If you’re a jack of all trades, like me; ambitious, driven, and full of great ideas, it can be hard to take everything on at once. You may find that you’ve stretched yourself too thin, and feel overwhelmed by the number of things you’ve agreed to do in a day. Taking this class, working that job, volunteering at that place and this organization, scheduling this workout, planning that date, feeding the cat, meeting with that colleague… wait, I’ve run out of hours in the day and I forgot to plan for food and sleep!
It happens. As an ambitious, driven, hardworking woman, we often find ourselves biting off more than we can chew. Sacrificing food, sleep, workouts, or slacking off in class or at your volunteer job is not the answer. The answer: TIME. You have time to accomplish everything you’ve set out to accomplish. So relax, and pick your battles, because failure is not an option.
- Learning: Pick out which classes you would like to take over the course of the next 1-4 years. Whether you are pursuing a degree, or taking classes just for interests sake, plan it out. You don’t need to take them all at once! Prioritize, give it your all, and come out of it with one A, instead of two B’s.
- Working: Pick the job you want to prioritize over the next 3 months to a year. Make it your priority, work overtime if you have to, and focus on the job at hand when you are there. If you have a second or third job, make sure that you commit to a reasonable number of hours. Make it clear that you love the part-time job, and you enjoy helping them out when you can, but be transparent by informing them that your full-time job, your school, or your whatever are your number one priority when you are not working at your part-time job.
- Volunteering: Pick out which volunteer organizations you would like to contribute to. Now break down the time commitments for each. Perhaps you want to sit on the board of directors for one organization. Maybe you’d like to be a mentor for another. Do you need to volunteer in a lab to get your degree? Would volunteering with kids be fullfilling for you as a person? The good news is, those volunteer organizations aren’t going anywhere. Pick one or two volunteer jobs for this year. Identify the ones you want to contribute to the following year. And then keep a list of the volunteer associations you’d like to contribute to at some point in the future.
- Working out: Your physical health is important. It contributes to your energy levels, your ability to focus throughout the day, and your overall success if you keep your body happy and healthy! Personally, I don’t work out. I’ve picked part-time jobs that keep me in excellent shape, and I always make time for my pet, which is also considered a workout (I have a horse). But if your job requires you to sit all day, wake up 15 minutes early every day and download the “7 minute workout” app (don’t forget to leave time for a shower)! If you have money for a gym, take a fitness class over your lunch hour. Or go rollerblading on your lunch. Go on YouTube before bed and do aerobics or yoga. If you know you have free time every Tuesday night, register to take a karate class. There are so many fun, timely, and inexpensive ways to stay in shape and have fun doing it. Different options have different commitment levels. Pick an option that works best for you. And change it up whenever possible to keep things interesting!
- Keeping in touch: Do you have those friends who like to text you every sinbgle day? I’m the kind of person that tries to say good morning to everyone via text, and then I start work and forget all about them. Then I feel bad. Pick two colleagues or friends to touch base with, and change it up every day. Whether its sending them an email asking how their weekend was, and how their family is, or a quick text saying hey, hoipe you’re having a great week! Leave the texting all day conversations for the weekend. I promise, they will still be your friends by the time the weekend rolls around! And changing it up allows you to touch base with someone you may not have spoken to in months. Keep it simple. Maybe make plans to meet up. But don’t promise everyone your time! It’s okay to say that you won;t be free for lunch until next month. Just make sure you stick to your commitment to meet up in a month!
- Hobbies: Sometimes we have to sacrifice our hobbies in favour of work, or sleep, or friends. Sometimes you just don’t have time to read that novel, take that acting class, or ride your horse. And that’s okay. Those things will still be there in a month, or three when you have time. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take 15 minutes out of your day to read a magazine, to watch a YouTube video on acting, or to brush your horse and give him a treat.
Make time for you. Make time for your goals. But trust that you have time to accomplish everything you hope to. Pick a few key activities so that you can give them your all, and save your other goals for later. Trust me, you have time!