How to take a time out in five steps!

How to take time out

I have been thinking a lot about this topic, and it seems to be a discussion not only with moms but with women in general.  

How do you take time out?  How do you set aside time for yourself?  How do you shut off your brain long enough to schedule time for yourself without an ounce of guilt settling down upon you?

You will find it Easy but not Simple to follow through with these tips — this is what I have concretely come up with, totally works for me and some other brilliant ladies I have worked with, so I know it can be done!

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Step ONE.

TURN off your phone.  Now, I am not saying turn to silence, I am saying turn it off completely.  I realize this will be a challenge, but when you do it you will feel amazing after an hour.  

Step TWO.

Create an auto-responder to your email stating that you will not be getting back to the person who is demanding  your attention for at least 48 hours.  I know that sounds like an astonishing amount of time, but believe me the world will keep on moving and you will not miss anything.  Here is the loop hole that I like about this one, you can respond within 24, you could even respond within 10 minutes, but the idea is that you are not being demanded from, or expected to respond immediately.  Email is other people demanding your limited attention, make sure you want to give it to them, and make sure you have the time for them.  DO this one and IT will change your life!  Promise.


Here is a no brainer, but totally overlooked.  USE the calendar for everything, including your workout and timeouts.  In my calendar I mark YOU ARE NOT WORKING TODAY in BIG RED letters — I put that in there not only to remind myself, but then my husband knows, as well as my assistant.  ALSO, because almost every woman I know can’t stand going to the gym, having this scheduled in the calendar makes it at least 75% more likely to happen.  I mean what else is there to do, if EVERYThing is scheduled?  I know there are those one time events that pop up and you can skip the gym, but the idea here is to get your booty to the gym, and to use that activity partly as a time out.  While you are working out you could put on a book, listen to a podcast or simply stare out into space.  Enjoy it.


I feel like this is really hard for women, but here it is, say, “NO!”  In today’s overworked, over tired, over played, over stimulated world we ladies have to start saying enough.  SAY NO.  Please.  Say no to your coworker, say no to your husband, say no to you kids, say no to your neighbor, say no no no.    Now don’t take this the wrong way, you are not going to say no to your boss on a deadline and you will get fired, or no I can’t do that to you husband when he is running late from the office and the kids need to be picked up, or no to your best friend who just broke up with her fiance.  No.  I want you to start saying No to all of those annoying things, that you do automatically, all of those things that you can definitely get help with, or can do with time, they don’t have to be done RIGHT now.  

Step Five 

My favorite step.  SAY YES!  Yep, that is what I said, Say Yes to yourself, and what you want in life, what you want to do, what you crave.  Say yes to all of those little things you enjoy and set time for them.  Easy, yes, simple No.  Saying Yes takes practice and courage.  It takes time to find yourself and listen to your inner voice.  Make time.  Our time is priceless and once it’s gone we can never get it back, that’s a fact.   Yes yes yes.  Tell me what are you saying yes to?  What are you saying No to?  Be careful, we can’t say yes to everything and remember every time we say Yes to something, we are saying NO to something else… get that?  Understand that?   Be clear with how you are talking to the world and those people in it.     

Now go take your time out!  You deserve it.