7 Ways to Find More Time for Yourself



Now let me tell you that as a single mum to a very lively toddler and running more than one business, my time is limited. So when it comes to finding time for myself I need to think creatively. One of the things I have discovered is that you cannot leave it to chance and say you will fit it in. If you do this, you can bet your life that things will come up and the infamous “Me Time” will never appear.

For me it is vital to have some time to do the things I love, the things that bring me back to me. I spend so much time helping others, running after my son, serving in my business that I can feel lost and depleted. This usually happens when I skip the self care and try to push through. I can honestly say that pushing through never works. When I find time for myself, it boosts my mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Plus the best bit is, I actually have more to give to others. It is for that reason that finding time for myself is the most important thing that I do.

In this post, my aim is to give you some practical tips to help you reclaim some more time for you. I will teach you: 

  1. How to prioritise tasks so you do what is most important. 
  2. Learn to practise mindfulness so you are more aware of what you need
  3. Learn to say no and set those all important boundaries
  4. Use small time slots to slip your “Me Time” into
  5. Get into the habit of delegating tasks others can do
  6. Put time for you on your schedule so it doesn’t get bumped
  7. Spend some time disconnected from technology to reduce distractions

I hope that once we have explored all these ideas you will be able to take some practical steps towards “Me Time”.

1. Prioritise Your Tasks

This sounds obvious but it is amazing how many of us don’t take the time to set our priorities. One of the ways you can do this is by using an Eisenhower Matrix.

Which is just a fancy name for splitting your tasks into 4 categories:

  1. Urgent & Important – these are the most pressing tasks that are important to complete. It includes things like feeding your child, dealing with an emergency, paying urgent bills. These are the tasks you should do first.
  2. Not Urgent but Important – this is where you should go to next. It generally includes all the things that matter to you like spending time with your family, taking time for self care etc
  3. Urgent but Not Important – this is the next set of tasks to tackle. It involves all the mundane things that you need to do on a daily basis. These are often the things that suck your time, like emails, calls and dealing with requests from family members.
  4. Not Urgent & Not Important – these are the real time wasters. Things like scrolling social media, mindless gossip, watching trash TV etc

Now you know these areas it can help to focus and to time block. So clearly, we need to deal with the urgent and important things as they come up. However we have a lot less of these than we realise so this can be cleared quickly. If you then focus on the important but not urgent tasks you will be caring for you before distractions take over.

Unfortunately, most of us spend our time doing not important tasks. The urgent ones seem to place endless demands on us and the non urgent ones are like time suckers. By prioritising our tasks it is so much easier to make time for the things you really want to do.

One of the interesting things for me is that I used to spend a lot of my evenings watching mindless TV and scrolling social media. I would then wonder why I felt so tired as I was not doing much and also not progressing. The truth is that the less I did, the more tired I felt. This was largely because I was filling my time with non important activities. Now I work on my personal development and self care in the evenings. The result – I get better sleep and have more energy the next day, plus I feel like I am making real progress in my life.

My challenge to you is to create a task matrix for yourself. You could do one big one that includes all the tasks you can think of. Then at the start of each day, decide what tasks will be your top 2 for that day and do them. These will usually come from your urgent and important list. Then reward yourself with a task from the not urgent but important list.

After that it is up to you.

2. Practice Mindfulness

I want to dispel a myth here, that mindfulness is a practise we set time aside for. It can be but it is so much more than that. In the context of this article, what I really want is to think about general mindfulness.

This is when you start to become aware of you, what you do, how you live and what you think. In my opinion, the best way to do this is to reflect on each day and journal about it. This helps to flex the mindfulness muscle.

Start to become aware of the tasks that deplete you and the ones that lift you up. This is your guide as to where you should be putting your energy. Now I am not saying avoid the tasks that deplete you, some can’t be avoided. For example, I find doing things like my taxes an energy sapping exercise. That is until it is done and I feel a weight is lifted. If you have to do these energy depleting tasks then make time for the things that boost your energy. This will then give you the push for doing more.

It is a bit like balancing the scales, take energy out and put energy in. Doing this will help to prevent burnout and keep you feeling great. This is the mindfulness comes in. As you become more and more aware of how certain tasks make you feel, it will be so much easier to balance out your energy.

I would say the best way to do this is to start keeping a list of all the things that boost your energy and make you feel great. You then have something to call on when you are feeling depleted. While you are making the list (and beyond), at the end of the day, journal about the activities you did. Notice how many depleted you and how many lifted you. As you start to understand yourself more you will be able to balance out your energy levels.

3. Learn to Say No

This is where so many of us get stuck, we feel guilty about saying no. The result is we say yes to all the requests that come in. Then we don’t have time for ourselves, and end up feeling exhausted and resenting everyone else. The truth is, this comes down to learning to set healthy boundaries.

When someone asks us to help with something, we need to take a moment and think about whether we have time or not. If the answer is no, then saying yes is actually doing a disservice to the other person. You cannot give a task its best if you do not have the time to do it.

Often we fear anger or rejection when we think about saying no but in my experience that is rarely the case. In fact often you will find the opposite. People will have more respect for you when you are honest and set clear boundaries.

This is especially so when dealing with your children. If I did not say no to my son, he would quite happily take up every minute of my day. When he was very young he got used to me meditating and knew that was mummy’s thing. That still continues now and he knows I will not help him while I am meditating, unless it is an emergency.

The benefits to me from setting these types of boundaries with my son is that he is learning to respect me and my time. But it also has the added benefit of modelling healthy boundary setting and self care. After all, how will he ever learn that his self care matters if it is clear mummy’s doesn’t.

If you find saying no difficult then start small and with someone you know really loves you. Do it in a kind and loving way and notice the time it frees up.

4. Utilise Small Time Slots

These are the times of day that we waste. The times when we think we will have a quick scroll on social media or do some other mindless task. We can benefit so much from claiming this time back. I am guilty of this but it is so easy to switch things up and get a real positive energy boost. 

Imagine this, you have just completed a big work task and you are going to transition into a new task. Your mind needs 5-10 minutes of downtime. Normally you would pick up your phone and scroll social media. This effectively numbs your mind. How about this, try a short meditation or breathing exercise. You could even read a couple of pages of a book or if you can manage it, try a 7 minute HIIT training workout. This is a short window of time to give back to yourself.

The things I mentioned above are often the things we say we don’t have time for. This is because we forget about these small slots. You could combine this action with the art of mindfulness. That will allow you to become aware of the small time slots that you have and let you craft a plan.

I know that for me, if I fill these time with mindless activities I end up feeling more depleted. Plus I can often go down a rabbit hole and never start the next big task. When I do something productive, for me in these times I feel energised and fired up to get on with the next big task. The result is that I feel better and I get a lot more done in the process. 

To get started with this, journal at the end of the day. Note all the little time slots you had in the day and what you could have done differently.

5. Delegate Tasks

This is probably the thing I find the hardest but has a huge impact on the time available. A big problem for me and for so many other people is we think it is easier if we do it ourselves. This could not be further from the truth. When you delegate a task, it takes it off your plate and gives you a lot more time to do the things that matter to you.

When you are thinking about delegating, I recommend going back to the matrix above. The best things to delegate are the urgent but not important tasks. The reason for this is that they need to get done but they are not all that important. So, if they are not done perfectly then there is unlikely to be a big drama. This can take a lot of the time sucking tasks off your list, giving you time for the important things in life.

If I am completely honest, I still hate delegating tasks. I stress that it won’t get done well enough or I will need to redo it. But the truth is, when I have found someone to do a task for me, it has made my life easier. The task has been done and I have not needed to worry. It is for that reason that I actively look for tasks to delegate. It might be things around the home or finding things I can outsource in my business. Every time I remove a task from my list I feel the pressure ease.

If you are someone that also struggles with letting go of the reins, start small. Think of a small work or home task that is not all that important and get someone else to do it. Once you feel the freedom from that, find other small tasks to delegate out. Keep going until you can happily pass on the tasks you don’t want or need to do yourself.

6. Schedule Personal Time

This is so vital for so many of us and makes perfect sense. If you have important work meetings or tasks or family events, they go in your diary. Once they are scheduled you can then plan the rest of your life around them.

The same process should apply to self care, otherwise it just gets bumped until you have time, which is never. Decide when is the best time to take time for you and put it in your diary. This time is then blocked out and nothing else can be put there.

For me this can be so beneficial because if not I will have my time dictated by my son. Then when I have child-free time I will work, without taking time for myself. The result is a very tired person who has nothing left to give. So now I plan time for me. I know that when my son goes to bed, that is when I do the things I love and make me happy. If others request time from me in these hours I decide what the benefit to me is. So spending time with family or friends is part of self care and can be put into this slot. Dealing with work related things is not self care and needs to wait until the morning when I am at my best.

To get started with this, plan a weekly activity for yourself. Think about something you love doing but maybe don’t get the time right now. It could be getting your nails done or going for a coffee or spending time doing a hobby you love. Set the time aside and put it in your diary as an appointment. Then make sure you stick to this appointment and make that time for you. As you get comfortable with this you might want to increase it to more times per week or even a daily activity.

7. Disconnect from Technology

Technology, a blessing and a curse. It gives us the opportunity to do so much stuff and connect with so many people and I for one could not live without it. But on the downside, it sucks our time into useless and meaningless activities. This is where we come back to our mindfulness and become aware of how we are using the technology in our lives.

If you know that just before bed you get sucked into a social media black hole and end up going to bed later than planned, this is the time to disconnect. Make the last hour before bed a technology free zone and spend this time doing something for you.

I personally have taken to not going on social media before bed. Plus I don’t look at any emails or social media for the first hour of the day. This is because I use this time to exercise, meditate and shower. Only once all these things get done do I allow myself a quick scroll.

I also try to be mindful about my social media and technology use. So I know I will want to have a look around at some point in the day but I like to set time limits so that I am in control.

If this appeals to you, start by becoming aware of when you are most likely to use technology mindlessly. These are the times to think about limiting or restricting it. So you might decide to have a break before bed or during mealtimes. Do what works for you but notice the peace it brings but also the time it frees up for you to explore other activities. For example you could read a book before bed or take a bath instead of watching cat videos.


We have covered a lot in this article and what I hope most is that you now have some practical strategies to help you claim more time for yourself. So whether you prioritise your tasks or schedule you “Me Time” you have it on your list. I definitely urge you to bring more mindfulness to what you do. This will help you fit your “Me Time” into the small slots between tasks and know when to disconnect from technology. And lastly remember your boundaries and that it is ok to say no, you are just one person.

I urge you to pick one thing off this list and start putting it into action today. Why not drop a comment below and make a public commitment of what you plan to do. That way we can all support you and make sure you are sticking to your goals.

About the author, Mercedes Aspland

Mercedes is a transformation coach, helping people to transform their businesses, health, money mindset and more. With over 30 years experience in personal development and almost 20 in business she is uniquely positioned to support others in making the changes they need to live the life of their dreams.

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