Why It's Important to Find Time for Yourself

And how it can benefit your entire family's wellbeing.

Photo by Lisa Marie Thompson/Getty Images

As our day-to-day lives become increasingly chaotic, it can be hard to find time to nurture our relationships, our work, and perhaps most importantly, ourselves. Preventing our hectic schedules from taking over our lives may require a shift in the way we think about time management.

On this week’s episode of “The Labor of Love,” RealSimple.com editor Lori Leibovich speaks to writer and mother Jennifer Meer, author of a recent Washington Post article that captures this frustration with time, and Laura Vanderkaam, author of several books about time management and productivity including I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time, about the importance of making small investments in yourself.

In her article, Meer talks about focusing on her energy levels rather than obsessing whether she is ahead or behind in her to-do list. Finding tiny moments to herself—such as taking a shower or having a cup of coffee—makes her infinitely more productive (and a more competent parent).

In order to be our happiest, healthiest selves—and find time for everything that needs to get done—Vanderkaam suggests trading low-value activities for higher-value ones, such as substituting an hour of television for interacting with a loved one. She also talks about finding creative ways to build in time with your partner, such as having a glass of wine after the kids go to bed, or sharing a ride to work one or two days a week.

For more tips from Meer and Vanderkaam, including how to cherish moments with your children and make the most out of weekends, listen to the full episode below. Don’t forget to review and subscribe on iTunes!