How to sleep 30 extra minutes in the morning and other thoughts on work-life balance
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Happy middle of the week- you've almost made it to the ever coveted weekend. You only have about a month of summer left, so live it up! I hope these pictures make you run to the store to get one more bite of watermelon, before the season is over ;) Truthfully, I took these pictures almost two months ago. So, why am I just now posting them? As a twenty something with a 9-5 job, who likes to travel and have a life, along with blogging, I have to squeeze things in when I have the time.
Ah the life of a fashion blogger. So glamorous, right? Think again. Not to say that I don't love blogging, because I do! It just sometimes gets a little rough balancing my full time job, blog posts + inquiries, having a social,life, oh and sleeping. So how do I do it? Honestly, I fail sometimes; however, I've learned to develop a schedule that works for me. Do I follow it all of the time? Well, no. I'm human. I forget and I make mistakes; however, when I do follow my "to-do" list, I find I am more prepared for the day, happier, and don't stress out as easily, making me more balanced. So, without further ado, here are some tips I have picked up on to achieve work-life balance. **oh and if you're not a blogger, just replace anything I said about blogging with your work, you workaholic, you ;)
Prepare. The weeks that I have the most work-life balance are those that I get ready for. I meal prep my breakfast smoothies and lunches on Sunday afternoon. I also check the weather and create several outfit choices for the week. This makes getting up so much easier. Whether I get up early to work out or I choose to hit the snooze 10 times, it's always easier when I have several "morning of" tasks already done. I also get stuff ready for me to use them. For example, I lay out my loaf of bread, a knife, my mug, etc for breakfast! It's amazing how much it helps to have little things like that ready for you! So that's really how to get 30 more minutes of shut eye...get the things you have control over, in line. Don't waste 20 minutes looking for your other shoe or whipping up a protein shake that you manage to spill all over the kitchen, as you're trying to rush out the door to beat traffic ;)
Routine. On weekdays I wake-up around 5:30 am, if not before then. I like to start my day off with a devotional, usually this one and this one! Then I read the Skimm, which I've been subscribing to for a couple of years now. (It's an overview of news- you can get it in your inbox by signing up here) I then dive right into the blogosphere. I share my blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Flipboard, StumbleUpon, and Instagram. I then proceed to link-up, comment, and follow other blog and social media accounts, as well as take part in several of my Facebook blog groups. I usually work out next, but haven't been able to because of my injury, but more on that soon! Whatever your routine is, find what works for you and stick to it. The more you do it, the easier it will become and the more balanced you will be.
Focus. I don't know about you, but when I have a lot of things piled up, the best way I attack them is to make a list. I then figure out which ones I can get done the fastest, based on priority. This way, I can start checking things off and can begin to feel productive. (I don't know about you, but there is such an invigorating rush when you check something off of your to-do list!). If I don't do this, I bounce around to many different things and am not very organized. Hone in on what you need to do and get it done, friends! If you don't get things completed, chances are that you will remain off balance until you do get them checked off.
Sacrifice. Sometimes you have to give up time to get things done at a different time than you usually would. Did I confuse you yet? Here's an example. I have a lunch break at work and usually I like to leave the office to get some fresh air. Lately, I haven't been able to really leave, because I have had to do blog stuff during my lunch hour. Part of this stems from the fact that I kind of never caught back up after I got back from Hawaii, but regardless of that, I've been doing it during the day, so I can have fun with friends at night. I do work on it some on the weekend, but I've been really trying to be more spontaneous, which sometimes means that dirty dishes get left in the sink...it happens. When you're off balance, it not only affects you, but those around you. In order to not let it affect them, sometimes you have to sacrifice.
Timelines. Social Media rocks and helps my blog so much, but because we have our phones, the instant access sometimes gets in the way. I try post and be done with it, so I can engage in conversations and my surroundings. My bf knows that I'm probably going to take a picture of our dinner, but pretty soon after that, I'm going to put my phone away. I know that some people have success with not using electronics after a certain time, but that really doesn't work for me. Do what is right for you- just make sure you are taking notice of everything and everyone around you. P.S. that Do Not Disturb feature is pretty great, though, and is perfect for keeping away those pesky office emails;)
Relax. This is honestly the hardest one for me. I am a go-go-go person and often have a hard time slowing down and resting. (My bf is really good at this, so he helps me most of the time) I remember when I was getting my eyelashes done by Amazing Lash- I had to sit still for two hours for them to put my extensions on and boy oh boy did my mind go insane. I think I thought of every single possible thing I could have been doing, until I feel asleep. Resting is so important to do so you don't get burned out. Relax and get ready to take on your dreams when you refuel!
Now, I didn't say my system was perfect, but it is manageable. There are still days where I stay up late writing and rambling, but each day is a new day for me to try again! I don't think this will ever be perfect, but I can sure as heck try. I love a busy life, but definitely make sure to love the people in my life more than my to-do list-sometimes the best balance I can get is by totally breaking with my routine for a day or two, in order to truly engross with everything around me.
I think of work-life balance as yoga for your planner. Learn to bend and stretch where you can, but know your limit. The more you practice, the better you will get.
Namaste, friends, but before you go, check out these other thoughts on work-life balance! My post today was part of a link-up on this topic, put on by Dallas Blogger Collective. Enjoy!