5 reasons to stop multitasking and take time for yourself

Stop doing everything for everyone else and start doing something for yourself. Take five minutes to read this article, we promise you won't regret it.


(Photo by Alvaro Goveia)

Multi-tasking — you’ve got it down to a sweet science. You’re working, taking care of the house, the pets and the kids; you’re making all the meals and planning summer vacations well into 2020. After all that, you still had time to clean the fridge and rearrange the linen closet.

Girl, you are a machine! But when it comes to taking care of yourself, that’s where you could use a little help.

Well, it’s time to change that. Here are five expert tips on how to stop doing everything, start taking care of yourself and enjoying your life a whole lot more.

1. Establish some revolutionary priorities!
Multi-tasking martyr, you’re putting everything and everyone above yourself. That’s how it’s supposed to be, right? Nope. But it is the reason why you’re brittle, exhausted and frequently find yourself crying in your car on the way to work.

Throw convention out the window and establish some revolutionary priorities, says Caird Urquhart, founder of Newroad Coaching and the author of 30 Ways to Better Days.

The order of priority should be “self, partner, kids,” says Urquhart, who admits that most women have a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea that their own personal happiness should rate above their loved ones.

The reasons to do so aren’t selfish, however; they’re practical.

“Marriages fall apart because the partner gets left out and so does self-care, and then it becomes all about kids, and this thing happens when you wake up at 45 and you don’t know who you’re married to or what your purpose is,” explains Urquhart.

2. Forget balance. Seek rhythm instead.
“Balance is bulls—t!” declares Urquhart. “Pretend you’re juggling: you’ve got three balls, and four balls and five balls in the air, and at some point you’re going to drop some because it just gets too hard. So, in actual fact, trying to balance everything, from taking the kids to gym class, to going to work in the morning, to feeding your husband, whatever it is, you’re actually becoming imbalanced.”

Rather than seek balance, which is impossible to achieve, seek to keep time with the rhythm of your life as it unfolds, says Urquhart.

“So, if the kids are tiny and you really want to be home with them then that becomes the priority and other stuff has to take a backseat.”

Conversely, if you don’t have kids or aren’t married and your career is the priority then decide it’s OK that you’re working 12 hours a day.

When you acknowledge the natural rhythm of your life at any given point you give yourself, “permission to actually be focused on something as opposed to everything,” says Urquhart.

3. Know what’s meaningful to you
Far too many of us get caught up in the minutiae of our lives, says Urquhart. Consequently we forget to think about how what we do reflects on our goals and aims.

If you’re so tired you can’t remember why you do what you do anymore, it’s time to redefine your values.

To do so, come up with five specific terms that mean something to you and how you want to live your life and then define the meanings she says.

“My top five values are passion, honesty, leadership, beauty and freedom,” shares Uruqhart. These five words come in handy when you’re deciding what to eliminate from your to do list or if your life is following the path you want it to.

“Everything I do in life has to honour those five words otherwise I don’t do it,” she says.

Are you passionate about getting three loads of laundry done before you go to bed? If not, give them a pass and instead spend the evening soaking in a hot tub or canoodling with your beloved.

4. Give the kids chores and personal space
Parents aren’t giving kids many of the same responsibilities that parents a generation ago would have, says Urquhart, which means the burden of domesticity is falling pretty heavily on the adults.

Give your kids a good head start in life by making them do things around the house, she advises. More important, trim the fat when it comes to your attendance at extracurricular activities.

“Part of what has happened in this generation is parents do everything with their children. When I was a kid, [my] mom would drop me off at basketball practice and leave. Now the parents sit there. That’s a waste of two hours of your life. There’s a coach to do that…you could be going off and doing your yoga class or reading a book or sitting with a friend having a coffee doing whatever fills you up.”

5. Do nothing for 24 hours
The dishes won’t get done — or at least they won’t be done they way you like them to be — and maybe you won’t be able to make that homemade pizza recipe that you printed out weeks ago — but give yourself permission to do nothing sometimes, says Urquhart.

Why would you do something so crazy? Because you deserve it. And the moment you realize that fundamental truth about your intrinsic value and right to enjoy your life — well, you can bet it’s a lost tastier than any artisanal pizza pie.

What’s one thing you do to ensure you’re taking time of yourself? Tell us in the comment section below. 

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