How To Make Time For Yourself


How To Make Time For Yourself

by Olga Hermans

Nowadays you can meet people almost every day that will tell you how busy they are and have no time for other things and under how much stress they are. I remember there was a time that we could ask people, “How are you doing?”. The answer was almost always, “Fine.” Now, almost everybody answers that same question with: “Busy,” “Tired,” or “Stressed.” Have you experienced that? I have found myself telling people that I am busy and felt kind of cool with that answer and then I thought: I am not busy; I just think I am busy. I really need to make more time for myself and for other interesting things.

I told you that I made a choice to take time to exercise which I am starting to enjoy more and more. But I really know people who genuinely believe that being busy is a sign of success. They like to push themselves to the point of exhaustion and try to cram more and more activities into an already tight schedule.

It almost feels like a disease that is spreading all over the place, but then there are also people who are waking up and like to take more time for the more important things in life. We need to become aware that we don’t need to spend every hour of the day doing “something” that we perceive as productive. It really can become unhealthy.

When we want to discover the life we were born to live, we need to try to enjoy the minutes that we live. My father was like that; he was so busy with building his business that he thought he didn’t have any time to spend with us, his family. When he got close to 60, he started to make some different choices and started to plan his life a little different, but then it was too late. He died from a heavy heart attack and collapsed right on the spot. That was such a sad moment for all of us; we never knew him as our dad, we only knew him as the busy man behind his desk.

There is something that is called “margin” by Dr. Richard Swenson. This is a concept that is necessary in whatever you do; if you are a mom, you need it. If you are a businessperson, you need it. Everybody needs it. He gave this example to explain it:  if a person is flying from New York to Los Angeles with a change of planes in Dallas, would that person leave himself only five minutes to make the connection between two flights? I hope not!

No travel agent would ever allow such a connection. If the person did attempt a five-minute change, there would be a high probability that the person would miss the second leg of the flight. He would likely be very impatient, anxious, and frustrated for the first half of the trip, wondering if he was going to miss the second flight and eager to be the first off the plane in Dallas. The point is, such a traveler has not left sufficient “margin” for an enjoyable journey.

You got the picture right? Every time when I am in the car and my son is the driver, I think he is tailgating. I think there should be that margin of safety when we drive. He is not really that bad, but I rather am safer than he. If a person is tailgating a driver at sixty miles an hour in rush hour traffic, there is little margin for error! I really believe that it is a wise choice having sufficient “margin” in every area of life.

Nowhere in the Bible does it mention that Jesus was in a hurry; he always took the time to minister to everybody! He actually spoke against a “hurried” mindset. You remember while Jesus was visiting in the home of Martha and Mary, Martha was busy preparing and serving food to Jesus and those who were traveling with him. He was teaching. Martha became so frustrated that she was having to do all the kitchen work by herself that she said to Jesus, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to come and help me.”

Jesus replied, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-41. Many people think that way, “If I don’t do it, it just won’t get done.”
When we become too busy we lose our joy. People irritate us. We become frustrated, anxious and critical. We complain too much. We need to become a better manager of our time and sometimes make tough choices, but we need to practice keeping a healthy “margin” in our lives.

Here are 7 ways to reduce stress by organizing your time:

  1. Buy a calendar and put the non-negotiable dates on there like birthdays, anniversaries, and the major events that you need to attend.
  2. Organize your desk at work and at home; the place where you pay all your bills and so forth; you don’t need to be looking for things that need to be done a few times a week.
  3. Organize your kitchen. You don’t need to be searching for items when you need to prepare a meal.
  4. Don’t pick up the nuisance phone calls; you know the ones that just want to sell something to you; unplug the phone during certain hours.
  5. Make a to-do list each evening before you go to bed. This way you don’t need to continue to mull things over in your mind all night.
  6. There are so many things that you can do, but the most important thing that you need to do is spend time in the presence of the Lord; throw all your cares over to Him and just relax and enjoy your time with Him. Listen to Him and when He tells you to do something; do it!
  7. There are things that can help you relax when you go through some stressful times, which we all do. Stress-away is one of the best things to use; you can reduce stress at any time, and anywhere with the convenience and portability of an essential oil roll-on. You just need to shake it well and apply it generously to wrists, neck, arms, or anywhere you love experiencing essential oils.

The question that you might need to ask yourself is this: “Have I allowed enough margin so I have enough time for what I am doing?”

You can subscribe to The Daily Choice which is a SPIRITUAL Devotion that helps you to make the right choices in your life!




  1. A very important article Olga. I loved that line about how you don’t have to be doing something productive every minute of the day. I tend to catch myself feeling that way. The seven tips were great!

    • Yes, nowadays, we think we have to be everywhere at once; it is just a lie and a trap of the devil to rob us of our peace on the inside. That peace is our umpire and it leads us to the right places.

  2. I really appreciate this article, the 7 ways to reduce stress and your Dad’s story. My husband’s Dad had similar path like your Dad. It reminds me, wherever we are from, human nature is the same.

  3. Thank you so much for the 7 tips I am sure they will help me a lot. I am one of those who thinks I have be productive all the time…thanks for opening my eyes!

    • Yeah, I can see that you are that person Penny and you are very productive. But, you also have to make time for yourself!

  4. GREAT post Olga – THANK YOU for sharing!

  5. Thanks so much for these great tips Olga – isn’t it amazing how much remding we need ;).

  6. I’ve started to utilize a calendar again when I realized how busy my schedule was getting filled up, and fast, especially with the summer months ahead.

    It’s help tremendously! And, before committing, making sure I am available before saying yes.

  7. Great post, Olga. I unplugged last weekend and just took time to myself. It was time to recharge my batteries. I loved your tips, especially using stress-away! Used it today and watched the stress melt away. Thanks!

    • We NEED to do that from time to time; just unplug and rest. Stress away is definitely a great product to use; stress goes away like it says. Thanks

  8. You are definitely speaking to me here Olga! I am trying to simplify a little, but I am one of those who feels like every moment of every day needs to be filled. A 5 min layover at the airport is perfect for me! I hate waiting to board a plane, but arriving in the nick of time can cause stress when there’s an unusually long line at the airport. . . Your article has given me something to think about and strive for, thanks.

    • Thanks Jennifer; we all have to work on this for sure. I am just the opposite from you when it comes to having enough time between flights; that would definitely stress me out. I love to build the margin in my life. We are all different and that is a good thing!!

      • I agree Olga, although I think I would benefit for being a little more like you in this respect! Trying to build in my margins better after reading your article.

  9. Excellent suggestions. I find the calendar very helpful for building margins and scheduling time to exercise daily — something critical to me for de-stressing.

  10. I couldn’t agree more! Scheduling time for ourselves is so important. Really like your organizational check list. I would add another. Check e-mail only once a day, unless you are waiting on a particular reply. It is a time sucker and you can use that time to better use. (A nice walk around the block, maybe?)

  11. Carolyn Hughes says:

    Some great tips here Olga! A daily to-do list is really helpful and I like your idea of doing the list at night because then you can completely switch off,

  12. Love that concept of margin! I am going to print out those 7 organizational steps and add in Martha’s suggestion of just checking email once a day and put it by my computer! Great post, Olga!

  13. I love your topic. I have to be really careful with my health, so I am comfortable thinking about a “margin of error” around me. I use a rolling walker or a wheelchair, so I have to plan where I am going, how I am going to get there, and what I will need while I am out. Good points here!

  14. That really does help to be organized and on the ball. How stressful when you remember you forgot to take care of something important.

  15. One of the strongest takeaways in this article, Olga, is that being busy is not a sign of success. In fact, the most successful people seem to have time under control. Unfortunately, technology has removed all the old barriers to activity (stores closed on Sundays, communications limited to people’s offices, etc.) And with that comes the “belief” that we need to be available to everyone all the time through our iPhones, iPads, etc. Nonsense! Glad to see you’ve taken back some time for yourself too!

  16. Thank you for this article and the tips, everything in life takes time and in order to remain stress-free one must make sure to use that time wisely.

  17. Now that I’m doing two jobs there is no choice but to be organized. Anything else would be crazy.

  18. Guilty of being “Hurried” for years and still am a pretty hyper gal but I have learned to pace myself and take care of each day as it comes 🙂

  19. Great article, Olga. I love that story of Mary & Martha. I tend to be very much a Martha in my life and I am trying hard to be more of a Mary. I also find it so amazing that creating order in our lives is one of the big reducers of both physical and mental stress.

    • I think you are not the only one who struggles with being too much of a Martha Marie; It’s good to acknowledge it though!!

  20. Thank you for sharing a great story! sage advice and hopefully I too will enjoy the moments more! great job!

  21. I love your comment about the lack of time becoming a disease. Boy, isn’t that the truth! We are all struggling to find more time and the reality is that we all have the same amount of time and simply aren’t using it well in most cases. Fabulous article as always, Olga!

  22. Great suggestions, Olga. Nowadays, I really have to organize my time and these tips will be really much helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Time is so precious and yet so often we are careless with how we choose to spend it! I love your tips! Thanks!

  24. I really need the organization you’re talking about. It would sure reduce my stress when I can’t find something I need.

  25. Great article Olga, it is good to make the best of our time, it is truly rewarding and satisfying. Love your 7 tips! Thank you! 🙂

  26. A while back I began to make a concentrated effort to answer with more than one word when it came to the “How are you?” question. When I answer with more than one word, I take time to communicate not only to that person but to myself as well as to how I am. Sometimes we really have to take time to listen to ourselves too! Lovely article Olga!

  27. ”We never knew him as our dad, we only knew him as the busy man behind his desk…” That is the lesson, isn’t it? The one thing that is constant in everything that we do is to stay in balance. That is the difference between it being a good thing to the worst thing in our life… Great article! Thanks for sharing that. x0x

  28. Thanks so much for this wonderful article, Olga! Love your 7 tips! Time is precious and we must take care on how we spend it!

  29. Great tips Olga! I do my to-do list every night before I go to bed, and have found that I sleep much better. The other thing I do is make sure I have family time every day. I stop whatever I’m doing when my son gets home from his job, and we have an hour or so before dinner to catch up.

  30. Great post, and yes, that margin is essential for staying sane. Once I heard an interview with Jane Fonda (Whom I admire) when she said the only regret she has in life is not making enough time to spend with her daughter. I don’t want to get old and say that to myself, so I’ve made a commitment to stay balanced.

  31. It is so important to take time for “self”. It is hard to take care of others if we aren’t taking care of ourselves first!

  32. Great information. When we take time for others during our ‘busy ness’ they respect that and want to help which in the end is what we hope for. And in my experience nothing great comes out of solid work and no boundaries, guidelines, etc.

  33. Wonderful post!

  34. Great advice on how to stay organized to reduce stress. I admit that I often have to remind myself to slow down…and enjoy life and my children! Time goes so fast.

  35. It’s a really good article, I haven’t organized my time at all I guess my time is a completly mess but thanks God and thanks to your blog I found the way to organize my time and make some extra time for myself. God bless you so much.

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