This semester has been incredibly busy for me- especially these last few weeks. I think anyone in their twenties can relate. Whether you’re in undergrad with tons of leadership positions, part time jobs, social activities and a demanding course load, or a graduate student with virtually no time, or even a 40+ hour a week employee- we all feel stretched for time. Now is the time where you start to feel the stretch of friendships, you go longer without speaking to those you love. You spend hours working until your eyes become dry. We have a lot going on… I’m going to share how I try my hardest to keep the balance between work, school and play.
For those of you who are new to the HerTwenties Family, I am currently in a master’s program, I work for one of the largest non-profit organizations in the country, and I also run HerTwenties. (Check out the 10 facts about me post!) My days usually consist of work and or school, usually when I am not at school I am at work which leaves little time during the day for assignments, HerTwenties or me time. At night I am usually balancing getting assignments done, group meetings for school, coming up with blog /IG posts I am someone who appreciates being busy- I get a rush of having a lot of things to do because it makes me feel productive. I am also a Libra who SO appreciates the balance of work and play. All work and no play leads to a seriously grumpy Danielle. Here are some tips I’ve learned to try and keep my cool this semester.
Keep an Agenda and write down EVERYTHING
I am a forgetful person. I can meet you, repeat your name and within 3 minutes I won’t remember it. I am also not a multi-tasker, often when teachers or my supervisors are giving me assignments my brain is moving at a crazy speed. To help me remember important dates/assignments I write down literally everything in my planner. I’m super old school so I love using my Erin Condren Life Planner. I have friends who keep everything on iCal or their Google calendars that way they can get alerts when important things are coming up. I’ve also noticed that if I write down everything I need to do for the week on a Sunday night I can plan for when I know I will be really busy
Organize tasks into categories
My planner has handy sections that allow you to divide up your day. I usually divide things into work, school and other. That lets me know what I need to do each day for all of the hats I carry. It also shows you if you are balancing your time between work and play in a way that is healthy and manageable. My other section includes miscellaneous things that aren’t extremely important- otherwise if I don’t get them done that day the world will not crash! It includes blog posts for HerTwenties, cleaning, grocery shopping etc.
Designate a day off!
If you’re anything like me that means weekends are often fair game to catch up on school assignments, readings and work projects. I started this little tradition in undergrad where on Friday nights me and my best friend would stop everything we had going on, watch Netflix and order a stuffed crust pepperoni pizza and chill all night. This was WAY before Netflix and chill was invented- I believe we had to order actual DVD’s from Netflix, boy have we evolved. I still keep it up to this day. No matter how much I have going on I give myself Friday night to relax, watch TV or hangout with the boyfriend. I pick Friday because usually my schedule isn’t packed on a Saturday- I may have a few meetings but usually it is mostly free. This allows me to enjoy my time off guilt free!
Do a little something for yourself everyday!
A few months back I got into the habit of trying to do something for myself everyday– no matter how big or small. Some days I treat myself to a yoga class, other nights it might be a special dinner recipe that takes a little longer or a serious night time skin care routine involving a luxurious mask. I cannot tell you how much that improved my quality of life. When you give yourself that little bit of time it helps you to stay focused on all the other things you need to get done. Suddenly those tasks that used to be a complete drag aren’t so bad anymore.
Know when you’ve had enough.
My mom used to give us a complimentary skip day once a month when we were in school. On a day where you had no tests/assignments you were allowed to play hookie and stay home. While in adult life, this is definitely not possible I think it’s still important to know when you’ve reached your limit. When I am drained and unmotivated anything I do will be lackluster in quality. That is my signal to take a step back and go get a nice latte, or watch an episode of real housewives. Those little breaks can be your saving grace when you’ve got a lot on your plate.
Watch what you eat!
I think keeping a mindful and *mostly* clean diet is crucial in getting the most out of your day. I am ridiculously carb sensitive. If I eat anything carb heavy I will be falling asleep in less than 30 minutes. This kills any productivity I had a chance in. On your busy days stalk up on foods that keep you energized and satisfied- skip the simple carbs and focus on proteins, grains and healthy complex carbs from fruits & veggies. I literally live off of Larabars during the week- they are made with nothing but fruit and nuts! No artificial flavors, preservatives or anything. I always have two of them in my bag at all times. My favorites are blueberry muffin, and dark chocolate pecan with sea salt!
I hope these were somewhat helpful. Everyone has different needs for finding balance in their lives. Taking life one day at a time and focusing on the now are definitely philosophies to live by. Life is short- make sure you are enjoying every minute of it.
P.S. stay tuned for some exciting changes and a surprise!!3