8 Strategies to Make Time for Yourself


abfab logoThis is a guest blog from my good friend Donnah Morgan. Donnah is passionate about enabling people to reflect, develop and grow; by helping them to make a difference in their own professional and personal lives, bringing compassion, clarity, care and sometimes challenges.

Donnah says “There is nothing more important than YOU, use your time wisely making space for all the things you want to achieve for YOU.” Her company ‘abfablife’ enables you learn to do this in a gentle although thought provoking way using a range of easy to learn techniques and strategies.

8 Strategies to Make Time for Yourself

In my life, I see and work with many people (professionals and others) who are so time squeezed it would make you cry with pain!

How can this be overcome? Dropping into the “Time Dr“ is one strategy, another is to get back to basics.
Babies are not born with ‘stress’ other than a few basic life needs; warmth, shelter, food, water, air and someone to love them. We then start piling on the other ‘stuff’ until they are walking through treacle, now move on 20+ years and read ‘us’ for baby as many feel they walk through treacle on a daily basis.

Feedback from my students and clients constantly demonstrates thet the following eight strategies help them to make time for themselves on a regular basis, tey them yourself and let me know how you get on.

1. Self-Care first – if you don’t look after yourself first how can you really begin to look after others authentically?

2. Learn to say ‘NO’ – remember it’s your right, you are not saying no to the person, only to their request at that time. This needs practice but it really works – top tip; use the phrase, ‘give me 10 minutes and I will get back to you’ then consider it and make a decision – the right one for you! You hang on to your time

3. Respond don’t React – THINKING TIME IS THE KEY TO EVERYTHING – Respond – Think through what it is you want to say/do, don’t just React and say or do the first thing that comes into your head you will regret it! (and spend time wasting time!)

4. Take time out – 5/10 minutes relaxation or mindful meditation twice a day then build up. You begin to learn to put it into your daily routine – it becomes part of your life like cleaning your teeth – YOU ARE WORTH IT. Mini- mindful meditations are fab. Once chilled you make less mistakes.

5. Get out of the practice of multi-tasking – you get more done! One thing at a time ensures you don’t have millions of unfinished tasks.

6. Anything which can be done in less than 3 minutes do it straight away – amazing tip!!!!

7. Empower others – learn to delegate (especially to the kids) I know it takes a bit of time but they need life skills and the outcome is once they have done it you get released and have time for you!!

8. Keep a time planner/diary – so you can see easily what you need to do and write all deadlines in it – you release ‘thinking time then for other things or just to ‘chill-out’ ‘!

Don’t try to do every one of these tips at the same time, mindfully take 1, really work at it and once it is embedded (like cleaning your teeth) move onto the next one and remember to;

‘experience the euphoria of being liberated’ (Morgan, D. 2008)

Donnah Morgan

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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10 thoughts on “8 Strategies to Make Time for Yourself

  1. Wow. There are a tonne of people I know who need to chill out and make some time for themselves. My favourites are numbers 2 and 6. Learning to say no will truly change your life. And taking action on small tasks instead of putting them off will save you far more than the time you spend doing them. It can clear your mind as well as your schedule. I’ve shared this on my facebook page – if only I could be sure the right people would see it!

  2. Love this, it fits in with my own article about ‘learning to say no’ which all too many people find it hard to do. I think the first one is essential too, all to often we think that we shouldn’t look after ourselves, we shouldn’t care for us because that would be selfish. In fact for us to help others we have to look after ourselves first. Thank for this a great post
    Paula recently posted…The ‘perfectionism prison’ isn’t it time you got out?My Profile

  3. I liked the blog post, short, sharp and too the point.

    Particularly liked the do not multitask as I believe it is a myth. Take attention for example, when you are sitting in front of someone and you are having a conversation, and they look at their watch are they still paying full attention to you? Or has there concentration moved off for a moment? Supposing you were saying something vitally important they may have missed it or the nuances around it. Likewise, if you were in the midst of deep thinking and they did the same, you would wonder why they were looking at their watch and your thought process would have been disrupted.


  4. Great advice–especially the three minute rule. I always say it another way to myself: Don’t double handle. In other words don’t put it down, so something else and then pick it up to put away.
    However, I take issue with the thought that nothing is more important than you. I know what you mean–use the oxygen mask first so you can assist others. But others are just as important. Love thy neighbor.
    Francene Stanley recently posted…The fragile endurance of a writer.My Profile