I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I’m going a zillion miles an hour. For me, I guess I do it to myself. That’s what happens when you have a full-time job training people, own a career coaching business of over 200+ clients, are knee-deep in church-related things, try to start a mission-focused organization with two other #girlbosses - oh and attempt to date and get sleep and exercise and be a good friend and all those other important life things. Like buy toilet paper. And make my bed.
I guess you could say I’m one of those people who loves to stay incredibly busy. I’m always throwing a new project idea my friends' ways (my newest one: kombucha cocktail/mocktail line - TELL me you wouldn’t be into that). There’s just something about creating that gives me life. But I also know that at some point, the see-saw I’ve been tottering on will absolutely buck me off and I’ll be laying face down in a pile of tears, exhaustion and probably a couple extra pounds.
I’m sure you can relate to some capacity, right? Well, if you’re looking for some reprieve, especially during the holiday season, here are a couple of things I’m trying to implement right now to create a healthier flow of work-life balance.
Creating a morning routine
This is all the craze these days, I know. “5 Minutes to Your Best Day!” “This Morning Ritual Will Change Your Life And Land You a Boyfriend” “Wake Up Early and Do This and See Your Life Completely Transform Where You’ll Be Floating On Happiness Like Mermaids and Unicorns All Day” We’ve all read these articles. But how do we realistically evaluate what could actually work for us? For me, I’m really going to hunker down and do three things really well in the morning. I’m not going to hit the snooze button. I’m going to head to the gym for a short, impactful workout. And I’m going to read my Bible. Every day. That’s the goal. Hopefully, my brain will be a little more focused as I approach my work day with vigor, zest and rest.
Reserving Friday night for me
One of our dear friends Hannah Jane introduced me to this novel idea. Almost every Friday, she spends the night free of social obligation. As in, alone. Especially in a city like NYC, it’s easy to get sucked into the social activity and have major FOMO, particularly for an extrovert like myself. But I’ve noticed, that if I don’t have introverted time, I have a hard time resetting, especially after a long work week. So, I’m going to try and implement (for what I think is the third time) this practice. And if I can’t give myself the entire night because of commitments that just CAN’T be missed, I can at least give myself an hour at a coffee shop curled up with a book, some time in the piano studio or a glass of wine alone at a bar. What do you think? Easy enough.
Lately, I’ve been trying to be very diligent with my calendar. My ENTIRE life is in Google calendar - from work functions, to coffee dates to career coaching sessions. And now, I’ve programmed an alert to tell me to go home and rest. I’ve also blocked off Thursday and Friday for purely social/me time functions. That means, if I have to get some work done - it has to be done Monday through Wednesday evening. This forces me to reign in my responsibilities and be more thoughtful about how I spend my time. It’s all about intentionality people.
Saying yes to saying no
I’m really terrible at this, because I tend to be a people pleaser. But, I’m really trying to focus on prioritization in my life. That looks like asking myself questions like: Do I need to stay late to do this extra bit or work, or would it actually be better if I came in a wee bit earlier because that’s what I’m most productive? Should I take on that extra project even though it’s way beyond my capacity? What about that client who has been on my wait list and I feel really bad because they have a career emergency and want to hop on the phone on a Sunday? No. The answer is going to have to be no. Especially if it’s not going to be life-giving. It’s okay to turn down social activities because I actually just want to go to the gym and take a nap. A bit more saying yes to saying no.
This one is going to be really challenging, because I am so not gifted here. But, I think in an effort to reign in my food budget and spend more time in my kitchen, I’ll be spending less unnecessary time in the office. I love my job, so I have a tendency to work even when I get home. My hope is that by not allowing myself to hop out and get a quick eat, I’ll be spending more time intentionally eating, saving money and feeding my body what it needs versus an on-the-go treat. Plus, I just re-watched Julie & Julia and I kinda want to learn how to be Julia Child.
Hopefully these were actionably inspiring! I know how challenging it can be to separate work and life and social and create more balance. It’s a constant thing I’m trying to improve upon. Hang in there, friends, you got this!
This post was adapted from its original on The Real Life RD.