5 Ways to Find Time for Yourself

Self on 09.23.11
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Photo:Britt Reints

You already know that it's important to take care of yourself. A happy mom makes for a happier family, after all. But when are you supposed to find time to take care of yourself amidst everything else you have to handle during the day?

1. Turn off the TV.

turn off the tv

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I know what you're thinking: watching TV is your "me time". But if you look at your list of things-you-wish-you-had-time-for, does "more Dancing With the Stars" make the cut? Most of us end up watching hours of TV out of habit. Kick the habit and you'll find more time to do the things that really enrich you, like finally writing that book or planting that garden. Try canceling the cable for a few months or moving the television out of the living room if you need a little help breaking the cycle.

2. Hire a house cleaner.

hire a housecleaner

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Imagine coming home from work and being able to pick up a paint brush instead of a dust rag, or having your weekends free for at-home facials instead of mopping. Before you say you can't afford it, make a few calls to find out how much it would really cost to have a house cleaner come twice a month. You may be surprised how little those extra hours will cost financially. In most places you can make up the price by cutting your cable, giving you two time savers for the price of one!

3. Organize a carpool with other parents.

organize a carpool

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Do you find you're spending several hours a day playing chauffeur to your kids? You're not alone. Reach out to other parents at your child's school as well as the moms and dads you see at karate class and piano lessons. Organizing a carpool can score you a morning or afternoon away from the minivan a few times a week and might even land you a new friend or two.

4. Go to bed earlier.

go to bed early

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How will going to sleep give you more time? A good night's rest makes it easier to get up earlier the next day, but it also makes you more productive. With a sharper mind and better focus you can get through your task list faster, leaving you more time (and energy) for having fun.

5. Get organized.

get organized

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Clutter and disorganization at work and home means you waste time looking for stuff. Get organized to reclaim those lost minutes, which can quickly add up to extra hours. What needs to be organized? Get mail and bills together to make financial chores go more smoothly. Next, take a look at what items you are constantly putting away (shoes? homework and backpacks? books and movies?) and create systems for keeping those messes in check.

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