into my schedule?!” Meditation doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It’s as easy as taking literally 5 minutes in the morning, just after waking up but prior to actually getting up, just to enjoy easing into your day. Just be; simply exist. Taking five minutes to turn your attention inward can really help set the tone for the rest of the day, and by choosing to start your day by giving to yourself you are going to be more capable to give to others throughout your day.
Put down your phone at lunch. That’s right, take a break in the am prior to a busy day, and a mid-day break can do you good as well. Take a moment to check in with yourself, be fully present for a meal, and enjoy every bite. If you’re into mindfulness, this is a great way to fit in a mid-day mindfullness activity which will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to face the afternoon challenges.
Make time for your personal business. Put yourself first and take care of you. We often put our work first, and then force all of our errands, phone calls, and appointments to fit into our after-work schedules. The problem with this is that we aren’t actually taking breaks throughout our day, and cramming all of our personal needs during what little time we have outside of the office makes most days into LONG days. How long does it take to make that one phone call? Five minutes? How long does it take to run that one errand on your way into the office or on the way home? Thirty minutes? How many hours are you working every week? My guess is that even if you take these small steps to make yourself a priority, you will probably still make your forty hours for the week.
So what’s the bottom line? We tend to put everything before ourselves and get sucked into the whirlwind of our day-to-day work. Taking a moment to focus on ourselves, and be intentional in placing our needs first can help to ease the burden on our after-work schedules and create more time. Everyone dreams of having more leisure time, which makes our days feel longer and our lives fuller. What actions are you willing to commit to that will build more time for you in your day?
YNPN Denver would like to thank CU Denver’s School of Public Affairs for supporting our 2015 programming. Thank you!