I was walking with a fellow telecommuter this week, and we started talking about finding time to think: Think about what we want out of life, what we want as mothers, wives, telecommuters, and the many roles we play. With life moving so fast, there is no time, and we end up living mindlessly. Yes, we complete our to-do list, but is there a goal or a purpose?
I need to live mindfully, so I came up with a few ideas on how to find the time to think – in other words, to take a mini retreat. Here’s a great article to remind us, mothers, that we are women first.
As a working mother, it is hard to take a few days to relax and plan, so here are some suggestions on how to take mini retreats in the middle of our busy lives:
1. During Children’s Sports Practices: This is my favorite time of the day. I use the two hours that my children are busy to exercise, listen to online courses, TED Talks, parenting videos, etc. Now, I am also going to add goal setting and planning to this list. For the first half, I will continue to exercise, and then take the rest of the time to set and plan my goals.
This way, I have a solid four hours per week of planning!
It took me a while to realize the value of this time, but once I saw it, I used it productively. I was able to complete two online courses from Stanford using my time wisely.
2. During Business Trips: I love the fact that I have focused time on the plane. I use this time to think. What are the current challenges I am facing, why is the situation the way it is currently why and what is under my control, and what steps do I need to take on my end? I also use time during the trip to connect with my friends and colleagues.
This adds up to at least ten hours per trip of thinking and connecting.
3. During Lunch: As a remote employee, I tend to mostly ignore lunch and continue working. I am hoping to change that. I plan on using this time to exercise or meet a friend for lunch during the break. This will be part of my time to relax—my mini retreat.
This adds up to five hours per week of relaxation.
4. Sunday Nights: I like football, but the rest of my family loves football. So while they are enjoying what they love, I enjoy what I love. After we are done getting ready for the week, I retreat to my space and do what I feel like doing without any guilt. Still, there are always nights when I sneak in and watch the game.
This adds up to three hours per week of mindfulness.
5. Summer Camps: WeWork has a summer camp for telecommuters and entrepreneurs—what a brilliant idea! Attending the camp is on my to-do list. I think it will be great to connect with people in similar situations. It helps create a bond and a relationship of mutual understanding.
This adds up to at least forty-eight hours per summer of fun.
Time is the most valuable resource, so make the best of the time we have been given. If you have other ideas that have worked for you, please share: firstname.lastname@example.org