6 ways to add some ‘you’ back into your life

So, there I was lying in bed (I’d only just woken up) I hadn’t even lifted my head from the pillow and I was already scrolling on my phone.

Just then Dave walked in and without even missing a beat said “you know they’re talking about you on Breakfast TV….people who check their phone first thing in the morning.”

And there it was…the morning slap in the face that I’d broken my number 1 rule!!

For me checking my phone first thing is an absolute no no. It was something that I used to do. It’s something that I advise others not to do, and it’s something that I worked really hard to get out of the habit. But isn’t that the way with some habits they creep back in when you’re not looking?

Anyway, for me this is a no no because it sets my day off to a rubbish start because it just makes me feel stressed and rushed before I’ve even get out of bed and who wants to start the day like that?

I’ve read the books and articles of the morning routines of really successful people. You know the ones. They get up early (I’m talking before 5am) exercise, meditate, have breakfast and then start work…and I’ve come to terms with the fact that this kind of routine will never ever be my thing (I’m not naturally a morning person at all, so exercising before breakfast would be Hell!) but even so, getting into the swing of the day in the right way is just as important, and for me that can’t be diving straight into social media or e-mails before I’ve washed the sleep out of my eyes.

In fact for me it goes a lot deeper than just checking my phone. It’s about self care, and this is something that I’ve really been focusing on this year, trying to put in place some really good habits that help me be at my best. It’s not always easy to do, but so often over looked. I’m sure I’m not alone here that the time spent focusing on other people far outweighs the time I take to look after myself. But unless you do start to shift that focus you’re not really going to be any use to anyone else. We’re all human after all.

So, how do you squeeze some much needed you time into an already packed schedule?

1. Have lunch away from your desk

That one hour or even 30 minutes is not going to make any difference at all to your to do list, but it’ll make all the difference to your body, your brain and your mind.

Give this a try – ask someone to go to lunch with you (as long as it doesn’t turn into a meeting)  If you’ve arranged to meet someone chances are you’ll turn up.

2. Take a break from email (or social media) every night

You know what your weakness is, whether it’s social media or e-mail doesn’t matter. Give yourself a holiday when you get home from work, and aim to re-charge yourself by doing other things.

Give this a try – tell people that this is what you plan to do, and ask them to keep tabs on you to make sure you stick to it.

3. Go for a walk

Having a walk every day is so good for you, and will really help you re-charge your batteries and re-gain your focus. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, just a quick walk round the car park or building is just as good.

Give this a try – Use your lunch time to grab some fresh air, or instead of having a sit down meeting suggest a walk round the block. Who says meetings have to be in a room sat down?

4. Do something that you enjoy

Build in some time in the week for a hobby that you enjoy. It’s great for mindfulness, meeting people, and reducing stress so definitely time well spent.

Give this a try – By joining a club and making a commitment to be a certain place at a certain time each week will really help you to turn up and you’ll have some time just for you each week.

5. Accept that your to do list will never ever be complete

A harsh one I know…but secretly you know this to be true. Your to do list will never ever be completely empty because there’ll always be something to fill it up.

Give this a try – Accept that you can only do as much as you can do each day and once you’re done, you’re done.

6. Don’t break your own rules

Finally, whatever you decide to do to start to sprinkle some self care into your routine, treat it as you would a really important commitment and keep your own rules.

Action point – What do you do to get some time back for you? Let me know by leaving a comment.



  1. keith myers

    switch off all your gadgets for 24 consecutive hours each weekend.
    This means that you will able to spend time with people and concentrate on just them, games with children, talking to friends. Or concentrate on yourself by reading a book, cooking or…whatever you want.

  2. Barbara Nixon

    I LOVE this Keith. What a great idea and I bet you feel amazing at the end of it as well. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m going to give this a try 🙂

    • Barbara Nixon

      Thanks Beth…PS – Love the name of your book.

  3. Gillian Gardner

    I removed work email from my cell phone. I *can* get to it if I try, but since it’s not right there, I don’t look at it in the evening or on the weekend. Not one person has complained that I am not accessible evenings and weekends.

    • HaDaMaRo2016

      Thats a great idea Gillian. Just goes to show how no one has complained, as often we’ll assume someone will and use that as a reason for not doing it. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Dick Krebs

    Great ideas. Thanks.

    • Barbara Nixon

      Thanks Dick.


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