TimeHave you ever noticed that there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to take care of everything and everyone, much less ourselves? However, there are 86,400 seconds in a day, so how is it that we can’t seem to find 60 of them to take a breath? Starting today, schedule time to take care of your most important asset… YOU.

1.    Write – One way to eliminate or seriously reduce stress is to write down what you need to get done. Most stress is created by our minds running wild with thoughts like, how am I going to get it all done, am I forgetting something, what do I need to do today, etc. Start using a things-to-do list. It doesn’t have to be fancy; just get a simple legal pad of paper or the notepad on your Blackberry will do. If you simply write down what needs to be done you will free up your mind and instantly be more focused and get more done.

2.    24 hour rule – We all have a tendency to take on too much and try to please everyone. Many times we say yes to things that we later wish we had said no to. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can take advantage of you without your permission.” From now on, take a deep breath and instead of instantly saying yes, say “let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you tomorrow.” Or, “I might have something on my calendar already, so let me check and get back to you.” This gives you the opportunity to think it over and find a way to say no if you choose to. 

3.    Stay in the moment – Many times we don’t use the present moment effectively because we’re projecting into the future or reflecting on the past. If you’re dwelling on the past, remember no matter how much you ponder on something that has already happened, it isn’t going to change.  It is what it is. Same goes for the future. Why get upset about something that hasn’t and may not happen? Think about where you are now, and what you can do in this present moment to make the best of any situation.

4.    Set an alarm – It’s amazing what 30 minutes can do for you. If you like to have a quiet cup of coffee first thing in the morning then set the alarm and get up 30 minutes earlier than usual. Or if you’re more of a night person, schedule 30 minutes into your evening after everyone is in bed to have some quiet time to yourself.

5.    Set the Standard – We’ve all heard of the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. I have decided that we can do better. Start exercising what I call the Platinum Rule.  Do unto ourselves as we would do unto others. So often we treat everyone else better than we treat ourselves. Start treating yourself as well as you do everyone around you. Look in the mirror and give yourself a compliment. If you aren’t going to appreciate you, why should anyone else?

There you have it. Make these five simple steps a habit and use them every day to take the time to take care of you.