Being good at what you do is fantastic. It generates self-esteem and helps your career grow. As a result of that skill, people will come to you for assistance or advice, which means you can help others develop projects, adding your voice to what needs to be done.
Being in demand, however, has a time cost, one that can easily leave you feeling stressed or overwhelmed. You have to make time to mentally recharge or otherwise take care of yourself, especially if you tend toward being more introverted than extroverted.
That time can be hard to find. To help you make the most of your week, members of the Forbes Business Development Council suggest the following approaches for creating personal space:
1. Pay Yourself First
Work on your own development 10% of each day. In personal finance, there is a popular phrase to “pay yourself first,” which means automatically routing a specified savings contribution from each paycheck at the time it is received. Similarly, if you invest 10% of each working day on developing yourself, you will grow your confidence, value and independence, while significantly reducing fatigue. –Sasha Poljak
2. Follow the Two-Minute Rule
David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done, explains the two-minute rule. It simply states that if a task takes less than two minutes, then do it straight away. This eliminates procrastination, which reduces stress and allows you to stay organized, which grants you time to decompress at the end of the day. Practicing this rule will surely provide you with personal balance. –Dane Matheson
I am someone who has always put my professional life before my personal life on my priority list. This has resulted in many negative downsides, including weight gain and depression. I have found that allocating one hour to myself per day to do a physical activity — something I love, such as Muay Thai kickboxing — has had a tremendous effect on my performance at work and health overall. –Cortez Armond
4. Make Time for Music
I try to find 30 minutes in my day, usually at lunch, to walk away from my desk, put my headphones on and listen to music or a podcast. I intentionally try to zone out or focus on non-work items in order to disrupt and reset my thinking. Any distraction for that short period helps me refresh and refocus on pressing items. I’ve found by scheduling this unplugged time, I can maintain focus all day. –Christopher Kingman
5. Recharge Through Creativity
Creative thinking can help you refresh, recharge and bolster your ideas in all professional or personal domains. I like to take the time out to read poetry, write stories or doodle during the week. It is a great way to center yourself by finding depth in the chaos of your daily routine. Try and sit down with a blank piece of paper and a pen, and then express your state without using any words. –Farah Akhtar
6. Wake Up Early
Spending a couple hours in the morning drinking coffee, reading or working out before going into the office is the greatest luxury a working professional can give themselves. It’s totally within your control to give yourself more time at the beginning of the day before diving in. –Justin Stanwix
7. Leverage Your Commute Time to Decompress
As much as we all want to carve out time for ourselves, the reality is we often get pulled in a different direction given the demands of our everyday lives. One thing I can always count on in my day is commute time. Instead of driving, I take the bus and use the time to relax by reading or listening to music. Our Microsoft CFO, Amy Hood, openly talks about how she takes the bus and does this, too. –Rakhi Voria
8. Focus on Small Opportunities
Sometimes I find myself thinking, “When I get a day off, I’m going to…” Very seldom do I have a day to myself, so I’ve tried to change my thinking. Instead of waiting for a big opening to appear in my schedule, I look for small increments of time to recharge and regroup. Take advantage of small opportunities. You’ll be surprised at how much a 30-minute break may be just what you need. –Elizabeth Pritchett
9. Outsource Tasks
I’ve streamlined my entire life so that I have extra hours in the week. I get 100% of my food and shopping delivered, saving one to two hours a week; a full gym in my apartment, saving three hours a week commuting and checking into a gym; sold my car, and now only use Uber or Lyft; and use Upwork for remote tasks. This type of mindset saves hours a week, giving more time to recharge and using less energy overall. –Robin Farmanfarmaian
10. Don’t Give Up the Time You Set Aside
No matter what your profession, you should keep boundaries to preserve your work-life balance. Blocking time on your calendar to decompress is only half the battle: actually utilizing that time for personal care is the other. Hold yourself accountable to keeping the time you set aside for yourself. If you slip, then learn from the moment, reset and restart. –Tracy Avin
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