In my last few blog posts, I focused on three of the four ways to maximize energy. The first and most important of the four is sleep and the second is by eating nutritious food. The third way to increase and sustain our energy level is to engage in some form of physical activity on a regular basis. The fourth and last tenet to maximize our energy level is a well balanced lifestyle. It is easy for life to get out of hand if we let it. Between work, family obligations, our children’s activities, and other responsibilities, we find our days and weekends completely booked. We no longer have time to do the things that bring us joy, relaxation, and balance. However, it doesn’t have to be this way if you restructure your time. Here are a few steps on how to do that.
1. Make a List
The first thing you should do if you no longer engage in things that bring you joy, relaxation, and balance, is to write out a list of these activities. For example, did you used to fish, bake, go for pedicures, acupuncture, or yoga? Maybe you used to spend time crafting or on woodworking projects, or going for a walk on the beach. Regardless of what these hobbies or activities are, create a list in order of priority and preference. This will now be your new starting point.
2. Transfer Your List to a Monthly Calendar
Each activity or hobby may transfer to your calendar differently. For instance, you may opt to participate in yoga on a weekly basis whereas fishing or walking on the beach may be seasonal. Acupuncture and pedicure appointments may be scheduled every few weeks and time devoted to woodworking or crafting projects may be a few nights per week. If you are married or are living with a partner, make sure to share your calendar with them so they are aware of when you will be spending time alone. Encourage them to do the same as it is also important that they create balance for themselves.
3. Work Around Your New Schedule
Now that you have scheduled time each month to participate in the things that bring balance to your life, you are able to fill in the rest of your calendar with other things. If your kids have activities that coincide with your acupuncture appointment, your spouse or partner will now have the honor of taking them. If tonight is the night that you focus on your woodworking or crafting project, your spouse or partner may choose to catch up on a show or learn a new song on the guitar. Regardless of what the circumstances are, don’t forget that the original list you created is meant to bring joy, relaxation, and balance to your life. If something else comes up or you are invited out somewhere, don’t be afraid to say no. It is usually possible to find an alternative solution or time for other obligations. Don’t feel like you need to share details of why you are busy. You can simply say, “I’m sorry, I have another commitment during that time.” You can then offer an alternate day and time to get together.
4. Outsource Responsibilities to Free Up Time For Yourself
Responsibilities rarely seem to lighten up. The lawn continues to grow, the weeds keep taking over the garden, and the house never seems to want to vacuum itself. We end up spending a large percentage of our time doing chores like cleaning the house and manicuring the landscaping, that could easily be done by someone else. This is on top of other responsibilities of a career, raising children, food shopping, and social obligations. It is so important to balance the work that we do as opposed to working more. If you are able to make it work financially, outsourcing some of your responsibilities is the way to go.
Whether you hire a landscaping company to take care of the yard or a cleaning service to take care of the inside of your home, bringing in additional help will free up both your time and your energy. If you aren’t able to swing a cleaning service to maintain the inside of your home, you might consider purchasing a robotic vacuum cleaner. My family and I have owned a robot vacuum for a few months now and it has been life changing! We simply program it to go on and it vacuums our entire house! We can sit down as a family and play a board game while “Vacky” (my daughter named our vacuum) vacuums around us. It is glorious!
I hope you found some of these tips to be helpful to maximize energy. If it is challenging for you to focus on all four tenets at once, start with one and establish some goals for yourself. It will always be a work in progress as life continues to happen. Good luck with the changes you choose to make for yourself and stay tuned next week for our next blog post.