Finding Balance: How Do I Make Time?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
This is the second in a series about how to find the balance between work, family and your own health and fitness goals. Click here to read the first blog entry in this series.

I work a lot from home, so with two little ones around, finding time throughout the day to get my job done can be a challenge. These days, packing up for a trip to the store, doing the shopping and coming home to unpack the groceries can be a half-day affair. With so many day-to-day tasks to complete, how do I find time to take care of myself?

Time is something most of us wish we had more of. I often find myself thinking "If I just had 20 minutes to myself, I'd squeeze in a short workout or at least use the quiet time to unwind." But in reality, when I do have a few of those minutes here and there, I use them to clean up toys, or get dinner started, or lots of other things that have nothing to do with me. I can easily find things that I think NEED to get done, when in reality they could probably wait a little longer. I know that I'd benefit from taking those few minutes for myself instead, so why do I have such a hard time doing it? Am I the only one who struggles with this?

Finding time comes down to making priorities. It's easy to find time for the things that are a high priority in your life. I always shake my head at the people who say "I don't have time to exercise." Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day- it's just about how you choose to use them. Those people who have time for exercise are the ones who put it higher on their priority list. This doesn't mean that you're a failure if you can't find 60 minutes a day for physical activity. But I don't know anyone who can't find 10 minutes here and there throughout the day to get up and move.

I'll admit that I haven't done a good job at putting myself high on the priority list. So maybe I need to start practicing what I preach and make time for me. One of my personal goals for this year is to spend at least 10 minutes a day (outside of exercise) doing something for myself. Have I been sticking to it? Honestly, no. I know that taking care of me means I'll do better at taking care of everyone else, but for some reason this is tough for me. Is it tough for you? What can we do to start finding the time?

Let's start by looking at a typical day. Are there any tasks you could delay or delegate to someone else? Can you find small pockets of time to do a few strength training exercises, make a healthy lunch or just relax and read a chapter of your favorite book? It doesn't have to be much, but those small bits of time can make a big difference in your physical and mental health.

I'm going to start by taking a look at my day, setting some priorities and making a plan for how I'm going to find the time. Are you with me?