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Creating time for yourself using a calendar

If you're the kind of person who is always there for others, always ready to help, I really admire you. And I worry about you.

That's because your behavior, while heroic, is something that can get your life out of control. Someone needs some help, and you immediately drop what you're doing. Maybe a good friend is at the hospital - you're there. Then someone gets stranded and needs a ride. Then someone needs a ride back and forth to the airport. Then someone asks for something that's just trivial. And you're there. Then people start to realize that they can "drop the ball" on things that they've promised and you'll come swooping in, to make everything all right.

I know quite a few people like this. They're the ones who have to be told in an airplane to put the oxygen mask on themselves first before helping others. And yes, these are true heroes, but they're people too, and they're people who are important. And I've seen these people just get "burned out" from everyone asking way too much of them. If it's you, I have an idea that will help you - creating time for yourself, using a calendar.

This is a concept that I call "creating recess". That's setting aside a block of time just to get away, to recharge your batteries, to make you better when you come back. It can be just an hour or so, or it can be a long weekend, or it can be ten days in Hawaii. And I can help. Go find your calendar.

Now block out a section of time and write my name there. If someone asks you to do something else, take on more work, then you can say, "sorry, I have something scheduled". This may surprise people who have come to expect you to always be available to do more and more and more, but believe me, people will respect this. That's because everyone else is doing it. Most people are pretty selfish that way - they block out time for stuff, they make appointments.

So there you go. I'm glad to help. Now go book that flight to Hawaii!