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How to Make Time for your Soul

How to Make Time for your Soul

by Suzanne Falter-Barns

The locusts are buzzing. The fireflies flashing, and we can almost swim in Lake Champlain . That means it’s just about popsicle weather, which is the perfect time to get serious about your dream. There’s more daylight, less squeeze in schedules, and more time to connect with your soul.

These are some great ways to tweak your routine to better serve your dream. Dig in before the summer slips by. Your heart will thank you!

  • Unplug your television. Even better, completely remove it. Or put a lock on it. You can find them at Time Scout or Eyetimer.
  • Cancel your subscriptions. Get rid of anything you don’t read. I just gave up The New Yorker (which I’d ‘read’ for 26 years … or let pile up.) If I can do it, you can, too!
  • Make regular ‘soul’ time every day. If you’re a morning person, get up one hour earlier and dig into your projects. If you’re a night person, stay up one hour later.
  • Time your projects. Determine before you start just how long you’re willing to work. Then prepare to be pleasantly surprised when you make your deadline. We used this to write our songs for my new show (see below) and it worked like a charm.
  • Don’t waste your lunch hour eating. Bring lunch to work, eat it briefly at your desk, and then get out there and do what really matters to you.
  • Stop agreeing to do things you don’t truly want to do. This includes volunteering, meeting friends and family, and serving on committees.
  • Redesign your work schedule. Create one day or several afternoons a week to concentrate on the things you really want to do in life. Explore flex-time alternatives in your workplace. Consider telecommuting, working from a home office, or going free-lance with your company.
  • Put the kids to bed earlier. Establish ‘grown up’ time, a time zone when all children are in bed (even if they’re only looking at books or listening to tapes before going to sleep) and the adults get to have a little room to breath.
  • Cut corners cooking. Take advantage of gourmet take-out and grocery-store fast foods, such as prewashed salad, precut vegetables, and premarinated chicken.
  • Stop answering the phone. Return calls during a pre-scheduled set time each day that works for you. Or better yet, email a reply, and post your email on your answering machine as a better way to get in touch.
  • Divide up the housework. Hand over the laundry and vacuuming to your mate. Teach your children to do dishes, cook meals and mop floors. And be willing to give up control of the end results. Read Patricia H. Sprinkle’s book, Children Who Do Too Little ; Why Your Kids Need to Work Around the House (and How to Get Them to Do It) for terrific pointers on how to make this happen.
  • If you can’t relax your standards, delegate. Hire local teenagers, professional housecleaners, or even a temp service to help you clear out your desk, answer correspondence, pay bills, organize closets, walk the dog — whatever you can give up that makes more time for you.
  • Do something you truly love. Once you’ve created this time for yourself, use it wisely. Take on the challenges and dreams that really will improve your life. Chances are that once you start, it will be very hard to stop.

Best of all, thank yourself for doing that work that you are truly meant to do … and not so much of the other stuff that slows us all down.

Suzanne Falter-Barns is an internationally known author and speaker whose work has been featured in Woman’s Day, SELF, More, Fitness, and more than 100 radio and TV shows. Pick up her free article, ’36 Guaranteed Time Savers’ at ©2005 Suzanne Falter-Barns LLC.

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