Everyone who has ever tried to write a book, or keep up a blog, or do any other project that is not adjacent to their main responsibilities knows that it’s a lot of work. And no matter whether you’re a student, full-time employee, parent, or something else entirely, you know it also takes a lot of time. Balancing priorities and extracurriculars is a real feat. Since school just started for me this past week, I thought it only fitting to offer my top tips for juggling the many aspects that make up our everyday lives.
- Get organized: If you know you have a particularly chaotic stretch of time coming up, sit down with a calendar (or, if you’re like me, pull out your phone), look at everything you have to do, and make up a schedule. Even if you don’t stick to it fully, having a rough timeline of what you need to do and when should keep you from getting too overwhelmed. It will also keep you from forgetting anything extremely important.
- Slow Down: Don’t look at the schedule as one big, intimidating task list. Take it step-by-step. Finish one objective before moving onto the next, and don’t let yourself think too much about all the things you still have to do. Find a way to keep yourself in the moment. When I really need to concentrate. I put on music.
- Break It Up: I’ve mentioned this before in my Top 5 Tips for Staying Focused, but unless you are one of those awesome people who works extremely well in incredibly tiny amounts of time, I don’t recommend tackling any major project or goal, whether it be writing a paper, writing a book, finishing an art project, doing ten loads of laundry etc. etc. all at once. That will only increase your stress levels and produce less-than-satisfactory results. Instead, work on it for as long as you can while still feeling like you’re churning out quality work, and then STOP. Take a break and concentrate on anything except your ongoing task. That way, when you come back to it, it will be with fresh eyes and more energy.
- Find Something You Love… And Then Do It Every Day: My goal of writing a book is what I love, but I have a hard time doing it as often as I’d like. I’m actively working to improve though, not only because I want it, but because I find it relaxing. After a long day of tackling the have tos of your list, it’s a refreshing change to reward yourself with a want to. It can be something as long-term as writing a book, or as simple as watching your favorite movie or eating a favorite meal. Doing something you love can be a great stress reliever, and will help you recharge before going back to the grind.