A recent study by the British Psychological Society (BPS) found that quality me-time not only improves your psychological wellbeing it can also make you a more engaged employee. Their findings point to the fact that those employees who engaged in high-quality ‘me’ time were more engaged and productive at work.
At home, it can be easier to carve out some time alone to recharge the batteries and gain some insight and perspective to help us deal with whatever life throws at us. However, it's still too easy for us to make excuses and put the needs of others – family, friends and work colleagues – above our own.
At work, we're often driven by other people’s schedules which makes it hard for us to carve out time for ourselves, yet doing so can really help us manage our stress levels. Given that we spend most of our lives at work, rather than feeling guilty about taking a little ‘me’ time, we should actually embrace the need to take care of ourselves – mentally, emotionally and physically - and acknowledge the benefits that this will realise in the workplace, such as better productivity, a reduction in stress levels and improved inter-personal relationships. So next time you're tempted to eat lunch at your desk, think about how you could fit in some 'me time'.
Irrespective of whether we take our ‘me’ time at home or at work, it might help to remember the following:
Establish how much time you needBe realistic about the time you can spare during your working day to concentrate on yourself. Too little and you won’t feel the benefit or be able to engage in any meaningful activity; too much and it will soon be regarded as an extravagance and become easy to replace with more pressing pulls on your time. Remember, time to yourself, doing what you enjoy, is not selfish, it’s taking care of yourself.
Decide what you will do with your timeSpend a few minutes thinking about what you would do if there was an extra fifteen minutes in the day? How would you spend that time? Jot down a list of all your favourite pastimes and allocate your ‘me’ time to doing some of the things off your list.
Build this time into your daily scheduleOnce you've decided what you want to do and how much time you need, you need to commit to taking the time. Create a daily ritual so that your chosen pastime soon becomes a habit and something to look forward to.
Taking time out for yourself is not a luxury, it’s a necessity that will help you gain perspective and focus. However, if you don’t value this time, no one else around you will either. Self-care is absolutely necessary if we are to give our best to those around us. You can read more about the benefits of ‘me’ time on your work in this article.