To say that time flies is an understatement. No, it’s not only flying, but moving at lightning speed, waiting for no one and almost mocking all of us as it ticks away. One moment we’re saying “Happy New Year,” and the next moment we’re getting ready to send the kids back to school.
And it seems like the to-do list never ends – make the lunches, buy cookies for the school bake sale, turn in report to boss, drop off kids at soccer practice, help your eldest with their science fair project, cook dinner, do laundry … how do you make time to get everything done?
More than 93 percent of families in this country requiring a dual income also find it more difficult to achieve a real work-life balance, and 66 percent of those surveyed believe they are only somewhat successful or not successful at all with their time management. “Me Time” gets put on the back burner for the needs of everyone else.
Don’t fret. You’re not alone.
In fact, a recent survey by Safeco Insurance found that more than four in five respondents agree they need an extra hour in the day and 70 percent admitted they would use the extra time to do something for themselves. It’s frightening, but it doesn’t have to be.
These last few weeks of summer are really the best time to re-focus your energy, do what you actually enjoy and reconnect family and friends. Long summer nights provide the perfect opportunity to get much-needed rest and relaxation before the demands of the school year begin.
And to help us achieve these goals, Safeco Insurance is launching the #MY60 campaign to encourage people to take back 60 minutes of their day over a 60-day period. You don’t need some carefully planned Pinterest-inspired activity to do. It’s the simple things in life that often bring us the most joy.
Here are a few ways you can use the hour of your time these next two months:
- SPEND TIME WITH YOUR KIDS – It doesn’t take a stack of money to make memories with your children. Grab one of their favorite books, toss a football in the yard or simply just have a conversation with them about their day, their summer, heck life in general. Grab a snow cone or a slushy during Sonic Happy Hour and enjoy a cool treat.
- READ A BOOK – Your elementary school teachers are still right. Books can take us to faraway places. They allow our imagination, yes even as adults, to be free from the stresses of life.
- COOK…TO ENJOY IT – Before you turn up your nose at the thought of cooking. Consider that dish you pinned weeks ago that you’ve always wanted to try. Use this hour to make a new recipe, bake a cake with friends or maybe just enjoy a glass of wine and slice of cheese. Whatever you do, don’t stress over it.
- SLEEP 8 HOURS AND NOT FEEL ASHAMED – Sure, you sleep 4-5 hours every night, but are you really resting or are you rehearsing everything you have to do the next day, week or potentially year? When was the last time woke up feeling refreshed? Take an extra hour and sleep. Don’t set your alarm clock. Let your body wake up when it’s ready.
- TURN OFF YOUR PHONE – GASP, You read correctly! Turn off your phone – not just airplane mode, swipe, click and disconnect from technology for one hour. Make sure you tell important tell so that no one gets worried when you can’t be reached. Take these 60 minutes away from technology and connect with the people around you. Engage in some of the activities recommended above. We live in a society today where people spend more time liking and less time living. Let’s change that.
- GO ON A WALK – Exercising and connecting with nature? Why not!
If you’re thinking to yourself, “I barely have time to complete the above to-do list. When will I have time to make more time,” you’re already setting yourself up for defeat.
Overeating, withdrawing and becoming angry with others are among the most popular negative behaviors people use to cope with not completing their to-do lists. Who wants to be around that?
They say it only takes 21 days to develop a habit. Moms are pretty amazing people, but just for kicks, Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan-based psychotherapist and author of the book “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” says to give yourself one more week.
The #MY60 challenge is just one step is finding true harmony in life. Start this program on the right foot and remove any negative comments that are sure to keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Empower yourself to think “can” and “will” instead of “can’t” and “have to.”
Track how you spend your time for one week and determine which activities are necessary and which “tasks” are optional. Making everything a priority only makes us feel like a failure when we are unable to achieve these tasks. Set yourself up for success and make a realistic schedule of your day.
It’s one hour – 60 minutes out of your day built for you to find true happiness and peace. Take the challenge, take charge of time and enter the next half of the year ready to be productive instead of dreading what lies ahead.