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How to make time for happiness Print
Many of us struggle to find the time to truly enjoy our lives.  We feel that in order to be going anywhere in life we should be “doing something”.  What ever happened to enjoying life now?  Don’t we all deserve to be happy in the present?

I’m not saying that we should shirk all of our responsibilities and go skinny-dipping; I’m saying that we need to manage our time more effectively so that we may find and enjoy some down time.  After all, what really measures our worth in life, our job, or our happiness?

1. So, let’s all take the first step towards finding happiness by getting organized.  Create a plan for your day, EVERY DAY.  This simplifies life by freeing up your mind to actually tackle the task you are working on instead of worrying about forgetting what else needs to be done.  If you write down all your chores for the day and then designate time for them you will find that you are accomplishing more.  By accomplishing more, you will have more free time.

You can use the following Daily Planning Schedule, or make your own.


12:00 AM
   12:00 PM
12:15   12:15
 12:45    12:45  
 13:00    13:00  
 13:15    13:15  
 13:30    13:30  
 13:45    13:45  
 14:00    14:00  
 14:15    14:15  
 14:30    14:30  
 14:45    14:45  
 15:00    15:00  
 15:15    15:15  
 15:30    15:30  
 15:45    15:45  
 16:00    16:00  
 16:15    16:15  
 16:30    16:30  
 16:45    16:45  
 17:00    17:00  
 17:15    17:15  
 17:30    17:30  
 17:45    17:45  
 18:00    18:00  
 18:15    18:15  
 18:30    18:30  
 18:45    18:45  
 19:00    19:00  
 19:15    19:15  
 19:30    19:30  
 19:45    19:45  
 20:00    20:00  
 20:15    20:15  
 20:30    20:30  
 20:45    20:45  
 21:00    21:00  
 21:15    21:15  
 21:30    21:30  
 21:45    21:45  
 22:00    22:00  
 22:15    22:15  
 22:30    22:30  
 22:45    22:45  
 23:00    23:00  
 23:15    23:15  
 23:30    23:30  
 23:45    23:45  

I find that scheduling in 15 minute increments ensures better accuracy in my timing.  Don’t forget about travel time and the little things like showering and eating.

2. Next you need to write down what you ACTUALLY do during the day.  Every detail of your day should be accounted for.  This will ensure that no time is “wasted”.  Once you know what you do during the day, you will need to compare it to what you WANT to do during the day (your plan).  This comparison will allow you to see where you are losing time, and where you can gain some.  The easiest way to compare your plans to your actions is to put an action column next to your plan column.  See the example below.

3. Now, let’s begin finding the time to be happy.  That’s right, schedule it in!  Block out an hour to simply watch TV with your family, or block out half an hour to play tug with the dog.  Whatever you want.  Point being – take the time to do “nothing”.  Playing is essential to our well-being and peace of mind.  If you schedule it in you will be more likely to actually do it.  Make happiness a priority.  What else is there in life?

Also, make sure you leave some “empty” time.  You never know when an emergency might pop-up, and you don’t want that to destroy all your plans for the day.  By leaving empty space you allow for mishaps, and you can rest assured that your plans will not go off track.  These empty slots can also be used for “unscheduled” fun…once you are sure that nothing else will go wrong for the day.

Another key point – nothing is set in stone.  If you plan on spending 1 hour watching a favorite show at 9PM, but the show’s time is switched to 8PM, it’s OK to adjust your schedule.  After all, it’s YOUR schedule, you control it.  Make sure that you don’t allow it to control you.

The above scheduling techniques will help you manage everything in your life.  If you want something in life, then make the time for it.

- Jessica Montagne
February 21, 2007

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