Gandhi famously said that we all have the same 24 hours in the day.

What he forgot to mention was that we all don’t have the same things to fit into those 24 hours!

As I sit here typing, I’m [really-not-so-blissfully] ignoring the pile of washing and ironing, the dishes in the sink that need to move past the ‘soaking’ cycle and the school notes that I should have already read, completed and returned.

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The two-year-old shoulder high pile of magazines that really need to be raped and pillaged for fantastic quick dinner ideas, is sure to fall on my dog … again … soon. And then there’s the clean-up after my daughter’s slumber party that should have been done three days ago – ahhh, closed doors are a joyous thing.

But I’m not alone. There are thousands of us struggling with the same thing – too many things and not enough time to do them.

Do you reminisce about when you did have the time? I sure do.

Can you remember what it felt like to sit alone in a quiet room [yes, even the toilet] and have the time, space and confidence to think? Is there a new career or project you’re dreaming of, or do you just want to find time to jot down your thoughts?

You can do it

I’m NOT about to tell you to set a schedule and stick to it.

Personally I’m sick to death of reading books, articles and posts about juggling, setting goals and fitting things in around your time constraints and everyone else. Getting up one hour earlier is for the birds, let alone staying up an hour later – I’ve got sheep to count.

There are just two important things to remember:

  1. This is your life too – once and once only [that you’ll know about] – so make sure you’ve lived the width of it as well as the length.
  2. Time is the one irreplaceable resource in your life. Use it well.

If there’s something that means the most to you, find the time to do it.

It’s time to do *your* stuff – no matter what.

Become a time-thief

Perceptions are often misleading.

Officially I may be a freelance copywriter, but I still struggle to find/make/steal/borrow time to write … even though it’s my living. I’ve found integrating something that stretches me into places I yet want to inhabit in myself – in my case writing – and motherhood, has been tough. I’m not sure I’ll ever win the battle [to my satisfaction].

But I decided not to choose one over the other; I found an alternative.

I became an outlaw – a bandit – and I chose my bootie with care.

From anyone and anywhere I could …

I stole time.

No one was safe

I was ruthless; plundering and stealing time from wherever I could find it.

Once I set out thieving, I was amazed where I stole it from, and how it found me. It was often in the most unexpected places.

I stole time from my BFF, my mother, my friends, my husband – it all added up to extra time for me to feed my spark of madness.

Some willingly made a contribution to my bootie. Others, not so … but they didn’t realise until after it was gone from their time-bank and deposited in mine.

Even my kids weren’t spared.

When I asked my kids to make sure their clothes were ‘right way out’ when they went in the dirty pile, it saved me about 4 seconds per item, times an average of 5 items per day – 20 seconds per day. Seven days a week, that’s 140 seconds a week or 560 seconds a month – 9 minutes per month, times 2 children = 18 minutes extra per month.

I stole back 3.5 hours each year, for me, with just one tiny theft from each child.

Save your friends

Each of us has their own treasure they’re seeking – time to think, cook, read, write, shop, relax, create or be alone. And let’s face it: it’s insanely hard to do it all, especially on your own. We all need help.

Look around. Ask around.

Perhaps there’s another Mum you know who’s trying to find time to do the work that means the most to her. Do you have something – time/space/connections – that could bring her closer to living her dream?

Work out what you’ve got to offer and consider contributing.  That way they won’t have to steal and become a ruthless outlaw, like I did. Instead, give them joy.

Give what you can.

Life’s too short not to share your bounty.

What can you share?

How do you find the time you need to do what you love? Have you stolen from your friends and family? Please leave your thoughts in the comments….

Other posts in the series:
Mummy Blogging 101: Try it, it’s addictive
Mummy Blogging 101: 5 fundamentals of setting up house
Mummy Blogging 101: Getting your writing mojo on
Mummy Blogging 101: Write a blog post that stinks …
Mummy Blogging 101: 5 free image sites to help tell your story, legally!
Mummy Blogging 101: The ABC’s of writing a blog post



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  • i have checked out your site really quickly and will return later. i like how you scroll and the words pop out at you, that effect is pretty awesome

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  • Great information. Always a struggle to find time.

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  • I never thought about my time in this way, I tend to always think of my time as time to get everything done for everyone else. Great article, very interesting idea.

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  • Wohoooo. Good article. Being mum I think we all at some point forget about ourselves.

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  • I steal time by leaving early to pick the kids and reading while I wait.

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  • when they recommend you get up early, I do wonder how much sleep they think you need

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  • Yes I stay up late to get things done.

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  • I still try to steal time when little one is having his afternoon nap! But I’m also guilty of staying up too much!

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  • My me time is staying up late, whole house and peace and quiet to myself.

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  • Loved this article. Thanks. I tend to stay up too late and never get enough sleep. I really need to find other ways of stealing some me time!

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  • I enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing.

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  • I try to take time for to meet friends for a coffee once a week, I feel so much better when I have stopped and give myself an hour or so just to relax and have a chat.


    • Agreed, great to catch up with a friend or two even if it’s for an hour.

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  • Thanks needed to here that

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  • I love this part of your mummy blog

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  • So true some times we have to make time for ourselves.

    Reply

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