Making Time When You Have No Time

You know the drill, you have a million and one things to do, and not enough time to do it. Everyday is a constant struggle, to keep on top of your daily chores, it feels like a giant hamster wheel, where you wake up and hit the floor running.

Thirteen hours tick by and you are depleted, by all the things you have had to do, whether it gave you pleasure or not. You sleep and wake up more exhausted from the night before, body in knots, not having slept as well as you had hoped, to only jump back on the wheel.

Repeat this for 20 years, and the prime of your life just passed you by, filled with excuses and exhaustion. I’ve heard this story, repeatedly, across generations, by individuals full of regret, not pursuing passions, that they had wished they had time for. You and I know we are not born for 9-5 slogging. I am born for a higher cause aren’t you?
Well it’s time to shake it up, take the day by the horns and own it. Get more out of your day, squeezing out hours you thought you didn’t have, making up for lost time and living a life worth living.

See below ways I carve out more hours in my day, doing less of the mundane and more things that excite me and reignite my passions.

Write a To Do List

Simple as it may seem – all my tips are as it happens- a day that starts with a to do list can only be a good day. You’ll be more focused, tackling your top priorities first and knocking them out of the park with visor since you get to do what you like once its done.

Write down all your important tasks of the day that you must get done. This clears your mind and unblocks it with new and creative positive thoughts since you don’t need to burden yourself with million and one things to remember.

Don’t have so many things on your to do list have 3-5 things max that you want to get done. The more you have the more stressed you will be that you have too many things to do and you’ll overburden yourself and use up needless time tackling anxiety. Think attainable goals for the day. Happy vibes all around.

Golden Nugget: Have 3- 5 attainable tasks for the day.

 

Plan out your day

Just think, everyone has the same mount of hours in the day, yet some people seem to get more done, even though they have a lot of balls juggling in the air.

The trick is, not to think you don’t have time. You do.  Its just a matter of priorities, act smart with the time you have. Plan wisely the things that you are doing now.

What things are sucking out the excruciating hours of your day, which you can change? Your commute? Your hair dresser? Your car wash? Your grocery? Whatever it is, see how you can change, fix or adapt it.
I know men, who wake up at 7.30am, every weekend, to get their haircut, just so they save an hour of waiting time. Thats not vanity, thats knowing the value of time.

I also know a guy who to avoid 90 minute morning traffic, get out the house at 5.30am, reaching their work an hour early and sleeping in the car as apposed to sleeping at the wheel of slow moving traffic.

I also knew a guy, who went to work 2 hours earlier than when his work started, to avoid congestion charges and traffic. No surprise then, that the two men are related.

I’m not suggesting you go to work early, I mean you can, if you want to be dedicated. But once at the location you can do something with that extra time you have.

  • Join a gym near work,
  • cycle in the park near work,
  • write a book whilst waiting for work,
  • learn a new language whilst waiting for work
  • Go for a walk
  • Grab a bite to eat,
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Listen to audiobook on commute to work
  • Read a book whilst waiting for work
  • Write out a meal planner for the week
  • Make a shopping list from meal plan, save time on mindless shopping

The list is endless, and can take you where ever you want. Point is, you just bought yourself more time on your hands, Bingo!

Golden nugget: Avoid places and busy times, so you dodge waiting and queuing.

 

Automate

Are you a traditionalist? Why do you still have to go to the bank and wait in queues to pay your bills. Every department these days has an online payment system. Save yourself time by using it.Fix up and shape up your time spent in queues, unless you enjoy it of course.

  • Everything is online no more juggling paper and filing it away, you can see your incomings and outgoing all on one page.

 

  • If you’re a forgetful person note down your big expenses, since you don’t want your expenses running out of control, have a sit down and put in reminders, so that you are in sync when money is coming in and out of your account.

 

  • Also have a general idea of how much is your total monthly expenditure, this includes grocery, loans, other monthly commitments. Your monthly outgoings should not exceed your incomings, come on I learnt that much being married to an accountant. This way you’ll always be on top of your money and not have nasty surprises because you let the ball slip out your hand.

 

  • If you don’t know how to do it ask a trusted person to guide you. Once set up you don’t need to do anything. All is taken care of every month, you just need to keep track of it with your eyes and finger tips and not by your feet and carbon miles.

Golden nugget: Automate bills and forgerabourit- after putting in a fool proof system of course.

Potential time saved 1 hour

Have a Routine

It’s a bit like automating, saves you time, since your daily tasks, are like you’re on auto pilot. You can perform them, with our eyes closed.

 

  • If you have kids you know what I mean, the nagging will never stop but when the kids know the drill there is no surprises when mom is so shrill- wow that rhymed. They know what is expected of them, the little dough eyed souls oblige, because you have a plan, with charts, stickers and rewards.

 

  • If you don’t have kids, congratulations! You can watch the news in the morning, have a breakfast, a shower and comb your hair. Whatever your ritual is in the morning, time yourself and see if everyday you are rushing or you are at ease. If you’re rushing and running out the door as apposed to whistling out the door, you need to fix it.

 

  • Reduce screen time whether it be on the phone computer tv if this is where all your time is warping away limit yourself to 30 minutes at the end of the day.

 

  • Get rid of mediocre game and social media apps that beg for your attention. You can’t afford it with your time, you’re too busy, building yourself in being awesome.

 

  • Wake up 5 minutes – not two hours like my friend above – come on you owe it to yourself. 

 

  • Set out your clothes the night before, this reduces crucial decision making time in the morning. Have your clothes ironed and laid out ready to slip on and look awesome.

 

  • I would even go a step further and think way ahead at the buying process. Only buy clothes that go together, when you choose pieces make sure to have an outfit in mind, so you quickly can put things together

Golden Nugget: Build a morning routine, an evening routine, a bedtime routine a routine about having routines. You get the picture. You’re not boring, you’re just doing things, that you like, and that work for you, repeatedly. Simples.

 

Potential time saved an 2 hours

Outsource

If the washing, grocery and other mundane tasks are sucking away your energy and time give it some one else to do, if you have the means. I hate ironing and cleaning the bathrooms its the bain of my life so those two things I happily outsource. The list of things to outsource though is as long as your mind can stretch

  • Have someone help you with your weekly cleaning challenges
  • Have your clothes ironed and delivered to your house
  • Have you’re groceries delivered
  • Have your meals planned out and ingredients sent out
  • Have a cook make your food
  • Have a babysitter come in one or two hours a week so you can get things done
  • Have your car washed at your door step
  • Have a tutor for your kids

Golden nugget: Outsource mundane tasks that you hate to bring some sunshine and bounce back into your life.

Potential time saved 2 hours

Delegate

I used to be the sacrificial mom, juggling home and school, groceries, after school clubs. Having two children, who were finishing school two hours apart, when school was a 25 minute drive away, was not nice.

Then with the birth of my third child, breastfeeding, sleep less nights and all the above I felt like a ping pong, rushing housework and always on the road picking and dropping the kids.

I was a grumpy, uptight, no fun mom, running a tight ship. Always snapping at my kids, because we need to be somewhere, and do something, before it was too late.

Something had to change, I had to change, I couldn’t do it all alone. I shouldn’t think that have to.

My husband stepped in and shared the school drop offs, so I wasn’t on the road three times a day. This was a huge relief. It meant that, he had to wake up an hour earlier and reach work an hour earlier. But hey partners in crime, partners in time, right?

Let go of the guilt, if you’re anything like me, don’t try to do everything by yourself. Delegate tasks, that you know other members of the family can do. Like, I don’t give the husband breastfeeding, but I do, give him nappy changing. If you’re kids are old enough, rope them in also!

  • Give out chores to kids such as making beds, taking out the garbage, washing dishes, putting clothes away, hanging out laundry etc
  • Give tasks out to partner picking up daily things like bread, milk on way from home saves me an additional trip with one or three kids in tow.
  • Carpool school pick up, drop offs with neighbours to reduce the time spent on the road

Golden nugget: You are not a sacrificial lamb, repeat, you are not a sacrificial lamb. Share out the tasks.

Potential time Saved 1 hour

 

Now I just reclaimed several hours of my day and week so that I can dedicate and focus on self development, growth and progress on my passions. How do you squeeze out every hour of your day?  Let me know in the comments below. Happy living!

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Urgency of Mindful Living

We live in a fast paced time, full of stimuli, comfort and ease. There has never been a time like what we are living in now. With information at our finger tips, whether it be useful or not, we have access to it.

The sheer amount of information, we are bombarded with, day in day out, is energy consuming. Text messages, phone calls, Whatsapp, Skype, video messages, snaps, gifs, pictures, tv, radio, music all this abstract information that seeps into our lives, our minds, our subconscious being.

Then there’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram desperately seeking our attention and time, demanding we be ‘present’ in the social media world. If you are offline for over 24 hours, alarm bells are ringing, people start to panic, something has happened to you! You could just be having a bad day or presumably busy, but if you are offline you are not connected, you are not even alive, some would assume.

You have to be ‘seen’ on media having a presence, always posting, performing, to be known as doing something successful. We live in an artificial reality of superficial frivolity. Showing all the frills of a highly edited airbrushed life, far from angst and struggle, no blips or bloopers.

I have started to turn away from all of this, as I can see, not only is it damaging my self, it’s also negatively impacting the eyes that watch me, my children. With every little moment, they have learnt to reach for my phone, trying to capture everything, rather than actually live the moment and have fun like no ones watching.

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How was it when we didn’t have phones and we didn’t have camera’s attached to our hands?

No one was really interested in what we ate in the morning.

Were we not living? Were we not having fun? Were we not successful?

I would argue we were more focused on our goals and mindful of the people around us. We could hold a decent length of conversation without being disturbed by noisy notifications by messages that were one consonant long.

We had childhoods that didn’t involve videoing everything that we did. Did our parents love us any less?

Were we always incessantly concerned about what others were doing throughout their day?

Our society is obsessed with the lives of the successful, be it socialites, celebrities, sport stars, YouTubers. Anybody can be famous, but what are they famous for? What are you willing to lose by being famous? Your real friends for millions of fake friends? Your identity? Your privacy? Your time?

Its time we reclaim our privacy, reevaluating our sense of being yourself for yourself, not seeking others comments and approval. To be lost in your thoughts and not have to share every brain fart with the world hoping it will go viral.

Silence the noise and the information overload and get in touch with your inner voice, it is being muted by this constant news feed and by the ‘like’ driven posts.

This mindless interaction with information needs to stop. Social media is making us over stimulated, to the point where it desensitises us to the sensation of disgust, shock and the power to act. The news feed that we scroll through often contains many devastating images we can’t bare to witness. We scroll past it fast because we cannot see it a second longer, we scroll and we scroll, till we get to something more appetising, something that makes us feel good or numbs our brain into feeling anything. But what of the disturbing picture, does that no longer exist? It’s still there, people are still suffering, but we don’t want to deal with that, we just want the cheap thrills and frills.

The creeping feeling of societies numbness, of not being shocked by what we see and read, is very disturbing, we are being disarmed of our voice. If we have no empathy towards each other, how can we stand up for one another? Its time to stop. Its time to stop this, with urgency and reflect who is this hurting? Those people are suffering physically but our heart is already dead!

 

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Being mindful, takes care of not just your outer beauty and aesthetics, but the true beauty that is neglected by social media, which needs the most amount of work and attention, your inner self.

The care you can give to yourself, no one else can. Listening to your inner most thoughts, you will always be true to yourself and not get swept up with any current hype. Regularly check in on yourself and question your actions and intentions, how is it developing you, are you going in a direction you want to.

Its time to have theses questions with yourself, put the hand break on heedlessness because the reality is, we will all die, and as morbid as it seems, how do you want to remembered. If you want to be remembered at all, live an epic life and leave behind a legacy. Work on it, not for other people’s praise, but so that your work, that you carved away at during your life, can be carried on once you are gone.

Make sure you are benefiting society, and humanity and not hindering it by going along like a lost sheep, because even lost sheeps are part of the problem. By shutting off your brain and letting others decide on how life should be is a big problem. Stand up and be counted, make sure you are at the table, make life decisions.

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Being Mindless

You may say, stop being so uptight, it doesn’t hurt anyone really. We’re just having fun, living in the moment, not thinking about tomorrow, yolo and all.

Who are you fooling? Are you living the moment by taking hundred selfies so you can capture the light, the angle, minus all the people? Are you enjoying the sight and smells of the place? Are you failing to hold eyes with the little child who watches you do all these things?

Chilling fact is whether we have children or not, we fail to see that we are all connected, and our behaviour effects the society, the community the neighbourhood we live in whether we want to accept it or not.

Social media is so huge and so fast, that it doesn’t take a day for something to go viral, which means the whole world knows about something, be it a message, a thought, an idea good or bad, we have greater influence over people more than we think to take responsibility for.

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Start now…

Stop and reclaim that beating heart and do not let it die in the hands of social media.

Wake up and thank the powers of be that you are waking up to other day.

Wake up and be thankful that you have been given another taste of life, what will you do with it?

Wake up and think that what things can make this day great for you, for the people around you?

What can I do that can make my yesterday more better?

It can be as simple as I will smile at every person that I go past today.

I will keep my calm with my kids.

I will make an effort to get to know my neighbours.

Cut out the noise, don’t always feel the need to fill up your head with something. Just breathe and be. It might feel awkward and even meaningless at first. But the very reason why you feel it is awkward, meaningless and time consuming is exactly why you need it. You qualify, so just do it!

Make breakfast, that in itself is mindful, instead of grabbing and going, make it yourself.

Already make breakfast? Ok hot shot, try making it with no white noise, just be in the moment of making breakfast and now think how grateful you are at having food of your own choosing.

Wash the dishes and be thankful that you have a family to feed and you have for in your bellies be in the moment without having a million other things going on. be thankful for the clean running water you have.

Put your phone away, eat your nutritious food, this a opportunity to be one with your self, have little one to one with your inner thoughts, who is being shoved to the back of the line.

  • Reintroduce yourself to yourself it might seem awkward because you have neglected yourself so long, talk to yourself you’ve been waiting to hear from you. You now have centre stage and no one is watching you, you can be free to think and develop how you like.
  • Do you like who you are and if you don’t why not? Tell yourself you’re amazing and you have so much value to give. Be your own cheerleader, you don’t need anyone else to tell you how unique you are, and how much you matter, the 100+ likes can wait.
  • Care for others, help others, yes think about your well-being but don’t be self absorbed. Facebook, Twitter and all the other social platforms promote the ‘me me me’ generation. Hey look at what I’m doing, what I’m wearing, what I’m enjoying, its all doing but not actually doing much.
  • How about you take care of someone and not tell a soul, now that is really caring for that person, genuinely and also taking care of your mental health, because that buzz of helping someone can not be told, only be felt. Word.

 

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What mindful living looks like?

Once you become mindful you start being more aware of your surroundings.

You are more intune with yourself.

You are more aware of what you see, read, hear, watch and witness. You live with intent and purpose. You are mindful or what your kids watch, eat, see and hear.

You are more sensitive to others, you are more open to others. You value peoples time and not their likes. You cherish relations and not fleeting thrills.

Well once you become mindful you realise the power in yourself and not in others. You reclaim your voice. You become activists, humanists, vocalists. Reclaim your inner worth and the gift you have that you want to share with the world without being glory hunters.

You seek to be a positive influence on people with everyone you meet. You echo oneness with the universe and unity with all. You pick up litter, you buy a hybrid, and go paperless. 

Ok maybe not all that, thats wishful thinking, but its a start, to a life long journey of mindful living. The point being the list is endless.

So do you unplug yourself?  Which pill do you take the red or blue pill? Its your call.

 

 

 

 

 

Girl Power Book Wish List

Now that I’ve gotten the reading bug, after a decade of exile from Bookdom, I have been creeping on a few books, that I can’t wait to get my hands on. It’s no coincidence that my reading list is dominated by books written by strong badass women. I tend to be drawn to non-fiction, this is partly because I want to be in the company of these fierce women, as explained in my previous post Books: People I Want to Hang Out With. Although I don’t completely shy away from fiction, I only choose books that I know have a underlying message, that I can take away from the book. I love productive books, that have a self help element to it and a life lesson attached, so these are the kind of books you will see feature heavily in my list.

So, here are my Girl Power books wish list for 2017. I hope to write up follow up posts as and when I read them, so watch out for them.

 

The Gutsy Girls by Caroline Paul

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I first heard about Caroline Paul on the Tim Ferris show where she was being interviewed, she was so inspiring in her adventurous and somewhat fearless life, that I just had to get my hands on this book. I have two girls who of no fault of their own, are very cautious, maybe because both my husband and I are very hesitant in letting our kids venture off on their own without shouting ‘careful!’ behind them. They are very timid at taking risks because we don’t allow them to. We live in very different times where gadgets are the corner stone to boredom breakers in a kids eyes. Hopefully this book will give me a few pointers on how to loosen up and remember how being a kid was, as its a necessary step. How to judge on your own, the risks, assessing and exploring without always being ‘careful’.

 

We Should All Be Feminists

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Why I want this book, is pretty self explanatory. We should all be feminist, I already believe this. I am not a man hater far from it, but I am a human lover. For centuries women have been short changed. Its a question of, are we not the same? If it were not for women we wouldn’t be here, and vice versa we can not function without the other. Both sexes are reliant of the other for the survival of our species yet only one is given the upper hand. I was initially recommended the Ted Talks by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche were she delivers a powerful speech that has been viewed over 3 million times.  I can’t wait to have this in my collection and hand it down to my young girls.

 

Lean in By Sheryl Sandberg

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I am an aspiring entrepreneur, so naturally I gravitated towards this book. Written by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer, she is an inspiration to women, who want that work and life balance. Working moms who juggle both realms  are superhuman. Can it really be possible, to have it all, without having one side slip up?

Quiet by Susan Cain

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As a person who is naturally introverted, preferring quiet to noise, I’m interested at what this book has to say. I believe we all have each our own qualities, as extroverts and introverts alike. Its refreshing to finally see a book that puts the spotlight on introverts, when extroverts have managed to blow the self promoting trumpet for so long.

 

Have you read any of these books on my wish list? Let me know in the comments below which you recommend and any other girl power or self help books you think are worth a read.

 

 

30 Ways to Self Love

There’s always time for self love no matter how insignificant it might seem, it is so necessary. Taking time out to take care of yourself daily is crucial to your well being both mentally and physically. You and I have lots of responsibilities and duties to be fulfilled, but if mama ain’t happy then the kids are not happy. You are of no use to anyone, if you grudgingly get through your day, so don’t think of it as being selfish, you are doing a favour on the world!

Here are some quick simple pick me ups to keep you bouncing everyday.

  1. Drink water blah blah blah I know everyone says it but we STILL forget, so just do it. Keep a litre bottle of water filled everyday and see how much you have been sipping on. Keep it visible so you are reminded all day.
  2. Go to the toilet when you need it, don’t put it off, seriously it’s the little things and yes the world can wait!
  3. Dress up, get out of your pyjamas, even if you are not planning on going out. So often I lounge all day in my sleepwear, that neither do I want to go out nor do I want people coming to my house. Get out of the funk, change your clothes first thing and be ready for the day.
  4. Wear makeup, not because you intend to go out or to impress someone or because your face is hideous, but the extra effort you make on your appearance, you feel good inside that you made your self ready to seize the day. It doesn’t need to be layers of war paint, it can just be that you put on a moisturiser and lip balm if thats what makes you feel put together. Don’t be a zombie with drool on your face all day, that is all.
  5. Have a coffee/tea drink whatever floats your boat in a special ‘go to’ nook. It makes all the difference, trust me, that 2 minutes of absolute bliss is like a head massage without hands.
  6. Get a massage, Oh my God just do it! Head, neck, foot, full body or whatever you can, your body will be singing after.
  7. Accept compliments that come your way, don’t back hand them, but don’t fill up with pride either. Just acknowledge the exchange of good towards good, simple.
  8. Smile and don’t tell me you have nothing to smile about, make yourself smile, you maniac!
  9. Read books… Think… Expand… Grow.
  10. Paint your nails not because you are girly or because you aren’t, but again the time you spent in just applying polish, being mindful, of not getting it all over the place and waiting impatiently or patiently, is a little more time spent on yourself and thats a good thing so do it and feel all sparkly and shit.
  11. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, it will do wonders for you and it’s free.
  12. Eat your food outside, be it on a balcony, or in the garden and if its too cold for that, at least crack open a window.
  13. Kick some leaves about, find your inner child and let your hair down. Don’t always be so uptight, remember how rolling on grass felt? Splashing in puddles? If you can’t, it’s time you did. Refresh that memory of when life was simple and you just wanted a to have fun.
  14. Slap some face mask on, let it soak in, get all glowy.
  15. Eat the last piece of cake.
  16. Eat the first piece of cake.
  17. Drink slowly.
  18. Eat slowly, mothers must be laughing right now, but yeh its a thing.
  19. Wear clothes that make you feel confident, not sexy they are not necessarily the same thing.
  20. Plan your clothes the night before, lay them out, come on girl you got this
  21. Moisturise like crazy and feel like a million bucks. You may want to do this last thing at night, as you don’t wanna look like a shiny lightbulb.
  22. Exfoliate polish let that inner glow shine.
  23. Comb your hair! Twenty something year olds most be grossing out right now, but mama aint got time and so mama needs reminding.
  24. Try out a new hairstyle, go on live on the edge.
  25. Breathe inhale (through your nose)…1…2…3…4…5…6…7 exhale…1…2…3…4…5…6…7 (through your mouth) repeat till you get bored.
  26. Read a book I know I said that already but I’m serious.
  27. Clean up and declutter, a clean and clutter free house is a clean and clutter free mind. You want to have clear thoughts, new ideas, get out the funk get your environment in order. If this mean simply doing your bed in the morning, loading the dishwasher, keeping the sink free of dishes just do that. It’s these little habits that only take a minute to do but can burden us if we let it accumulate if we start to slack.
  28. Say hello or smile at random non creepy people in a non creepy way.
  29. Keep a journal, be your own cheerleader, write down what you are grateful for as reminders to how awesome life is. Write down your goals, be grateful that you have goals, something to live for, something strive to for.
  30. Learn a new skill. When was the last time you learnt something? May be you have a talent that has gone unnoticed, explore new things and reach goals you’ve been putting off, one little step each day and you’ll be happier for it.

What ways do you give more time to yourself? I would love to know in the comments below.