Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The New Year Project: Making More Time for Happiness

Ok, so far for our New Year Project, we've looked at what makes us happy, and we've also looked at what barriers there may be to our goals/happiness. So I think it's time we had a look at what we're going to do to make sure we have time to do the things that keep us happy.

Here are some of the things that have worked for me so far:

1. Avoiding time-suck sites. I used to spend hours on Facebook and Pinterest. Sure, they made me happy at the time, but if I look back and think about it, I was mostly left envious of others and lusting after whatever pretty room/item/destination and mentally wailing, "Why does my life not look like that?!"

2. Being conscious of how I spend my time. Ok, I know I said avoid time-suck things, but I can't avoid Instagram. I'm addicted to it. So what I do, is limit my time on it. Or try and sneak it in at down times (like when I'm waiting for the kettle to boil and can't really do much of anything else).

3. Prioritise and schedule REALISTICALLY. I love making lists. I do, I seriously do. Nothing gives me the satisfaction of a day complete when I've crossed everything off a to-do list. But it used to never end and I kept having to rewrite the list for the next day, and feeling disgruntled because it feels like I got nothing done. So I changed the way I did the lists. I put realistic time-limits next to each item, so I have an idea of how I'm spending my day. I even schedule in the activities that make me happy.

4. Find happiness where you can. I know it sounds really corny, but sometimes we just have to pause and find something in our surroundings that makes us happy. It could be just simply really tasting your yummy lunch, or looking up at the sky.

5. Know that you can't do everything. As much as it's painful to admit, there really is a very limited number of hours to do the things we love, so try not to overload your plate.

6. If you procrastinate like me, find an incentive. Or come up with a system that works for you. Some days I just cannot be bothered, and I get crankier because I've run out of time for anything else. The system that worked for me was sandwiching my love-to-do's between my have-to-do's. For example: one weekend I have to clean the bathroom, do the laundry, clear out my closet. Somewhere in there I'd squeeze in an hour for a nap or a furious Instagram-liking session as my 'reward'.

How will you make more time for happiness?

take care,

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  1. time-suck sites are the worst. I've made a conscious decision to stop following and checking-in on websites that I don't engage with. Yes it's pretty, but there are lots of pretty things around me, so unless I'm engaging with the site or the author, I'm not going to go poking around. it's saved me so much time already! All the best with this project Toni :)

  2. Sounds like you're on a good path. It's so easy to make goals and then not follow through because they're missing what you're doing right here. I'm a huge fan of lists and the like. I use springpad it's amazing, free, and syncs with all your devices! What are you using to keep your lists? I really appreciate the parts about scheduling things on your list that make you happy AND noting the small things.

  3. This is such a great list! It is so true about Facebook, twitter and pinterest. I find I spend so much time checking them and then I have no idea where the time went. I much rather read a book, cook something or go to the gym in that time. I need to be better about limiting the amount of time I spend on social media.


  4. Amanda Papenfus Eatherly14 January 2014 at 10:18

    Avoiding time suck sites is something I should do too. So often I start my day checking Facebook or something and then I wonder where an hour went. I think it depends on the site though. I have been spending a lot of time on HitRECord to the point that could be considered time-sucking too, but I'm either taking in other people's art, submitting my art or writing, or creating new art, so at least I think that's productive and I'm getting something out of it, whereas often I refresh Facebook and wonder why when I know that not much has changed in the five minutes since I looked at it before lol. I like to sandwich rewards between have to do's too. Often, during the semester, that's how blog posts get written (or at least posted) because I allow myself to work on one after I finish a chapter, or a couple pages of a paper.

  5. I need to do the same with time suck sites, sometimes it's a wasting of time and I don't realize. I'll try to be more aware of that and instead of checking Facebook, twitter...do things that I really enjoy :D


  6. "Time suck site" - my new favorite phrase! :O)

  7. Thank you Vanisha :) I hope Dunedin is treating you well.

  8. Thanks for your kind words Tiffany! My lists are either in my diary, or on a notepad. Like with my blogging diary, old school. ;) There's something about physically crossing off something from the list that makes it feel so satisfying.

  9. Thank you Jaclyn, and good luck on limiting the time you spend on social media! It's such a hard habit to kick because they're so addictive!

  10. It really all comes down to moderation doesn't it? I have an addictive personality, so at the moment it's hard going for me to really train myself to limit the time I spend on each activity. I once spent 3 hours on Pinterest without realising it. True story. :(

  11. Hi Yokkiri! Thanks for dropping by my blog. Good luck on being more aware of the time you spend on social media. I know it's hard! :)

  12. Can't remember where I picked up that one LuAnn, wish I could claim it as a Toni-ism, but sadly it isn't! :P