I've got a plan for finding you time so you can stop feeling overworked, drained and a bit grumpy. What do you say?
It starts with a question: How would you react if I said to you I have a reliable plan for you to gain 1-hour a day, every day, and you can choose how you spend it?
Perhaps “self-help coaching fluff”, “I’m in but…” or maybe “I’m too busy right now to listen”, or possibly “who is she to tell me anything I bet she isn't as busy as me?” The truth is, whatever your reaction to this statement, its the starting point for discovering what stops you finding time for you. Our default response to my question is what we need to work with, its our automatic negative mindset - one that resists thinking or doing anything differently but one that can be changed. This is the starting point for finding balance in a busy life.
Identify Your Default Mindset
There are several common patterns of thinking behaviours that tend to appear when resisting a new idea. I’ve categorised them as:
The excuser - “I’d love to listen, but…I’m not in the headspace right now, …I’ve got a lot on.” The excuser is an expert at justifying the reason they can’t do something. Often they use negative labelling about themselves such as; “I’m not very good at that type of thing”, “I’ll never manage it.” The explanation creates a cycle of thinking that makes it easy for the excuser to remain in stasis. A subconscious reassurance that not trying is a better option as it won’t work anyway.
The assumer - “I don’t need to listen, I already know what you are going to say.” This is a flat-out rejection of an idea based on nothing more than personal belief that they already know how to do something. Assumed knowledge protects the 'assumer' from any sort of change; it means they don’t have to listen to the advice or themselves nothing anyone else says has value or is worth exploring.
The energiser - “Yep, Im in.” “Great” Enthused, adrenaline pumped the energiser is in before they even know what they have committed to and they have rushed off to tell someone. The protection here is that sustained energy at this level is impossible and so enthusiasm wains. The energiser loves new stuff, but doesn't want to slow down to find out the detail and plan it out so nothing changes, but lots of things are tried.
The detailer - ‘How can I find out more?” The detailer loves the detail so much - they get lost in it, they spend time and energy researching, understanding, planning, but there is never enough detail to make the move. The protection for the detailer is they won’t know enough - the right amount of information hasn't been gathered and until that point, nothing will change.
The growler - “Who is she to tell me about time. She knows nothing.” The snarl is a tactic that reassures the growler that they are ok, but the other person isn’t. Their approach is “I’ll just ward them off. The growler can be quite staunch in opinion but often not enough to really argue or debate a point, but certainly just enough to intimidate the person with the alternative viewpoint and therefore protect themselves from any sort of change.
The catastrophiser - “Well If I try that it will all mess up.” “There is so much to plan and could go wrong!” This mental habit destroys peace of mind and drains your brain of energy to do other things, which naturally stops any possible changes from happening. Worrying about what could happen is the main focus rather than the idea of changing. The list of things that could happen are a great way to protect and justify why not trying is a better option
Do you recognise any traits in yourself? You may have several versions.
Tolstoy once said;
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” and the reality to gaining some 'me time' starts with overcoming your reaction.
DIY Coaching: Self Exploration Exersize:
Listen out for your own resistance reaction when you ask yourself this question, note it down and reflect on what you can hear, you will learn a lot about what your subconscious gets up to;
"What one thing could I do this week, that could give me a bit of time for just me?"
I am a intermittent ‘excuser and energiser' - What I recognised in myself was I was too busy to think about doing anything differently. I was guilty of taking on too much on and wanting to try new things. This protracted me from doing anything differently. Did I manage to gain one hour a day for me?
I found I didn’t need an extra hour a day, just 30 minutes of yoga daily benefits my whole family and not to mention a noticeable reduction in my muffin top. I find daily inner balance gets my happy endorphins flowing, which improves family interactions resulting in me being a better listener resulting in being a better coach. My small change to make that happen was sharing breakfast duties and getting up 15 mins earlier, it was a quick win and has made me happier.
Charles Buxton put it best way back in 1883:
“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”
So again I ask you what one thing could you do this week, that could give you a bit of time for you?