One of the biggest adjustments and challenges of adulthood is starting your career and changing your lifestyle completely. You start off your 20’s relaxed; going from class to parties and making your own schedule. Then all of a sudden BOOM. Your life is no longer feels like your own. By your mid twenties, you see the inside of your cubicle more often than the inside of your bedroom. Often times, this lifestyle change comes at the sacrifice of our personal life; whether it means the end of taking care of our health & wellness, socializing with friends, or participating in our hobbies. It’s important that we make sure to don’t lose ourselves in the process of building our careers. Becoming burned out in your job only leads to negativity permeating your lifestyle and that’s exactly what we want to avoid! Here are some of the ways I am able to balance my work + home life:
Write everything down
Whether its work deadlines, dinner with friends or a planned night in with Netflix; I write it down. Unless it’s updated in my calendar I am bound to forget it. This helps to make sure you know when work needs to be done and you need to stay focused, especially with deadlines at work. Keeping an updated calendar allows you to keep yourself to a schedule and stick to what you need to do. I know that if I can meet my deadline, that I have plenty of time to socialize. It also prevents me from being a flakey friend because I never forget the plans I’ve made.
Know how to prioritize and manage your time
It’s important to know what needs to come first in both work and also our outside lives. When it comes to my job, I prioritize client’s needs based on what the most urgent tasks are. I make sure to make a list each day of what needs to absolutely get done in the office that day, no questions asked. Hard deadlines are rough, right? Then, I make a second list for tasks that can fall into the following days. My biggest tip is to make the most of the time you have when you actually need to be in the office. Save the rest of the work for the following day. No one should be sleeping at their desk. Now, next up is the fun stuff! What are the things that you absolutely want to do outside of work that you want to prioritize? My outside of work necessities include needing time for seeing friends, reading books, exercising, and blogging. Once each immediate client need is taken care of, I know I can leave the office for the night and start on what I call my “me” time. I try to plan at least one night to grab drinks or workout with a friend, pencil in 60 minute workouts 5 days per week, and add in at least a night or two for blogging. If I know it’s going to be a crazy week, I set my alarm 1.5 hours earlier and hit the gym before work since that is a major priority of mine. On weeks I know I am busier Monday-Friday, I try to use Sunday afternoon to plan out my content for the week. Lately, it hasn’t been easy as many weekends in the summer we have been traveling. I am hoping for a fresh start this Fall with more well planed and regularly posted content brought to you guys on a weekly basis!
Have a Plan for When You Will Leave the Office
I try to plan what time I want to leave at night in the morning of the workday. That forces me to budget my time effectively and accordingly, so that I can leave and make the train I plan to take. It helps me stay on track so that I don’t waste hours trolling Buzzfeed. Come on, you’ve all done it!
Sometimes the weeks get busy and schedules get full before you know it! I always try to prioritize seeing different friends during the work week. However, I also maintain a workout schedule of exercising at least 5 days per week. Sometimes it’s hard to fit both of these things in on top of my work schedule, so we make them “overlap.” Instead of working out on my own, I workout with a friend and grab a healthy dinner after. It’s more fun than working out alone and we get the same benefit of catching up with each other and taking care of ourselves.
Make Time for Yourself
When you find in your schedule that you have an hour or two of free time, make sure that you sometimes you opt to do something that you will truly enjoy. Rather than running errands, try to schedule a pampering session, take a yoga class or grab drink with some friends. If you’re sticking to a budget you can go for a jog or a scenic walk. Any of these activities are relaxing and will help de-stress you and let you unwind from your workday. I always make sure to give myself a few hours a week of doing activities that bring me happiness otherwise it’s easy to find myself in a funk. Also, planning activities that are fun and enjoyable during the week gives me something to look forward to rather than just living for the weekend to come.
Know when to say no
No one wants to spread themselves too thin. You need to know when to say “no” to certain projects. Blogging + having a corporate job is essentially like having two jobs most of the time (a post about how i balance both is soon to come). Sometimes with all of daytime work and I come home to a night full of projects for the blog, I feel uninspired and burnt out. I know now to say no when my content calendar is really full. I’d rather create less content that’s better than half ass my work!
Put Your Health First
Make sure to prioritize sleep, eating well and getting in exercise. If you’re not feeling your best, you won’t perform your best and it’s important to keep your work high quality. Make dinner plans or sign up for group fitness classes at a reasonable hour (i.e, 6:30 or 7pm) so it forces you to take a break and leave the office once your work is wrapped up. Sometimes we find ourselves sitting at our desks despite being finished during the day just because we don’t have a good enough reason to leave. I always make sure to schedule anything after work in the earlier hours so it forces me to stop staring at excel and get out into the real world!
Use Your Vacation Time and Enjoy It
Make sure to plan ahead of time so that you can actually enjoy your vacation and not be forced to check your work email every minute. You earned your time off! I aim to make sure that all my projects are complete before I leave for a trip. I also make sure to fully update my team on anything left over in order to make sure that there is coverage for my responsibilities and to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible.
Make the Most of Your Weekends
Lastly, use the weekends to get all the things you would have wanted to get done during the week but couldn’t. I like to sleep in, workout and get any errands I need done for the next week.