My mom used to tease me all the time about how many jobs I take on at once. Throughout my undergraduate studies I worked a lot…sometimes two or three jobs at a time while attending school. It’s not because I have a love for money (because I don’t), I just like to work and be as productive as I can, as much as I can.
Don’t get me wrong, I like to relax just like the next person so every Sunday after church (if I’m not on the road) I have “me time.” No ifs, ands or buts about it but as soon as I rise on Monday mornings, I’m back into my daily routine of blogging, PR work if I have any that day and working on papers or reading for class.
I get asked a lot about how I balance having so many irons in the fire and I don’t really know. I don’t always do everything well because something is bound to be neglected, especially if there is a lot scheduled for that day or week.
I don’t recommend juggling a lot of things because it does impact the quality at times but if you find yourself wearing many hats like I do, here are some ways I make it all work.
1. Focus on harmony, not balance.
I recently changed my way of thinking about having balance in life after seeing one of Paul Carrick Brunson’s posts on Instagram that suggested people aim for harmony instead of balance. Realistically, you’ll probably never have the perfect balance between work, life, love and whatever else you have going. If you focus on harmony instead, you are more likely to be happier. Harmony just means making all things work together instead of against one another.
2. Use calendars, organizers, to-do lists and alarms.
Calendars are a must. I prefer to use an organizing tablet/journal that I keep in my purse at all times. I literally write my entire to-do list on it for each day and I use it to plan ahead as well. My to-do lists help me to stay on track and I also have a real-time view of how much I’m actually getting accomplished. The best feeling is to be able to scratch something off of your to-do list. My alarms help me stay on task as and when I need to completely focus on writing.
3. Prioritize based on due date.
In my line of work there is never a shortage of fun projects to plan that will have your creative juices and adrenaline flowing. It’s easy to focus on the fun stuff and neglect the more tedious work. I used to get caught up with this one a lot until I started focusing on due dates, which makes the most sense anyway. Getting things done ahead of their due date is the best way to reduce the stress of wearing many hats. I don’t always practice this but when I do, it definitely works in my favor.
4. Have a support system.
Having people who will have your back is golden when you’re juggling lots of responsibilities. These people will cook for you, take you out when you’re stressing, listen to your grievances, help you come up with ideas and give you feedback when you need it. I thank The Lord everyday for my support system. They are the best in the world.
5. Know when to say no.
The most important tip for managing many responsibilities is knowing when to say no. You must resist the urge to be a people pleaser because it will be at your expense about 90% of the time. People have their best interest at heart and very rarely will people consider all that you have going on when they ask you to do things. I’m not saying that you should say no to every request and that you’ll always be on the short end of the stick, I’m just encouraging you to be selective in what you agree to take on to your already full plate.
I hope these tips help you, I know they keep me from going crazy!
Your Turn to Talk…
How do you balance all your day to day responsibilities? Share your tips in the comment section.