You get it: Self-care is important. You’ve read the articles and seen the face masks. You’ve listened to your friends swap best practices at brunch and fantasized about various approaches to “me time” in the five minutes between your head hitting the pillow and falling asleep. It’s so hot right now, but the way you see it, there’s one tiny problem: You have no time for it.

Your schedule is packed way too tight for long walks and mindfulness, and your to-do list is spilling on to a third page. Time for you just isn’t an option right now. Being productive is more important, and the two are mutually exclusive.

That’s what you think.

We understand how busy you are, but there are small steps you can take to begin to blend productivity with self-care so that you can begin to carve out a few minutes of “me time” in your regular routine. Keep reading for five easy suggestions.

Hands of African American woman writing in journal

1. Tune in to podcasts and audiobooks. Find yourself a podcast or audiobook that can benefit you on the job or in some other area of your life where you’re seeking improvement. The beauty of this kind of content? You can listen to it almost anywhere and any time. Psychotherapist Patti Sabla suggests playing one while you soak in a tub. “They can be listened to when someone is partaking in self-care and still remain productive,” she says.

2. Exercise. ICYMI, exercise doesn’t have to be a drag. Find some movement that you like — walking in the neighborhood, playing with your dog in the backyard, taking a dance class with your BFF — and go with it. When you find a workout that you actually enjoy, it will begin to feel like “me time.” Holistic health and career coach and Modern Ancient Wellness founder Kinh DeMaree suggests boosting up the productivity even more by listening to an audiobook or podcast while you move. You can also work up a sweat by cleaning your apartment, checking even more tasks off your to-do list in the process.

3. Journal.“Journaling is a great way to wind down in a productive way,” online coach Emma Green tells us. “You can get things off your chest and learn a lot about yourself by the act of writing.” It also gives you a great excuse to shop for a pretty new notebook — another opportunity for “me time.”

4. Get organized. You guessed it — this is the moment where we recommend that you lean into the Marie Kondo movement, because it can be as calming as it is productive. Professional organizer Ashley Hatcher of NEAT Method recommends starting with a single kitchen drawer or corner of a closet that’s been especially annoying you. You’ll feel more relaxed knowing that you’re making progress on your clutter, and you might even find that the actual process of tidying makes you feel calmer and less anxious.

5. Catch up on your home to-do list. You may not be Joanna Gaines (#goals), but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a list of things that need to be done around your house or apartment. And if you’ve been putting off touching up the paint in your bedroom or shoveling the snow on your front walk because you just don’t feel like you have the time, consider the fact that Amanda Ponzar, chief communications and strategy officer of Community Health Charities, says that work around the house can be both productive and relaxing. These kinds of tasks get your body moving and take a load off your mind, boosting your endorphins and mood in the process. Plus, when you’re done, you can cozy up to chill in your newly perfected home with a much shorter to-do list.

How do you multitask productivity and self-care? Tweet us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)