Read what happened to Karen when she didn’t make more time for herself.
Karen was a respected faculty member at a prestigious university. She had a full course load, was married with children and was primarily the one who managed her home and family life. Like many career women, she did it all.
Karen had grown up with an alcoholic dad and a mom who was domineering. This environment had contributed to Karen’s eagerness to please as well as a nagging lack of self-confidence. As the oldest child in her family, she became the “responsible one,” and took it upon herself to take care of everyone else. Despite these early challenges, she managed to overcome many of her personal obstacles to achieve a successful career and life.
Over the years, her desire to succeed, her perfectionist tendencies, her need to please and take care of everyone, along with the growing stress of more responsibility at work, had taken their toll on her and she developed very serious skin and thyroid conditions. She had to get her health back. Her doctor suggested she find ways to make more time for herself to relax and relieve her stress.
Karen needed to get her life back on track, to manage her stress and manage her time so she could increase her productivity, make more time for herself, and take better care of her health.
Karen was feeling overwhelmed by her job, by everything coming at her and all the requests for her time. She didn’t know how to set boundaries, how to say “no.” She needed help getting her life back on track, managing her stress and managing her time so she could improve her productivity, make more time for herself, and take better care of her health.
Karen was having difficulty finding more time to focus on herself and just relax. Every time she tried to find a moment alone at home and went into the family room to meditate, her family would interrupt her. They thought she was just “resting” and was still available to them.
Karen’s family wasn’t respecting her time because Karen hadn’t told them she needed time to be alone, to relax and unwind from the stress of her day. Furthermore, she made herself available to them by choosing the family room as a place to find peace and quiet. Who can find peace and quiet in a family room? Especially when you have a family!
I told Karen, “If you don’t respect your time and find more time for yourself, no one else will respect your time either.”
This was a pattern Karen had developed at home as well as at work, but she didn’t realize it. She didn’t respect her own time and by making herself available to everyone all the time and not communicating her needs, she’d chosen not to set boundaries for herself or with people around her.
I advised Karen to find a quiet place at home where she could relax undisturbed, where she could close a door and not be found for 15 or 20 minutes. We set some ground rules and boundaries for her time with her family and colleagues and she began to tell them when she needed time to be undisturbed. We discussed ways to avoid being interrupted at work so she could focus. I taught her techniques to relieve her stress and focus her mind and ways to say “no” without feeling guilty, ashamed or uneasy.
This practice helped Karen avoid a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication with her family and colleagues and gave her the freedom to find more time for herself to release her stress and take care of her health. Gradually with practice, Karen was able to make herself and her time a priority. Her thyroid condition improved and her skin condition cleared up as she learned how to respect and manage her time.
Today, Karen is healthy again. She still experiences stress like all of us, but now has the tools to manage it and she’s enjoying her job, her life and her family while making more time for herself.
If this story sounds all too familiar and you need to find more time for you, then listen to my interview on Time Management Radio where Rosemary Tator and I go even deeper on this subject and discuss easy ways you can capture all the information and chaos coming at you and still make more time for yourself.
Do you know how to make more time for yourself? Please comment and share.
Kathryn McKinnon is an executive coach dedicated to helping you change the way you spend your time so you can change your life. This story, along with time management tips and strategies to save more time are found in Triple Your Time Today! on Amazon. If you’d like to hear easy ways you can make more time for you, go to: http://webtalkradio.net/internet-talk-radio/time-management-radio/. If you want help changing the way you or your team spend time and are ready for personal or corporate coaching or training, contact Kathryn McKinnon at support@Kathryn-McKinnon.com. Discover how to make more time for you.