Does the above picture feel like you sometimes?
I recently interviewed a time management coach for my forthcoming podcast show and we discussed the difficulties of dating in a society where pressure is high and time is short.
So, I thought I’d address this head on and offer up some suggestions, as this is a problem which comes up time and time again with quite a few of my clients.
Let’s take Sadie for example, a highly successful consultant in the city. She likes to enjoy the high life, attend a private members club, attend as many social activities as possible both during the week and on weekends, work out and… her commute is over an hour a day each way. She has little to no time to sleep, eat or breathe, yet she wants to find a man.
Her main problem? FOMO!!!
So I said to her, I want you to take your diary for the last 3 months and go through it.
I explained that she should colour code each and every activity outside of work using RED for a must attend, Yellow for optional and BLUE for totally unnecessary and FOMO related.
Sadie likes charts, so even better I thought. I said put all your data in to a spreadsheet and then once you’re done, turn it in to a pie chart. Only once you have a clear visual overview about how you’re spending your time, can you then say whether or not you have no time to date. This goes for everyone! Why not try this exercise yourself?
It turned out I was totally right, a lot of the activities she puts herself forward for are totally unnecessary and FOMO related.
We then looked at how certain activities could be grouped together, like having dinner parties instead of 1:1 time, when it turns out all her friends know each other anyway. Hey presto, now there’s more time available for going on dates with a man and she can catch up with all her friends in one go and so can they!
Then we looked at the time spent in the gym. To be honest, she’s not a gym bunny and she wasn’t really being as productive as she could be when at the gym, despite wanting to keep on top of her figure. So I suggested that she takes up an activity like dancing where most of the people in attendance are single. You not only get to exercise, but you get to socialise at the same time, meet single guys and make more single friends. I cannot stress how important having a group of single friends is to either go out with or in addition, who might be able to make introductions for you.
Then we looked at this calendar of events provided by the private members club. Yes it’s a great opportunity to socialise, but why not invite a date to join you or your friends for that matter. Kills 2 birds with one stone as they say. Events and activities should start to become more inclusive and less exclusive, so that you are now freeing up more time for yourself and the things which matter.
Remember, socialising is great, but you mustn’t neglect yourself either. Factoring in some ‘me time’ is just as crucial to your dating success as going on dates. More on this later….
Now there’s the commute. Thanks to wifi on the trains these days, there is no reason she can’t shave off a couple of hours from her work day, by either creating to-do lists for the day ahead so she becomes more productive at work, meaning less time pulling a late one here and there. Or, if material has to be read, emails need to be sent etc, this can all now be done on the train.
The list goes on, it’s all a matter of perspective and becoming a more productive individual. Seeing how activities can be swapped around to incorporate friends or dates will free up a multitude of time.
Another point to mention is running errands. Make sure you do the ones which are all grouped in the same location, especially if they’re not urgent, so as not to waste time commuting between point A and point B.
The buzzword here seems to be grouping. Get more organised with your time, be honest about what activities can be done away with and you’ll soon be able to make space for the things and people which are a priority for you.
As a result of reevaluating the way you spend your time, you will see that you have more hours in the day to play with, both during the week and at weekends. Time spent will feel more valuable because you will cherish the space you have made given YOU have chosen to spend it with people who mater, doing things which you enjoy.
People, and the activities you enjoy, DO NOT need to be mutually exclusive and there is a way to combine the two if you come from a new perspective.
If you need some help reevaluating how you spend your time so that you have more space to date and do the things which matter to you, then let’s talk. The last thing anyone wants is to either be clock watching or feel like they’re having to be squeezed in to someone’s busy schedule.
The truth is, no one wants to date a busy person no matter how hot you are! But, you can still be busy without being manic – that’s the key!
In a relationship we all want to be made to feel like a priority. That doesn’t mean living in each other’s pockets, but it does mean that your partner is there to show up for you both emotionally and physically and that you do not have to vie for their attention.