I think when I decided that I was going to get my master’s degree I had prepped myself with the attitude that it was now or never. I figured that it would be easier to continue my sleep deprivation and exhaustion now, then get all caught up to just retrain my body later. I also knew that I like a challenge and that one of the biggest that I could do was to try and see how much I could take on and still feel like I have control.
It is all chaotic. All of it. I have at least 20 things on my plate right now and as I am writing this, I am currently deciding how much sleep I can manage to function on tomorrow, how many papers I am going to grade, blog posts I am going to finish, chapters I am going to read, what is for dinner and lunches tomorrow, emails I need to prep and about a million other little tasks I need to get going on.
People are astonished at the amount of stuff I have on my plate and constantly I get the comment; “I just don’t know how you are doing it all.” My answer is always that “I don’t sleep”, but that is far from the truth. I sleep about 4-6 hours a night and on weekends I get to sleep in. Balancing it all is a bit more strategic than sleep deprivation, so I came up with 10 tips to help balance the chaos.
- Set a daily goal: Each morning when I wake up I set a daily goal. Sometimes it is an activity or task that needs attention, sometimes it is just as simple as living in the moment. Either way I have something to focus on for the day and it helps.
- Make lists: I keep google tasks on my email open and notes in my phone. I write down even the most minute task just to make sure I do not forget.
- Choose 3 things from those lists to complete each day: Prioritize. I like to choose 1 difficult, medium and easy task, that way I feel pretty accomplished. Most of the time I complete 5-10 times more than just those 3 tasks but I feel more in control when I am checking more boxes off.
- Take 30 minutes a day to just do you: Literally, watch a show, take a bath, pee in peace, sit in a dark room, workout, sleep. Whatever you need, studies actually show that you lower your stress hormone by taking daily time for yourself.
- Take help when it is offered: I am still learning on this one, but I am catching on quickly that I must allow others to help. My husband, mother, co-workers, friends, babysitter and pretty much everyone who loves me has been great in offering a helping hand. I could not be more appreciative of the people in my life who make it possible for me to “do it all”
- Let the little things go: I used to do dishes daily and never had laundry in my laundry room. Now I have a small amount of dishes in the sink and a couple baskets of laundry that need to be put away. I will put that on my list and prioritize.
- Make time for friends and family: I am so busy and often I forget that other people like me and want to be around me. I also forget how much they rejuvenate me and motivate me to be a better person. Surround yourself with those you love who breath positivity into your life.
- Make a playlist: I work faster on the littler tasks when I have music that I enjoy on. Studies also show that music can lower stress so jam out folks!
- Remove the Negative: If something is a burden and is not absolutely necessary in your life, remove it. I only have time for positivity in my life so if something or someone is too negative I remove myself from the situation. This helps immensely.
- Laugh A Lot: No I am serious. Sometimes when I have a mini break I just veg out and watch hysterical YouTube videos, or call a friend and laugh and joke. Laughing just put life in perspective and makes me feel better.