In the past couple of months as a recent post-grad, I have come to realize just how difficult “the real world” can be. Even though I am still living at home with my parents, I’ve found that without an academic calendar and syllabi to keep me in check, it is incredibly hard to keep track of everything. It feels to me that life as a college kid was so much easier to organize—perhaps this has to do with the fact that everyone was on a similar path. Everyone was worrying about the same things—classes, schoolwork, an on-campus job and of course, what party was happening that weekend.
Nowadays, my responsibilities seem to be different—I am trying to figure out what is an appropriate amount of time to spend with my family (before they drive me crazy), when to see my friends who have their own schedules, when and how often I should see my boyfriend (before I drive him crazy) along with finding time for myself and for fun.
I am coming to realize that organizing life is far from easy. Things are often more chaotic than they are organized and it takes a lot of effort to make sure that the people in your life are happy and that you’re satisfied with the life you’re leading. I’ve been working on trying to balance out all aspects of my life—professional, romantic, personal and social. Here are some of the things that I think work when you’re trying to balance out your life:
1. Be well rested. You can’t expect to have a balanced life if your body is off-balance, right? It all starts with you. If you sleep well and eat and work out to get energy throughout the day then you will have the motivation to work on your life.
2. Find time for yourself. Along with being well rested and treating your body right, it’s also important to give your mind some time to think and reflect. I usually like to wake up earlier than I need to or go to sleep a little later—it’s when it’s the quietest in my house. To me, it’s important to be able to be alone with my thoughts without interruption. Try to find time to do something for you: go running, paint your nails, write in your journal or watch your favorite trashy TV show. You can’t give other people your time without treating yourself first.
3. Keep a planner. Seems obvious, right? But I always tend to use a planner for just a few weeks before getting sick of it and throwing it aside. It is truly a great way to keep yourself organized though, whether it’s a date with your man or a get-together with your best friend, writing it down definitely helps committing to the event and remembering it. Most of electronic devices already come with one, so if you’re tech-savvy access your planner on your fancy phone or if you’re old school, buy one at a Target or anywhere else. They’re available everywhere.
4. Don’t over-book! There are only 24 hours in a day so you can’t do it all and you shouldn’t feel bad if you can’t squeeze everything into the same day. It’s not realistic. Dedicate different days to different activities and people. Maybe Mondays can be for food shopping, Thursdays can be your date-night and Sunday can be your day off from the world. It can be hard but once you get into a routine, things will get easier.
5. Make an effort. It can be easy to get wrapped up in your own life and give up on seeing other people, especially if you’re super busy. Even though it is your life, you have to remember that you’re a part of many other lives as well. Make that call to set up a date with that friend you haven’t seen in a while, or reach out to a family member you love dearly. Spending time with other people will make you feel rejuvenated and it will definitely be worth it. And remember, other people are busy too, so they might be waiting for you to make the first move.
Enough about what I think—what about all of you? What are some things that you do to make life easier to manage?