Updated: Oct 8, 2022
When life is busy and too many hours just seem to slip by, setting an intention can help you with time management.
You’re out there being busy and living your life, and you only have so much time to do the things you need and want to do. How do you manage your time between work, sleep and raising a family? And how much of that time is spent on self-care?
Get self-care ideas delivered to your inbox monthly and 25% off my books when you register for the Nourish Note newsletter.
If you really want to see where your time is going, start with looking at the 168 hours you have to divvy up in a week. I’ll use my schedule as an example.
56 hours a week are spent sleeping. (This is the category that tends to get time borrowed from when life becomes overwhelmingly busy.)
50 hours a week are spent working, including commuting and getting ready for work.
15 hours a week are spent cooking/preparing meals and eating.
At least 15 hours a week are spent running errands, taking showers, giving baths, putting the kids to bed, packing lunches, doing dishes, doing laundry, folding laundry, putting away the laundry (basically, a lot of laundry!) and other household tasks.
5 hours a week are spent exercising and practicing yoga.
That leaves 27 hours of time not working, sleeping, exercising or eating, and these 27 hours become an all-consuming gray area. This time is often gobbled up quicker than a Thanksgiving dinner by driving the kids’ to their activities and appointments, birthday parties, responding to emails, reading paperwork, signing forms, keeping up with social media and other many other commitments. This is also the bucket of hours where my meditating, journaling and reading come from.
Obviously, many weeks look different, but this is the basic structure of how my time is spent as a working mom.
Get super curious about who you are and how you want to manage your time.
Many of us, and let’s just be real here—the majority of us—are left with mere hours or minutes to spend our waking hours on things that we want to do but we don’t actually do because the day tends to get away when taking care of others and of other things.
What would happen if you sprinkled in a few hours to do what you want to do every week as a radical act of self-love? A dash of meditation there. A journal entry here. Whoa. You rebel.
Stay with me on this for a moment.
I’m a woman of my word. If I say something, I do it. I’m committed to honoring that. If I don’t follow through and do what I say I’m going to do, I’m not just breaking a commitment to other people, I’m breaking a commitment to myself, too. It's not just about what I say, it's also about what I do.
My mom was right. Actions speak louder than words.
What helps me commit to following through with saying what I’m going to do every day? I set an intention to help me manage my time.
I borrowed this idea from the intentions I set at the start of every yoga class. Sometimes it’s the same intention I set the practice before and other times it’s something new. Setting an intention provides me with focused attention on my intention.
Practice It: Set an Intention to Help You Manage Your Time
Intention helps set a clear path—a road that doesn’t yet have tread marks on it because you’re the first person to travel through it. Setting an intention is like sticking to your list at the grocery store. It serves as a guide to keep you on track and accountable to what you really want and need.
So what do you want your day to bring? What do you need it to bring?
Ask your heart. Silently repeat your intention. Write it down. Say it out loud. Let it guide you today.