Shield Sisters, we have a lot going on in lives. We’re women in business. We’re expressive, creative, and innovative individuals. We’re entrepreneurs running our own companies and our own households.

But with all of the stuff we have to do each day, how can we carve out space for ourselves in our schedules?

How can we find time for the things that bring us Joy?

Maybe you love reading fantasy novels, or jogging at the park, or watching Netflix documentaries. Yet, that time for the things you love keeps slipping off your calendar to accommodate the demands of your job, your business, or your family.

Are you wondering how you can get your life back on a happy track?

I have a solution.

Here are four ways for you to Find Time for Me (meaning you ☺ ).

 

Delegate.

 

Communicate your needs to the people around you. Each person is the CEO of their own life, and each CEO doesn’t always know what the other CEOs need from them. When you delegate, you may need to negotiate. You are negotiating the terms of the tasks you are entrusting to other people to execute. You are not negotiating the importance of your time.

We Shield Sisters are often great advocates for the needs of others. We make sure our parents take their vitamins and supplements. We select the right restaurant to accommodate our vegan and gluten-free friends. We find the best time for children to go to dentist appointments so they don’t miss too much school.

Today, I’m giving you permission to advocate for yourself. Figure out one item on your To Do list that you can let someone else handle. As an individual living with the affliction of perfectionism, I know it can be hard to let someone else take care of something for you because you fear they may not perform the task up to your standards. That’s okay. As my spouse told me when we first met each other (eight months after I put pictures of a healthy relationship on my Dream Board!), done is better than perfect. Good enough is good enough.

How do I delegate tasks that I know another person can do? Here’s an example from my entrepreneurial life. As I am writing this post, I received a completed research project from a VA (virtual assistant) whom I hired to help me develop I Have A Dream Board into the profitable business that I plan for it to become. It took me less than a week to secure my VA for this project. But, it took me over six months to start looking for a VA, once I knew that I needed one. And, once I found someone to help me take one item off my plate, I felt happy.

How can you delegate a project and bring happiness into your life?

 

Eliminate.

 

In your life, there are people, places, and things that no longer serve you. They may have delighted you in the past, but now, you don’t know why you are holding on to them.

Let them go. It’s not easy, but once you do, you will find time on your calendar that you didn’t know you had.

For instance, I was inspired by Marie Kondo’s approach to decluttering your home, which leads to decluttering your life. Over the past year, I have been removing items of clothing that no longer fit or that I no longer enjoy and donating them so that other people can appreciate them. This allows for more space in my closet, shelves, and drawers. It also reduces the time spent both doing laundry and deciding what to wear. Additionally, I’m happier with my clothes because I’m wearing items that I love.

How can you eliminate something from your life so you have room for happiness to enter?

 

Procrastinate.

 

Or, more precisely, postpone. But that word doesn’t end in –ate.

Not everything needs to be completed today. As women in business, we have a deluge of work stuff and home stuff that we need to accomplish over a week or a month or a year. We can’t do everything at once, though. Sometimes, when the going gets tough, we need to triage. Assign deadlines to your tasks based on urgency, and work on the most important tasks first.

For instance, I have a pile of clean laundry sitting on my couch this week. I could spend time putting it away, but I don’t want to. I prefer dealing with laundry on the weekends so that I create a boundary between my work time and my nonwork time. Also—here’s where the delegating comes in—I can ask my spouse to fold the laundry and place it where it belongs. We can each use our time effectively. My spouse can’t write this post, but he can use that equivalent time pairing socks and finding room for them in our drawers.

How can you procrastinate to give yourself time for more important things?

 

Celebrate!

 

Look at all of the amazing things happening in your life. It’s easy to forget what you have accomplished when you’re moving so fast. Take a moment, review what you have done over the past week, and acknowledge your wins. Pat yourself on the back. Then ask someone else to pat you on the back, too.

There are milestones in my I Have A Dream Board business as well as outside of work that I have written down with specific ways to celebrate. For instance, when I hit a certain number in one area of my business, I plan to purchase Grandfathered, the one-season series from FOX starring John Stamos as an unexpected parent and grandparent to a family he didn’t know he had. That will be my way of treating myself for a job well done.

How can you start celebrating a win today?

 

Shield Sisters, we’ve talked about a lot today, so let’s recap. How can you Find Time for yourself? Delegate. Eliminate. Procrastinate. Celebrate. These four verbs will help you enjoy the 24 hours per day that each of us has in our lives.

Whom are you delegating tasks to? What are you eliminating from your life? When can you procrastinate to make better use of your time? How are you celebrating your wins? Share your process in the comments!

And, if you have more in-depth questions about how to Find Time for Me, please email me at iHaveADreamBoard@gmail.com.

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Mahlena-Rae Johnson

Mahlena-Rae Johnson

Mahlena-Rae Johnson helps women in business trying to balance it all. She shows you how to make time for yourself first, so you can get your life. Mahlena grew up on the mean beaches of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and during her senior year of high school, she was named Most Likely to Kidnap a Backstreet Boy. When she isn’t working smart to help professional women achieve their personal goals, Mahlena is writing her fourth book, Love at a Luau, wrangling her growing family, and indulging in reruns of A Different World and Murder, She Wrote. You can read more of Mahlena’s witty musings on Work/Life Balance for Creative Women. 

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