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9 Ways to Get More Out of Your Day

Time to Ignore the Hourglass
-- By Life Coach Mary Guarino, Ph.D.

Do you always feel pressed for time? You're running from work, to the store, to the doctor, and back again. The routine, even in your pregnancy, is not getting any easier. If so, you are certainly not alone. Last October, millions of Americans participated in the first annual "Take Back Your Time Day," a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University. The idea arose as a way to make the public aware of the "epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine" in our society.

Lack of time can be detrimental to our physical, emotional and spiritual health, 3 things that become extra-important when carrying a child. When we are pressed for time, we tend to exercise less, eat foods for their convenience rather than their nutritional value, have less time to interact with our families and friends, and spend little, if any time, on self-development and spiritual growth.

Here are some simple ways you can begin to take back some of your time:
  • Set aside a certain amount of time each day just to do what you want to do. How about 1 hour each day? If that's not "possible," start with smaller increments of time, say 15 minutes, and work your way up. Want to spend time in the garden? Go for it. Need a nap? What's stopping you?
  • Doing part of something is better than doing nothing. Even if you can't complete a task or a project, it is better to take a small "chunk" out of it rather than letting the whole thing slide until later. Get things done on days that your body isn't fighting you with fatigue, back ache, or morning sickness.
  • Learn to say "No." This isn't always easy, but it can make a world of difference. Even if you don't want to say "No" completely, try to set limits around how much you will do and when. Taking care of yourself, hands down, is the most important thing for these 9 months. Worry about helping other people second.
  • Bundle your tasks. Save up non-urgent errands so that you can do those that are logistically close to one another.
  • Delegate. How much is your time worth? It may be worth the cost of hiring someone to do things like mow your lawn, clean your house, AND you will be purchasing the precious commodity of time. It's more than okay to ask for help.
  • Do the yucky stuff first. Take care of the tasks that you dislike so that you don't waste precious mental time ruminating about not having done them!
  • Are the things you feel you "have" to do really necessary? It can be easy to get caught up in the details to the detriment of the big picture.
  • Take an honest look at the activities and people in your life that are "energy drainers." Do they need to be part of your life? What would happen if you eliminated or reduced your time spent on/with them? Surround yourself with supportive individuals and positive pursuits throughout your pregnancy.
  • And, most importantly, set aside time each week to do something special. Make sure that, no matter how busy you are, you take time to play. Spending time with friends, outdoors, at the movies, whatever makes you happy, is essential in helping you be the most focused and effective you can be with your time.

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Member Comments About this Article
Yea i have certainly learnt how to No" and set my limits, sometimes i feel i am been selfish and then i console myself with the fact i am pregnant. I have put worring about others second" -- OTEGAH
"Just wanted to post regarding your comment about wondering whether it's better to rest or to exercise when pregnant. It's a great question, and the answer depends on several factors;
-If you are behind on sleep (not getting a good nights sleep or not getting 8 hours) and you're feeling tired, it's a good idea to take a nap instead of exercising. Your body is being challenged all day with the needs of pregnancy, and if the choice is rest or exercise when you're feeling physically exhausted, yo..." -- CATHY_CRAM_MS
"Buttercup, you have it nailed on the head. Overtime = money saved for maternity leave while my husband continues his college education. So what's stopping me from taking that nap? How about a 30 minute lunch break and those strange looks when I put my head down on my desk and snore! lol Then the next question is: whats more important? Going to bed early because I'm wiped out or exercising because it's healthy for the baby and good for labor?" -- JLINKE
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About The Author
Mary Guarino, Ph.D.
Mary is a life coach who specializes in helping people evaluate and improve their lives. She earned a doctorate in lifespan developmental psychology and a coaching certificate from the Institute for Life Coaching.
Dr. Mary Guarino


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