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Taking time-out

By • Nov 9th, 2007 • Category: Featured Articles, Productivity, Time Management

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Many women function in multiple roles with multiple responsibilities. And sadly, while today’s technology boasts of the capacity to simplify our lives and make it less stressful, we remain painstakingly task-oriented and seemingly unable to slow down.

But the energies we exert just living our lives need to be replenished regularly or we risk being burnt out. Consequently our relationships and responsibilities at home and at work suffer when we attempt to do it all, all the time.

That is why we need not just to relax but to take some time-out. We must physically and emotionally retreat from the daily chaos of our lives. Of course for many this is easier said than done.

Often instead of laying claim to much well-deserved time-out, we wait for someone else to give us permission to take care of ourselves. Even then we feel guilty for investing in our own well-being. Probably we believe that we are not faithfully fulfilling our duties if we are wiling away the time engaged in activities that give us pleasure.

Consideration of the three-fold key to taking time-out will inspire and motivate you to take action.

  1. Acknowledge its importance.
  2. Count the potential trickle-down benefits.
  3. Schedule time for yourself.

So, how important is time-out really?

Whatever your lifestyle, you need to incorporate time for yourself into your schedule. You need time to relax without thinking about what’s next on your To Do List. Disregard thoughts about what someone will think if they knew that we were lying on the couch watching HGTV or a Law & Order marathon.

If you want to feel and function at your best, taking time to nurture, nourish, and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit is the answer.

What are some of the trickle-down benefits?

  • Re-discover/reinvent yourself = people will learn to accept you for who you are.
  • Find inner peace = your peaceful disposition will positively affect others in trying circumstances.
  • Re-energize physically – you will be able to give of your time and energy wholeheartedly and enthusiastically.
  • Set new priorities – people will learn to honor your boundaries.
  • Regain a sense of being in control of your life – your renewed self-confidence will inspire others to respect and trust you.

How do I find the time to take time-out?

The best way to find time is to schedule it. Make it a priority. Put it on your To Do List. Make it part of your daily or weekly routine. Consider it sacred time and guard it jealously.

Not every request that people throw at you deserves a “Yes.” Learn to say “NO” sometimes. Pleasantly declining invitations to events and requests for volunteers will buy you some invaluable time, which can be used to garner some much-needed time-out. You could even try giving up some of your existing commitments to make way for old or new activities.

Once you select the best time for you, decide how you’re going to use it. Taking time-out does not mean that you have to literally lock yourself away in a room for an hour or two.Neither does it mean that you have to take off for several weeks incognito.

Are you always on the go and in a hurry, being pulled in every direction? How about some good old doing-nothing time? Yes, go ahead, be brave, and do nothing during your scheduled time-out. After all it is your time to do as you please to get what you need for yourself.

Alternatively, choose an activity that relaxes you completely, warms your spirit, and flexes your mind. Have you been neglecting a favorite hobby or yearn to dabbling in one? Find joy once more in doing the things you love during your time-out.

Whether you spend your time-out alone or with other like-minded people remember that the time is yours. You shouldn’t feel pressured to achieve a certain level of relaxation or particular mindset. Whatever you do, it should draw you away from the usual cares and stresses of your day as it soothes and invigorates you. It should leave you feeling refreshed, energized and ready to resume your multi-faceted life.

More importantly, your time-out should recharge you with the resolve to live and function in a better and smarter way. Your new or renewed perspective should also allow you to be and give your best whatever life hurls in your path.

Your time-out? Book it. Cherish it. Relish every moment. Do it often.

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