Everyone, no matter what job, occupation or life circumstance has an element of busyness they have to deal with. Of course, everyone has different levels of busyness they can deal with too. Whether you're holding down 3 jobs and a family or a student with other commitments. No one has a more busier life, it just depends on how you handle everything. What is manageable for you?
Balance. Probably the most overused term within the fitness and wellness industry but, well it really is essential for every aspect of life. Especially a busy one. Balancing the act of everything from social, health, work, sleep, opportunities, commitments.... where does it end?!? How do you balance it all. To tell you a little about my life so hopefully you can see that I, too, have this problem of balancing multiple balls.
- University student (lectures, revision, write ups, assignments)
- Blogger (Youtube/website)
- 1 part-time job (freelance instructor = invoicing, chasing payments, taking on new classes)
- Spin instructor x5
- Training sessions (5/6x a week)
- Yoga instructor (2 x a week)
- 8+ hours sleep
- Preparing homemade healthy meals
- Therapy (1x session a week)
- Dance society member
- Running my own home/ space (i.e. cleaning/tidying)
- Social life (not a lot but a little!)
As you can read, IT'S A LOT. Maybe not so much for some, but even I think, THIS IS A LOT?!?!
This could be nothing compared to others. But for me, this keeps me an incredibly busy bee! How do I balance it all? Let's spill my tips and tricks....
I won't make a massive deal about this, but prioritise your sleep 100%. You can't do everything you set out to do without having an efficient amount of sleep that you require. Most people need around 8-12 hours of sleep per night to be a comprehensive, functional person (I feel I need more!). Don't be silly and have late nights if you know you need to be up early. Turn off your phone, stop the Netflix show. If you really want to be able to get the most of yourself, you need to put in some zzz's. If you feel good, your work reflects that, and sleep surely makes anyone feel GREAT!!!
2) Plan the structure
No matter what people say, most of us like a routine and structure to our day. I have lived both a super structured routine and totally chaotic one, and I thrived off planning a routine and following it through - almost to the hour! If you know what you need to focus on, you can then plan how the structure of you day needs to follow based on your top priorities. Job? Education? Family? Pick what you care most about and work your life around that. Slot your other commitments around. It's all fun and games until you forget to schedule something in and forget about something, which could lead to missing an opportunity, missing a work commitment or worse... letting someone down. WRITE IT DOWN!!!
3) Meal planning
Similar when planning your week, plan your meals! Deciding what you're going to eat from lunch and dinner means the pressure/ struggle of deciding later is taken away. Nothing annoys me more than not knowing what to cook and feeling lost in the kitchen- somewhere I want to feel relaxed but in control. Especially if it has been a busy day. By doing this means you can plan your food shop to make sure you have all ingredients required and takes away that stress later on. It doesn't mean you have to prepare all your meals, but mentally prepare so you know what you're cooking is a great start.
I need food to function. Simple. Especially with my current lifestyle where it is so physically active, I need the fuel. I need fuel to get the best out of myself mentally, physically and for optimum productivity a good snack goes a long way. Sometimes I can't always plan snacks, because I don't always know when I'll be hungry (although if you're looking for homemade snack ideas head to my post - Healthy Snacks) So when I need fuel, my first place to go is BOUNCE BALLS! Healthy, high protein, tasty AF pocket rocket size and so many different flavours. I have a massive love for them as they're so convenient! Making sure I have some snack, keeps me going and overall I can get everything done when the tank has been fuelled i.e. ME!
5) Does it really matter?
Right, start thinking about the things that might not be important. This may be easier said than
done. extremelyBirthday meal? Colleagues leaving drinks? Training session? Some things are 'non negotiable' and something that you feel you can't miss because they're important to you. Some people will have different ideas on what is important to them. For example training session are extremely important to me (help with my mental wellbeing) but missing someones birthday meal or an exciting blogger opportunity might be something I have to miss if I can't fit it in. Sadly, if you are a busy person just prepare yourself to let down someone or miss things that you probably would like to do but just can't. I know that may seem a little harsh, but remember to look after YOU first, because that is always going to be top priority, which leads nicely to...
I would go as far to say you should plan this, whether it is one day to yourself or a couple of hours every day. Everyone needs down time. A chance to re-charge your batteries. If you don't plan down time, it will be something that will be less apparent to you short-term but long term if you are constantly 'GO GO GO' You'll burnout and could seriously affect you mentally long-term for a lot longer. Don't see downtime as something weak and pointless nor does it have to be something thrilling/ exciting. Reading your favourite book for an hour, preparing your favourite meal, catching up with you favourite TV show, seeing a music gig, heading to the gym for a un-rushed session. All of these can just be a few ways to help de-stress and re-charge!
7. Maximise your time
There is a fine line between cramming work at every moment possible and constantly working to a point of no rest. If it is coming towards a deadline for a project/ work related (so the timeline of this isn't a long term one) then this is an important step. For example if I have a essay assignment due for university, this has a clear deadline therefore needs to be top priority and squeezed in when possible. This means instead of shutting down my laptop and brain at 5pm, carry on working till 7/8pm or wake up earlier so instead of a 9am alarm set a 6/7am (that is if you're a morning person). If this is something temporary (and not a long term solution).
8. BIRD OR OWL?
Night owl? Early bird? Similar to the previous point, but find the time that is best for you. I know I can't work well in the evenings - this is where my body naturally starts to settle down so my brain is totally switched off. But others are on full power mode and starting their day at 5am (like me) wouldn't work for them. Remember, a candle doesn't burn at both ends- and neither do you! Find the time for either A.M. or P.M. and find your time for relaxation too.
Now you have flown away from the honey pot, hopefully you'll have a productive and busy day collecting lots of honey and hustling for the best flowers (I'm trying to make this relatable to the title, does it work?).
Simply Martha x
P.S. I listened to a podcast and this sentence hit me hard.
'We all have 24 hours in the day. 8 of them we are sleeping, 8 of them is our main job and the rest of those hours is completely up to us' - I liked it because, you can fit in everything you want. You just need to get organised.