Updated: Jul 26, 2022
The US is often criticized for a variety of reasons- healthcare issues, political disarray, criminal justice problems, and other matters- but one thing that isn't mentioned as often is the lack of leisure. I never consciously thought about issues with leisure, even though I work more than 40 hours a week, and have a family and household stuff to work on each day. I would gripe about having to decide whether to only have an hour or so to myself at the end of the day or use some of that time I had for sleeping. Should I finish reading this book or should I try for 6 or 7 hours of sleep?
I watched a Youtube video the other day about Americans and leisure time and it brought up some good points. Having less leisure time not only means you miss out on that show everyone is watching or you can never finish that book you've been meaning to read, it can also contribute to burnout for many people in the workforce. Time is a currency that is more important than money. It seems like we are constantly moving, constantly working, constantly busy. We have to find time for our work, our families, our friends, and our communities. If leisure time is lacking for us, how can we use our time the way we want and achieve everything we want in the time allotted to us?
Decide how you want to spend your time.
Our time is finite. Every project or activity we take on takes a slice of our time and leaves less for other projects. This means we have to be judicious when making decisions about how we want to spend our time. Once you decide what your priorities are, you can get organized, set up your calendar, and set up your day for success.
If you cannot take on a project, it's important to learn to say "no" if you can and to stick to that "no". Declining a project might feel difficult at the time, but you'll be better off in the long run with more time to spend on projects you're more passionate about or that are more necessary for your business.
Ask for help
Sometimes even with trying to manage our schedules, we can have moments of overwhelm. It's important to learn to delegate tasks to others and to accept help when it is offered, whether it's from employees at work or from a partner, friends, or family at home. Automate any tasks that can be automated. Don't feel guilty for not being able to take on everything on your own.
Take time for yourself
Easier said than done sometimes, but it's important to take at least a few minutes for yourself each day to recalibrate and maybe schedule an activity that you love each week.
It can be difficult to carve out time for ourselves but with a bit of planning and help from our team, we can find work/life balance.