Time management tips go far beyond effectiveness strategies. You can use them to create an inner haven of contentment and gratitude. In this personal sanctuary, you can grow and change. And by transforming yourself, you transform your relationship with time.
Perhaps you wonder if this sanctuary can survive the onslaught of daily demands. If the special time you promise yourself keeps getting postponed, use these 3 steps to learn how to sustain your sanctuary!
3 “Sanctuary Skills” to Develop
Simplify by prioritizing.
Whittle expectations and demands down to a bare minimum. Like a beautiful sculpture that’s revealed by what’s carved away, you delineate your values by removing the inessentials. Only as you learn to distinguish between your wants and your needs can you make the important decisions to safeguard your sanctuary.
- Take a few minutes to review what time choices you valued most deeply over these past few months. Which still retain a special glow? What part of you emerged? What do you feel grateful for?
- Write a few phrases that help distill what made those times special. Was it a rare moment of closeness? Quiet time to reflect and reminisce? Festive times with friends?
- How can you incorporate similar touchstones into your life as the normal pace of life resumes? List some options quickly.
Safeguard Your Sanctuary with Boundaries
What activities must you cut back on to create and maintain your sanctuary? For every fresh activity you want to say yes to, you will need to identify activities, perhaps habitual ones, to say no to. Boundaries are the line you draw between what goes into your basket of time, and what you must remove from the basket to make room for the new.
- In the same way you must build a dream cottage with a strong foundation and sturdy walls, you must construct your sanctuary with sturdy boundaries, to ensure you find the time.
- You create and protect your sanctuary every time you say no to distractions that are less important than your sanctuary time. Whether you set these boundaries with yourself or with others, you will find it becomes easier with practice!
Use Soft Boundaries as Comfort Cushions.
Creating soft boundaries in advance of your hard boundaries does wonders when it comes to reducing stress. What is a soft boundary? It is “the boundary before the boundary” that provides a generous margin of time to handle the inevitable surprises and complications that pop up. Or explaining to friends and family that you will be taking more time to yourself, well in advance of reserving a specific block of time.
What matters is that you are realigning your time to address your core needs. So long as you fulfill your baseline responsibilities, no one needs to understand or approve of your sanctuary time.
As you will discover, developing this loyalty to yourself through your sanctuary time can transform your sense of power, no matter what other demands are made upon your time.
Now, what can you do today to create life-altering changes for finding time?© Copyright 2011 Paula Eder, Ph.D.