Personally I haven’t found the perfect balance to life and work, but I’ve found the right balance for my current living and working situation. In my quest to find balance, I realized that you have to first assess your situation.
My current situation includes not only work, but school and taking care of my ailing mother. I also have a little brother, whose work schedule I have to consider in case one of the family cars is not available for him to go to work so that I can step in and take him.
Finding these steps to balance may not be easy but what can make it simple is first, being prepared to make new steps and second, understanding that life happens. Unexpected events can easily throw a wrench in your routine and change it.
Here are several steps I take to help me balance life and work as a minimum wage employee, student and young adult.
Order of Importance: What’s more important? School, Family, or Money? At this day and age all three right? Right! School will better your future, money will better your present and family, well family is family.
Inform: Make not only your managers aware of your current situation, but your professors and family as well. With family, schedules can collide and you’re much more dependable if you tell someone as and when they cannot depend on you so they can find another solution. School and work is a little bit trickier, not being dependable can cause low grades and even job termination. As a minimum wage worker, when my class schedule changes or very important class work is due, I let my manager know that I will need extra time off to focus on my studies. I also let my professors know, not in depth, but in summary, that this personal situation is happening at home and I do have to work, not only to continue my education but to take care of my family. Only rarely, has this sharing of information been ignored or rejected by professors and even jobs.
Personal Planner: Write down your schedule. Whether it’s handwritten or on your smartphone, having a reminder of your school and work schedule can help you balance life. It’s one of the easiest ways to remember things and also not double book. Add in homework, appointments and important information and your daily goals.
Set Goals: After you make your schedule, the only thing left to do is to set goals, both daily and weekly. A list of short term goals are much easier to accomplish than a list of long term goals. A weekly goal could be finishing that term paper and a daily goal could be that dentist appointment you’ve been putting off. Try to make your long term goals, short term. For example, instead of trying to save $1,000 this year, say you would like to put aside $20 each week. By setting short term goals you’ll accomplish your long term ones faster.
Not everyone can follow the exact same steps, but here’s a start. Tweak them to fit your life and schedule and in no time you’ll easily have the right balance for your situation!