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7 Ways To Declutter Your Calendar And Make Time For Self-Care

make time for self care

Declutter To Reinvent: Cat Coluccio

Finding time for self-care can feel impossible in today’s busy and chaotic world with tight schedules and endless to-do lists, it’s one of those things we tend to push aside when life gets busy.

Taking good care of ourselves however is essential to our overall physical and mental wellbeing. Our wellbeing directly impacts our relationships, our mood, and our productivity. Rather than neglecting it, self-care should be a non-negotiable in our weekly schedule. 

“As always, choose the ones that best fit you.”

So how do you start when your planner is already full to the brim? 

I’ve got you! Time management can be a difficult challenge in our always-connected world, but I’ve compiled seven ways to declutter your calendar that you can start using today – all of which have been tried and tested by yours truly over the years. As always, choose the ones that best fit you. The last thing I want is you getting stressed about scheduling your self-care!

7 Ways to Declutter Your Calendar and Make Time for Self-Care:

Before we dive into my seven tips, I want to invite you to complete a small exercise. Grab yourself some paper and a pen and answer the following question: what does self-care look like to me? Once you’ve created a list of your ideal self-care activities, estimate how long each might take. Then determine if they are something that you want to do daily, weekly, or monthly. This way, when you are working through the seven tips to find space in your calendar, you’ll have a time goal in mind. 

Examples to get you thinking might be: 

  • Daily: turn off devices and read for 30 minutes each day. 
  • Weekly: experience a 60 minute walk or hike in nature.
  • Monthly:  book lunch and a pedicure with a girlfriend.

Time For Self-Care:

#1 Prioritize Your Tasks:

There’s an important distinction between urgent and important tasks, and recognizing this is the first step towards streamlining your schedule. When you can prioritize tasks according to their significance for both work and life, you’ll feel more in control of your time, rather than always scrambling to respond to emails, calls, and meetings. Feeling like you’ve never got enough time to do the things you want to do.

A great way to assess the priority of your tasks is by using the Eisenhower Matrix to categorize them into four quadrants: urgent and important; urgent but not important; not urgent but important; and not urgent or important. This strategy will assist you to identify and focus on which tasks matter the most, while reducing schedule clutter. I encourage you to print out the diagram below and fill it in. 

Screenshot 2024 03 15 063847

#2 Delegate:

Delegating tasks isn’t about dodging responsibility; rather, it allows your schedule to breathe when you assign tasks to others. At work, consider delegating tasks that can be managed effectively by others, while in your personal life, have a look at all of the chores you do. Is it time for a family meeting to talk about sharing the load more evenly, or would it be worth hiring a cleaner or gardener every now and then, to help you free up some time? 

#3 Develop The Habit Of Saying “No” And Create Boundaries:

We often overcommit ourselves by automatically agreeing to multiple engagements or tasks when in reality, we don’t actually have the time or bandwidth to cope. As well, it’s easy to slip into constant “work mode” when you take your work home with you, or if working for yourself, never officially “close” for the day. 

Setting boundaries to protect your work-life balance will go a long way in helping you find time for your chosen means of self-care. As well, if you have been a people pleaser, learning to say no can feel challenging, (trust me, I know this first hand!) however it’s incredibly freeing when you realize that you are not obligated to attend everything you are invited to. Make it part of your routine to decline any invitations that don’t align with your personal or professional goals, or are simply unrealistic given your current tasks and responsibilities.

“Delegating tasks isn’t about dodging responsibility…”

#4 Time Blocking:

Time blocking is a technique where specific periods of time are set aside for specific activities, as opposed to trying to do everything at the same time. Estimate how much time is necessary for daily and weekly tasks, before grouping them together into specific time slots. For instance, try grouping all administrative duties together into one session, and schedule creative work when you are most focused and productive. Many entrepreneurs that I know will dedicate a day a week for content creation and a half day each week for personal errands such as dental or hair appointments. You’ll be amazed at how your productivity rockets when you implement time blocking and focussed on one task at a time.

#5 Avoid Multitasking:

The antithesis to time blocking is multitasking – a trap that so many of us women fall into. Multitasking may appear efficient on the surface, but virtually always results in lower productivity. Instead of spreading your attention across various tasks at the same time, focus on accomplishing one thing at a time – be it in your professional or your personal life. This way, you’ll ensure that each task receives your full focus. Meaning that you are able to tick things off your schedule, leaving time for your self-care commitments.

#6 Digital Detox:

With today’s constantly connected world, our schedules can become overwhelmed with emails and notifications from multiple sources. Set aside specific times each day to check your social media accounts, emails, and messages, rather than being constantly available. Consider turning off mobile data or Wi-Fi when you are working on other tasks or engaging in self-care activities – trust me, it’ll be a challenge at first, but soooo worth it!

“Multitasking may appear efficient on the surface, but virtually always results in lower productivity.”

#7 Plan Your Me-Time:

There’s no point clearing your schedule for self-care if you have no self-care booked! Remember that exercise I asked you to do at the beginning? Now’s the time to add your daily, weekly and monthly self-care activities to your planner. Be it going to the gym, taking time to write, attending a weekly church meeting, or learning how to garden. It needs to be written down and given the same weight of importance as your other tasks. 

Simplifying your schedule so you can fit in your self-care activities involves making conscious choices. And is totally worth the effort. While it might feel a tad selfish to start saying no and being less available than you used to be, it’s important to remind yourself that when you prioritize taking care of yourself, you are better able to show up as your best self across all aspects of your life, be that your work, your hobbies, your friendships and your family.

Declutter Your Schedule:

Take the time now to sift through and declutter your schedule, prioritize your self-care, and book in time for those activities that nourish your mind, body and spirit. Your future self will thank you!

Fed up with feeling overwhelmed with all of the “stuff” in your home, on your devices and in your schedule? Want to simplify your life but aren’t sure where to begin?

Additional resources can be found in Cat’s bio below.

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Cat Coluccio

About the Author:

Cat Coluccio is a qualified Educator, Personal Trainer and Life Coach – and a champion of midlife women. She is the host of the Rocking Midlife® Community and Podcast, and the author of a number of books, including 21 Hacks to ROCK your Midlife.  Join my FREE 30 Day Love your Home Decluttering Challenge for 30 days of email prompts to help you fall in love with your home once more!

Cat is passionate about helping midlife women create fulfilling and purposeful lives yet understands how challenging it can feel to consider reinvention when your world is already so incredibly full. Hence she firmly believes that the first step to building the life that you desire in your next season, is to declutter and create space right now – be that physically, mentally or digitally.

10 Tips to Simplify your Life is a workbook Cat wrote to help break the feeling of overwhelm that clutter brings – and even better, it is her FREE gift to you. Download your copy and start simplifying your life today! Available >>>> HERE <<<<