Let’s start by exploring this concept of “me time”. As a busy professional, you’re probably laughing and thinking to yourself: “Me time? What’s that? I am lucky if I have 5 minutes to brush my teeth twice a day.”
You have a hectic, stressful job and a family at home who needs you. You work long hours, have a long commute to and back from work each day and when you finally get the children fed and in bed you’re ready to collapse.
The weekend arrives and you are the taxi service for your children’s numerous sporting activities. You spend the entire weekend ferrying them around to one sporting or social event and before you know it, it’s Monday morning and you’re back on that hamster wheel.
Or you don’t have a family, but a high-pressured job that demands every drop of energy and time you have.
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It’s no wonder that “me time” is an alien concept to you.
And yet, if you’re to preserve your sanity and nurture your physical and emotional well-being, you probably try and make some time, however short, each week to engage in your hobbies and passions – running, swimming, football, going to the cinema, reading, cooking, going for a walk, painting, drawing, journaling and so on.
It’s your time to completely switch off from the world and relax, and you know you’re going to feel revitalised afterwards. Whenever I am tempted NOT to go for a run because I’m too busy, I remind myself of how good I always feel after a run and that’s enough to change my mind.
“When I have more time, I’ll ……….. (finish the sentence).”
When friends tell me that they’ll engage in their passions, hobbies or learning when they have less busy schedules (more time), they don’t convince me one little bit.
Our days don’t stretch beyond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We’ll never find more time.
You and I know that if something is important enough to us, we’ll MAKE THE TIME for it – think that football match you want to watch; that film you’ve been meaning to see; that blog post you want to read; that podcast episode you want to listen to.
But how do you measure its importance?
For me, the importance of a hobby is how it makes me feel when I am engaged in it.
Take my weekly runs, for example.
I know they’re good for me because:
- I have fresh air,
- they give me a break from my sedentary life,
- they help me lose weight and get fit,
- they give me precious thinking time.
With all those benefits I make sure I go for my runs three times a week by blocking the time out for a run in my weekly diary. If I don’t block the time out, it’s too easy to find an excuse and miss a run.
I started blocking the time out two years ago and ever since then, I have been consistent with my weekly runs. That’s how I’ve MADE TIME for my hobby.
English and “Me Time”.
You need to work on your English to succeed in your career, and you know that to become a confident and effective business communicator in English, you’re going to need to practise English regularly and consistently.
Trouble is…if you can’t make time for your personal hobbies, you’ll never make time for English.
Especially if you consider English as another item on your to do list, in other words, a chore, a burden. What do we do with chores and burdens? We delay completing them as long as we possibly can by making all sorts of excuses.
So, we end up in this vicious cycle of procrastination and frustration.
Perseverance and consistency take time, patience, practice and above all, small steps to begin with.
The first small steps you can take is to include English in your “me time”. That way you kill two birds with one stone – pursuing your passion AND practising English.
- You love reading travel blog posts – pick a few English travel blogs and add them to your reading list.
- You are passionate about History of Art – why not read articles or watch videos about the subject in English?
- You enjoy yoga – follow some yoga videos in English on YouTube.
- You listen to business podcasts – try listening to them in English
This may have very little to do with business, but the point here is to get you into a routine or habit of using English as a medium to pursue your hobbies and passion. By including English in your “me time”, it will become a permanent and natural presence in your life.
You’ll have made time for both your hobby and your English – a win-win situation! How irresistible is that?
Let me know what you think.
Ciao for now