In one of my training classes, I have asked my trainees to watch a video called the 70-minute hour by Dr. Jim Hennig. Dr. Hennig talks about how to be more productive and how to make the most out of each day, hurdling through the timelocks that most of us meet along the way. I have, in my training classes, also shared one of the ways in which one can be more productive. That is by having “Me time.” Yes, you heard it right. If you have time alone for yourself on a regular basis, you can be more productive.
Now being productive and having me time seem to be ideas that starkly oppose each other, but it’s something I’ve tried and tested. On the contrary, they actually go hand-in-hand. We all need a bit of alone time for ourselves, and when I say alone, it means that you should literally be alone, without company in the form of a human being. Right now, I am basking in the feeling of solitude, having the house all by myself even for just a couple of hours. You know that feeling when you just want to stay indoors, laze around, do nothing? I make it a point to have those moments, at least once a week even for just a brief period of time. That uninterrupted moment of quietude, that sheer bliss of knowing that you can lay still undisturbed or you can think out loud, you can sing, read, dance, or do absolutely nothing without having a care in the world.
An ideal me time for me is this: I have a good book in hand with complete silence around me, maybe except for my own thoughts and the constant whirring of the fan next to my bed. I can walk around the house, just prepare toast for dinner, like what I am planning to do right after typing this. I also like my me time even in the shower where I can get lost in my thoughts while the water rinses off the week’s stress away. Nothing fancy, and it’s just as simple as that.
And how can me time help me with my productivity? It helps me get ready for another week’s battle. At work, I always have my boss, my direct reports around me, my friends, colleagues. At home when everyone’s present during weekdays, I can hear the TV, or my mom, or the dogs playing. When I’m in the mall with friends, I’m obliged to talk and socialize. Most of my time is spent connecting with people and working. During these instances, my thoughts, words, feelings get all jumbled up, disarranged. Having too much to think of, having a lot of people to talk to, or having a lot of things to do simply drains the energy out of me. At the end of the week, I feel tired and my thoughts swirl around my head in a haze. The hustle and the bustle of this crazy world have made me realize how important it is to stop and smell the flowers. Me time, like a welcome respite from a long walk, sifts through the happenings in my brain the entire week. It aids me in rearranging my thoughts back in their boxes, zooming in on the important things to do while eliminating those which are of no use to me and will just add up to my worries. It sets up my schedule and updates my visual calendar. Me time allows me to relax, to stop worrying about things. It invites me to a fresh state where I can settle for the meantime and find my peace of mind. It brings back the strength that I have lost within the week. It re-energizes me, gearing me up for another round in the ring.
I truly appreciate times like these. I can’t think of a better way to start the week right.