Last week I discussed the first step in Cheryl Richardson’s book “Take Time for Your Life”. This week I will be looking at Step 2 and applying it to how we can help ourselves become better parents or the parents we want to be.
“If your schedule doesn’t reflect your priorities, stop reacting to life and take control of what gets your time and attention.”
Some of the points that Cheryl Richardson makes regarding this are as follows, the key being, CHOICE:
- Don’t confuse tough choices with no choices – we always have a choice
- If you want a quick and dramatic improvement in the quality of your life, make a big choice
- Time is a gift that most of us take for granted
- We get so caught up in the busyness of our daily lives that we rarely stop and take a serious look at how we’re spending this gift of time
- We can’t manage time, time will always tick away no matter what we do! We can, however, manage ourselves; this is self-management not time management
In order to prioritize, we first need to know what our priorities actually are and then what things currently take up most of our time. We need to ascertain if we are in fact spending our time in alignment with our values and priorities. As parents, our priority is of course our children but this does not mean that we have no time for other priorities we may have. Unless you take action, very quickly, your entire life will revolve around this one priority and you end up in a “I have no time for my life and other things I want to do” situation.
In order to succeed we have to realize that our priorities are our choice. Richardson points out that in order to do this, we have to forget about the SHOULDS and as a mentor of mine regularly says, we also have to stop with the MUST-ERBATING as well. Yes, you heard it, NO shoulds and no musts! These are wants.
You may find that the list you create of what you would like to do is fairly long so Richardson advises, that from it, you create an ABSOLUTE YES list. Then, when you have the gift of time, you can spend it doing the things that are of value and priority to you, the things on your ABSOLUTE YES list. Apparently, according to Richardson, you will be amazed because you will most probably end up being more time effective and in a better frame of mind despite having taken “time out” to do them!
The last and very important piece is that you have to honor your new priorities. She advises that you to actually block off time for them in your calendar so that you always have space for them. You have to protect your priorities fiercely and create boundaries around then and think of them as ways to create protected time. This is especially important for parents and even more important for stay at home Mums.
To conclude, if you do not “Schedule Time for Your Life” you will have NO time for YOUR LIFE, you will only have time for your children’s. You only have one life, choose to make it the one you really want. Having children does not mean that you have to give up your entire life to them. We will all be better parents if we make time for ourselves.
What are you going to do to make sure that your life reflects your priorities? I’d love to hear from you.
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Registration is now open for my fall Adlerian Parenting Classes, please look under EVENTS and Schedule on our web site for more details. Please feel free to mention this to any friends you know who may be interested.