Has it been ages since you were able to take a nap, read a book, or simply catch your breath? Finding "me" time isn't easy, but it can be done.
Step 1: Learn to say No Let’s face it: We all have friends we’ve outgrown and favors we do for lack of backbone. Learn when to put your needs before others.
Step 2: Make appointments with yourself When you’re planning your week or month, block chunks of free time for yourself, then honor them as you would a business meeting or a date with a loved one.
Step 3: Get organized Get yourself organized both at home (clean your closets, take care of mail as it comes) and at work (clean off your desk, create a filing system) so you don’t waste time looking for things.
TIP: Studies show we wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time, so getting rid of the excess will make selecting an outfit much faster.
Step 4: Start delegating See what tasks you can slough off on others – junior employees at work, your spouse, kids if you have them. If you can afford a housekeeper a few times a month, do it.
Step 5: Buy in bulk Cut down on trips to the store by buying as much as you can in bulk. Invest in a second fridge or a stand-alone freezer if you have the room.
TIP: When you do shop, go at off-peak times, like the early morning, after the lunch hour rush, and shortly before the store closes, and group your errands by location.
Step 6: Cut down on computer use Checking your email compulsively and surfing the web can eat up enormous amounts of time. Check your work email at a few set times during the day, and leave your home computer off except when you have a specific task to accomplish.
Step 7: Streamline errands Put an end to writing and mailing checks by paying all your bills online. If your health plan allows it, get your prescriptions by mail.
Step 8: Relax Relax and put your feet up – you’ve earned it!
FACT: American men do 2.7 hours of home-related work per day, versus 4.5 hours for women.