Life is super busy. Between the things you need to do everyday, sometimes there’s no (or only very little) time left to do the things you actually want to do. This is a lesson I started to learn towards the middle of last year, when I got promoted at work. I love my job, but between working on a daily basis and still having about 20 hours of class a week to go with it, I was in over my head. Suddenly there was so little time for other things – my friends, my blog, even keeping my apartment clean.
It was tough trying to fit everything into my life, the daily duties and the hobbies. However, I’ve started changing some things in the way I go about my routine, and in the way I think about productivity. I wanted to share some of these with you today, and I hope that they can help you with balancing (or attempt to balance) it all as well.
Schedule it out
- This past year, I became super attached to writing everything down. If it doesn’t go into my planner, I don’t do it. I write down everything I want to get done each day, from which lectures I have, when I work, to reminders to go buy shampoo and to repaint my nails.
- Alongside with my planner I keep a running to-do list, little things I can do in between. This includes filling out information for a new passport online, vacuuming or even to clean my brushes that week.
- By planning things out in advance, you can spend some days focussing more on one thing, while other days focussing on another. For example, the weekends are my blog time. I try to write several posts on my days off, so that when the busy week rolls around, I can focus on my classes and job. It takes dedication, but I think it’s worth it.
Create a routine
- This is key for me. Despite being super adventurous and open to basically everything, I’m a creature of habit. As soon as I established as routine, everything got easier. For example, I started forcing myself to get up at or before 8 everyday, just to make more of the day. By creating a bedtime and getting up time, not only did I figure out that I can be happy with 7 hours of sleep rather than 9, but I get a lot more done.
- Do weekly “must dos”, such as groceries or laundry on the same day. If Saturday becomes your set laundry week, you won’t even have to think about it on the other days.
Take breaks from everything
- If I force myself to take some time off, I end up being more productive and creative ever than before. During a day spent visiting museums with a friend, I’ll brainstorm new blog posts. By forcing an hour break for lunch, I’ll get much more done at work in the afternoon.
- A social life is key for making everything else happen. I cook with friends several times a week, or will meet up with them to get a drink at night. I’m so much more happy and calm when I have these moments with them.
Accept that you won’t always be able to do it all
- Sometimes you won’t be able to give everything your all, and that’s ok too (I can’t always regularly publish on here as well). You can’t always give and get 100% with everything. Focus on what’s most important at the moment, and I promise, the rest of what you have to do will fall into place.
I hope this has helped some of you out, especially with January still being a fresh start and all. Don’t forget to breath!! x Julia