Have you ever struggled to say no to people? Have you felt that your boundaries have been overrun by people always taking “your time?” Have you felt like you need to make time for yourself?
Would you cancel and NOT turn up to a client, just because you did not feel like it? If you are a business owner, then the answer is probably no. The problem is, that we often do not show up for ourselves.
I recently had a business coaching client who said that she did not have time for herself. Time to recuperate so to speak. If she does set time aside to do so, she would often book in clients who could not see her during her available hours. What this means is that she is forever fitting into other people’s diaries and has very little time for herself, her education and her down time.
What time grabbers do you have?”
I have heard many people say that they don’t have time to learn new things, or to read a book. Or the other big ones, they don’t have time for exercise or healthy eating. This can be for many reasons and time grabbers. Here are just two general ones
Work can eat into your personal time and can lead to burn out. Little things like emails and calls after hours can create stress. In France, employers are not allowed to contact staff after 6pm. You can read more here. A similar stance has been adopted in Germany. Now as a business owner, I can appreciate working longer hours and that there are times when things just must get done. That debate is not for this article. What it does mean is that we all have a personal life. I know many people who are continuously on call and as such they life a stressful life as they can never really unwind or switch off. They are for ever expecting a call from work or clients.
How about those “needy” so called friends. There are those people who will call at all sorts of unsociable hours. Expecting that you chat with them then as it fits into their time schedule. Or they will expect you to drop everything else so that you can do something for them. I believe it is important to be there for your friends and family in a time of need. What is meant here, is that these people are not really in need, but “want.” The world won’t end if you don’t jump to their wishes right away, but they expect you to. If you don’t jump to their beck and call, they will hold it against you and tell you how awful you are. Laying guilt trips on you.
It is important to make time for yourself
If you are forever doing things for others and feel run down, then you need to make time for yourself. If you find that you are not getting time to do some of the things that are personally important, then you may want to see where you are spending your time.
Some people who don’t have time for themselves have said things like, they feel unfulfilled or undervalued. They feel that they are always doing things for others, but not for themselves. They don’t have time to invest in their own health and education. They feel stressed or over worked.
Do these things sound familiar?
So how do you do make time for yourself?
One way is to make an appointment with yourself. Example let’s say you use your default diary, which we have spoken about in a couple of other articles. Just like you add specific activities into your dairy, so you should add your “personal time.” Whatever it is that you want to spend your time on and wherever it fits into your schedule. The point is that you set that time aside and stick to it. It is just as important as setting an appointment with a client. You would not cancel that client appointment, so don’t cancel the one you have with yourself.
Coming back to the lady I was coaching. She said that if client’s say they can only see her during her “me time,” then she would cancel with herself as she did not know how to deal with that.
Here is a very easy technique that is used in sales. It is called an alternative close question. So you say to the client, “I have the following times available…” and you give them 2 or 3 options.
Then you ask, “Which would suit you best?”
So client has to choose a time that fits into your diary. Meaning that you would not typically cancel with one client to see another if there as already one booked into a time slot. Your time “me time” is just like that “other client.”
I appreciate there might be some times when the client says, I really can’t do any of those. That is fair. Then offer them some other time slots that are available in the future.
Let me ask you another question. If you really had to go to the doctor, dentist, optometrist or some other appointment and they gave you a time. Would you make time to get there? Of course you would. In the same way, most clients will make time to see you during the times you have available. Of course these times differ from business to business and some would be after hours. You would know your industry best.
The point of the article is simply that you need time to focus on your own well being and things that are important to you. You don’t live to work. You work to live. It is important to have balance.
As always, if you have any problems mentioned in the article, please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help. Working with a coach can have a massive impact in a person’s life.
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