Una's Blog


Una’s little world 43. Budgeting your time and energy

by Una Hearne.

Those of us blessed (Eh?*!?*!?) with a chronic illness are forced to develop a high level of expertise in budgeting our very limited energy. But it’s not just we who need these skills is it? It’s you too. Not even the highest energy people can do everything they want to nowadays. There are endless possibilities in  work, home, social life, leisure, study, travel, etc. No one can fit into one lifetime everything that is available to do.

Does your life feel in balance? Do you experience peace and happiness every day? If not, would you like to?

The good news is you can. YAY!

The bad news is you are the only person who can make this happen in your life. BOO! Sorry. It’s not easy so you have to decide if it is worth it for you.

Here are my suggested steps. I’m not claiming they are definitive or will work for you. Take what is useful for you and ignore the rest freely. 🙂

  1. Radical acceptance of your current reality, no matter what it is. This is where you are at and you cannot start anywhere else.
  2. Identify YOUR priorities in life. This is not selfish. Think about it, if your priorities include your relationships, then obviously you are going to put time and energy into them – so it’s good for the people around you too.
  3. Ditch anything you are putting your time and energy into because you think you ‘should’. Ditch other people’s priorities. Your priorities are the things YOU WANT in your life.
  4. Get a calendar or diary and mark off the times allocated to your priorities and commitments – loved ones, work, hobbies etc. Keep reserves of time – at least a third of your time should be left free. Stop laughing – I’m serious! Seeing free time brings peace immediately. And unexpected things will crop up, you need to know you have the capacity to deal with them without having to put other plans on hold consistently. Do the best you can on this one.
  5. Parents are still laughing at the last step so this step is particularly for you – and still essential for everyone. Budget time for yourself. I don’t care if it is only 10 minutes a day – it’s your time for you. You need time to recharge your batteries. A depleted person has little to offer anyone else, including your children. Protect your ‘me’ time for others’ benefit.
  6. Marking off time/energy which is allocated already shows you there are things you cannot manage at the moment. You are not alone, most of us are over-committed these days. Take these off your list, you can keep them on a separate future list. If there are things you find particularly difficult to let go of-  Ask yourself: If letting this go for now frees you up to fully enjoy life, to be stress free and happy, is it worth it for you? There’s your incentive.

Consciously choosing what to give your time and energy to is the key to being able to live in the present and enjoy what you are doing now. No matter what your level of energy.

PS: in case you think I have cracked this one myself – this blog happens to be a timely reminder for me too. Ouch!

Una x


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