At this time last year, I was working 60-plus hours per week between my two jobs. I rarely had a day where I didn’t have to work at one place or the other, but the times when when I wasn’t working were even worse.
On the odd day where I wasn’t at one of my jobs, I was too tired to do anything. I found myself using all of my little free time to sleep and I couldn’t even remember the last time I had hung out with any of my friends. Something had to change—there was no way I could continue on in this way and enjoy life.
Before I made the adjustment my life was craving, though, I learned a few things…
It’s Okay to Say No
The first lesson that I had to learn was that I didn’t have to say yes to everything. You don’t always need to stay late or cover someone’s shift. When you have scheduled time off, it is fine (and important!) to take it. Sometimes it’s fine to put a surprise double shift or burn the midnight oil, but sometimes you need that time away. And if your company is continuously encroaching on your personal time? It might even be time to say no to the job.
Keep the Plans You Make
Making plans ahead of time will keep you on track to spend time with friends or family. Leaving the office after a long day, it’s easier to focus on how exhausted you are than to make time to spend with others. There were so many times where I wanted to cancel plans with people so that I could just go home and crash, but every time I followed through on my pre-planned time with friends I ended up being so grateful I made that choice. Socializing isn’t frivolous, but rather an important part of life.
Using a planner was honestly what got me through college—but also helped immensely in my personal life. Writing down activities and how long you think they will take can help you make the most of the time in your day. Doing this helped me realize how much I could realistically get done in a day, even when I only got an hour or two to myself. If scheduling is new to you, we can help you get started.
Time Alone is Okay, Too
I know, I know—first, I’m saying to make plans with people, and now to spend time alone. But as important as it is to make time for your loved one, it’s equally important to also make time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to spend a day at home in your pajamas watching a movie or taking a bath. If you don’t take care of yourself then you won’t be able to do your best at anything else.
The World Won’t Stop Because You Did
Just because you choose to go home instead of finishing a project one night doesn’t mean that everything will fall apart. There are plenty of things that can wait until the next day—and it’s okay to leave them when you know it’s time.
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