Life as a single parent is tough. I regularly find myself running in circles, or walking into rooms and forgetting why I went into them. Over the past few months, I have developed a few little habits which definitely help free up a bit more “me time”. So with that in mind, today I am sharing some ways to make more time for yourself. Don’t be expecting miracle life hacks from this post, but there’s a few little changes which can have a big impact.
Ways to make more time for yourself
The first thing I did to free up time was cut back on unnecessary trips out. For example, I work from home and would usually drop my son at school at 8.50am then nip to the supermarket. I didn’t really need anything – I just went out of habit. This habit meant that most days I wasn’t actually starting work until well after 11am.
I decided to limit my shopping trips to twice a week – Mondays and Fridays. This alone “bought” me around 6 hours of extra time a week. (Plus, I’ve also saved a good £30-£40 per week on unnecessary purchases as well).
This is such a counter intuitive thing to recommend in a post about ways to make time for yourself. But if you get no down time at all, your productivity is lower. Personally, I find I get more work done in 3 hours at my desk if I have chilled out earlier in the day than I do If I spend 6 solid hours “working.” Having set “work time” and “me time” definitely helps me be more focussed when I am working.
It doesn’t matter whether you do some yoga, read a book, or play a few game rounds of 3 Card Brag… The fact is, you need to allocate some time for yourself.
When you pick something up, make sure that it goes back to the right place when you’re done. This sounds so obvious, but I was terrible for putting stuff down with the intention of “moving it later”. As a result, clearing the dining table became a weekly job of doom.
If you don’t have a chore list, then now is the time to change that. I set aside every Tuesday morning to do the bulk of the cleaning. This then means I only have to tidy round for the other 6 days, and mop the floors as and when required.
The laundry is done twice a week, with the ironing happening the day immediately after the laundry… So it has a chance to dry. For me, setting reminders in my iPhone means I am held accountable. somehow, my phone telling me to do the ironing is harder to say no to.
By being organised, I can avoid those last minute rushes which used to sap my free time. Plus, I always have clean clothes!
Learn To Ask For Help
I have always struggled massively with asking anybody for help. Yet I am always the first to help others. Since becoming a single parent, I’ve had no choice but to reach out. Whether it be the kids’ Dad having them when my workload has been too much… Or my Auntie dropping off supplies when she’s been on her way home from work. The pressure was definitely released by doing this.
Finally, if this post on ways to make more time for yourself has been useful, check out my post on getting organised when working from home for more inspiration.