Learning balance is a skill that will help you in every aspect of your life. A lot of people ask me how I do everything I do, and there are a couple of aspects to balancing my life that I want to talk about.
I have a pretty busy schedule. I’ve mentioned this before, but I work a full time job at a university, I have this blog, and I have my YouTube channel. I don’t consider the last two “work”, per say, but they do take a significant amount of time out of my week so I’ll put them in the “work” category. I make sure to get an hour of exercise in at least 4 days a week, I serve at my church, and, most importantly, I’m a wife and a mother. That means lots of meal planning, laundry doing, child dressing, and other things that happen on a day to day basis. On top of all that, I make sure to spend time with friends when I can and take time to myself when I can. It’s definitely a lot to juggle!
I’m sure many of you have even more going on- I don’t know what life is going to look like when Maddie starts to do extracurricular things- but I have a few tips on how to balance it on without going absolutely insane.
First, I’m going to address the practical aspect. Quite simply, managing a busy life is all about time management and prioritization. This isn’t a one size fits all deal. In fact, it may change on a weekly basis. The first step, however, is to make sure you have a place to store your schedule. It can be a planner, a bullet journal, Google Calendar- whatever works for you- just make sure you have a place to write it down. Why? Because, as great as your memory may be, you may need to refer to it so you can make sure you’re not double booking yourself. It also helps you see where you have time to do things.
Once you’ve got a place to write down your schedule, you need to prioritize. What is most important? What can wait? It’s important to make self-care a priority, by the way, so find a way to fit that into your schedule. You are important! When prioritizing, remember who is around you. If you have a roommate or live with a spouse or partner, see where they can pitch in to help. If your spouse will be out of town and you have children, you will need to re-prioritize to accommodate for that. If your spouse is home, how can you work together to make sure your schedule is efficient and effective? It takes some working through, sometimes, but communication with your “team” is the key to balancing a busy schedule!
Now, onto the mindset aspect. I would be lying if I said balancing a lot of things doesn’t get stressful. It can absolutely be overwhelming. Wine definitely helps. There are two things, however, I remember when things do get overwhelming.
First, I remember why I do all of these things. If one of the “extra” things I do stops bringing me joy, I don’t make it a priority. Necessary things like exercise, work, and taking Maddie to daycare are top priorities, but sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking so taking time to make dinner gets pushed to the side and allows me to fill that time with something else.
Second, I am realistic with myself. I cannot be all things to all people and I will need to say no to things. While I do a lot, it’s important that I don’t stretch myself thin. Sometimes, doing everything in a week is unrealistic. Prioritize and be ok with pushing the less important things to another time. You aren’t a bad person for it, you’re realistic.
Time management is a tough skill to learn sometimes, but the beauty of it is that you can find a time management method that works for you. There isn’t a right or wrong way to manage your time aside from not managing it at all. Try a few things out, see what sticks, and re-evaluate!
Remember, you’ve got this!
Questions for you:
Where do you need help with time management the most?
Do you use a planner? If not, what do you use to track things?