I’ve been battling quite a bit with time management since the middle of February and have only just come to grips with my time a bit better. It seems like I’m not the only one though!

Many people have recently said to me that they’re feeling quite tired and burnt out, very busy but not accomplishing much. I call it “doing the hamster thing”. You know what it is that they do – they run around on those little wheels in their cages, going nowhere fast. And that’s not a very pleasant feeling. Trust me – I know!

I really believe that in order to manage your time better, you need to decide what’s important to you and what’s not. If you don’t decide, you can be sure that other people will decide for you.

If something is important to you, you will make time for it. I used to say things like, “I don’t have enough time for exercise because I get home from work too late.” One day I realised that that’s absolute nonsense. Obviously I was making work a higher priority than having a fit and healthy body. It’s as simple as that. Hmmm…

So this month I want you to take time to focus on yourself. I can just hear all the busy mothers out there saying things like, “but my children need me.” Listen, it’s not a selfish thing to do – instead, it only makes you a better person. I’m also very driven and have hundreds of things on the go so I do know what it’s like. But you can’t give what you don’t have.

There are seven areas to everyone’s life – spiritual, work, financial, family, friends, health/physical and personal. We constantly give and give and because we all lead such busy lives, it’s very easy for that last section to slip. Hopefully that will be changing soon J

This year I decided that because my personal development is extremely important to me, I need to start scheduling time just for me. What I’ve been doing is scheduling two nights every month to focus on me. If I find interesting worksheets, quizzes or e-books on the internet, I print them and do or read them in this self-time too. I don’t know about you but sometimes I read a book and at the time I’m too lazy to fetch some paper and do the exercises. Now I note them down and do all these exercises during my self-care time.

You can enjoy your time pampering yourself with a lovely bubble bath, paint your toenails or read a favourite book. Or buy a favourite magazine and read it over some coffee and cake at a quiet coffee shop. Or book yourself on a workshop. I do regular talks and workshops and while I love it, I do enjoy receiving now and again. So every year, I attend at least two workshops.

For all the unstructured people out there, you’re probably thinking, “where’s the spontaneity?” I’ll do a Dr Phil and ask you this, “how’s the spontaneity been working for you?” I also tried the spontaneity thing and I never seemed to get around to things that were important to me!

I’ve really found this time of self-care very useful and I know that you will too. You’ll be able to really think about what’s working for you and what’s not. I suggest that you buy a pretty notebook, and write it all down. There’s something very special about committing things to paper instead of having it all milling around in your head.

My sister calls her personal time “Shelley time”. Repeat three times: It’s not a sin to have (insert own name here) _____________ time. Very good!

So do the exercise but more importantly, take some action. You are so very worth it!