Time Management: Making Time for What Makes You Happy

metime management

What makes you happier—to have a routine or to have more flexibility in your schedule?

By nature, I am a spontaneous person. I don't like to have too much planned in advance. I like to leave room to allow "life" to happen. This is awesome when I get last-minute invites from friends or have impromptu meeting requests.

On the other hand and especially as I grow older, I am finding that a little more order in my sometimes chaotic life allows me to be more efficient while still being able to make time for fun.

The struggle with striking a balance between being scheduled and flexible is resisting the urge to focus solely on things that grab my attention rather than building time in for things that truly make me happy... things like:

  • Reading for fun
  • Getting my hair done
  • Writing in my journal
  • Playing the piano
  • Playing with my kids (I used to build Thomas the Tank tracks for hours!)

Three Tips for Making Time for What Makes You Happiest

Here are three ways to make time for the things that make you the happiest:

  1. Create a list of things that make you the happiest.
  2. Narrow your list down to three things you'd like to do this week.
  3. As you plan, schedule time in for one of those things each day. This may require saying no to something else, delegating another task, cutting down time spent on one thing to add this new task to the list, or, YIKES!, you may have to remove an already scheduled task that can legitimately be dropped.

If you feel you are too busy to give these new tasks their own line item on your schedule, identify where you could multi-task. When my kids were small, for example, I would pull up a chair and read next to the bath tub while they took a bath. They played and splashed while I was right there next to them reading.

What things make you the happiest that you have put aside that you will add into your week this week?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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