SCHOOL, WORK AND PLAY CAN ALL GET ALONG—IF YOU FORCE THEM
Want more hours in your day? Too bad. What we can offer you is a chance to feel more balanced, so you feel like you’re getting the most out of life.
Chances are good you feel like you don’t have enough time for the fun things (friends, relaxing) because your responsibilities (school, work) eat up too many hours of the day. Or, maybe it’s the other way around.
Getting your social schedule to meet your to-do list halfway is how you find balance. Here’s how to get it.
1. Stop multi-tasking
You heard me. You may brag about your ability to multi-task in a job interview, but leave it there. Multi-tasking can be an absolute productivity assassin. Spreading your time too thin amongst multiple tasks means getting few things done, with no real accomplishment. Whether it’s school or work, do something.
Finish it, then do something else. It’s that simple. You’ll feel better and get more done.
2. Schedule everything
This isn’t the death of spontaneity; this is the birth of efficiency. It’s never been easier to keep a schedule. You probably have a daily planner built into your cell phone. Use it to set aside blocks of time for everything. Keep it flexible. If you have to change a social block to a work block, make sure it shows up somewhere else. This helps you actually see where your time is going.
3. Stop beating yourself up
You didn’t finish everything that you set out to do today. It’s not your greatest shining moment, but it happens, so accept it. Tell yourself, “I didn’t get it all done today, but I don’t have a time machine, so I guess all I can do is get to it tomorrow.” Goal setting is great. Be committed to your goals, but don’t be a slave to them. Stressing about things like this eats into both your work and your social time.
4. Be selfish about me time
Do things that are just for you. Only you can know what that means. Maybe that’s spending two hours with your friends, or two hours with Netflix. You decide. This will lead to you feeling happier, with more energy. And on that note…
5. Get some sleep
Contrary to what people think, getting eight hours of sleep isn’t for everyone. Some need more, some less. You probably know how much sleep you need to be reasonably productive (WITHOUT the use of energy drinks) and feel alert. Shoot for that number. Don’t waste an hour tossing and turning in bed when you’re not tired, even though you feel like you should go to bed. If your body still has energy left, use it.
6. Actually try one of the steps above
All too often, we hear about things that can help our lives, but we never end up following through on them. Just pick one of these steps and try it out. If it works, great. Try another. But just making one good change is a victory.