Balance. Here's How.
Let's face it. Being a human is hard. We have so much to do, and hardly ever enough hours in the day to get everything on our to-do lists done. But what if I told you it could be much simpler? Surprise! It can. Here's how.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
When I was growing up, I wouldn't be caught dead with a planner. Now, you'll never find me without one. I've found that writing things down that I have to do and goals I want to accomplish makes it much more likely for it to actually get done in the end. I'm such a forgetful person, so being able to physically see a list of tasks is incredibly useful. If you're looking into purchasing a planner, I'd recommend a planner that has a monthly layout, as well as a daily layout so you can see your month all at once, and then dissect each day individually.
This is what the month of September looked like for me....messy, right?
2. Find Your Support System
I don't take this one lightly whatsoever. I have so many days where I'm so motivated and productive and feel on top of the world. Then I have other days where I get easily bogged down, I can't muster the strength to leave my bed, and I can't find inspiration no matter how hard I try. I get frustrated with people, work, school, and trying to figure out my life (because to be honest...I still have no clue what I want to do with my life).
I'm so fortunate to have some people that I know I can turn to for advice, inspiration and insight with daily confusion, insecurities, and questions. You're undoubtedly going to find yourself so frustrated at times throughout your life, so it's really important to pin down people you know you can trust to give you honest feedback and opinions.
3. If You Can, Find Time To Travel
I know that not everyone is going to have the time, money, or resources to travel. But for those of you wondering, here's how I've managed to travel a lot more as of recent.
I planned out this semester so that I would only have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This means that my Tuesdays and Thursdays are incredibly concentrated and pretty tough. I'm usually studying and in class from 9am-9pm. That can get tiring in itself, but the pro to doing that is now I have 5 days off to study, rest, find inspiration, shoot, work and travel.
Setting up my schedule like that really allows me to actually set aside time to work on photography, blogging and school. Lately, I've been traveling Fridays-Mondays and it's been full of unforgettable experiences. I've gotten to go to some new places and learn a lot of new things about different cultures and customs. I think that traveling and learning through experience is far more valuable than reading about it online. So what does this mean? It means that during the days that I'm traveling, I'm exploring, learning, networking and working...but during the evenings when I'm back in the hotel, airbnb or house, I'm studying to keep up in school.
4. Make Sure You're Sleeping
This one's especially tough. I know that it's easy to lose track of time at night and get caught up in work sometimes. If you're like me, you'll most likely find that you're more productive between the hours of 11pm-2am. But in order to do this, you should really compensate those late hours awake for more sleep at some other point during the day. I usually end up taking 20 minute naps spread throughout the day. A little rest is better than none!
5. Figure Out When To Say "Yes" and When To Say "No"
Overcommitment is a common issue we all face, and it can be a huge stressor. I'm a huge fan of saying, "Yes." Saying yes brings about so many new opportunities and chances to grow, but I think it's also important to recognize the power of saying, "No." Knowing your limits is pretty vital in keeping yourself sane and managing your schedule. If you know that making another commitment is going to cause you to sacrifice quality on another project or force you to give up spending time with family, I would strongly encourage you to consider turning down the offer. Obviously, you all are smart enough to know how to weigh the pros and cons of different offers, but make sure that you prioritize your commitments and get rid of the ones that you can live without. This will make more time for you to spend with your family and friends and keep yourself sane. At the end of the day, loving relationships are what matter...not how much you made at your job.
As many of you already know, this past weekend I was able to go back to Colorado for some photoshoots! I had so much fun getting to catch up with family and friends and being able to meet some new people! Here's just a few shots I took:
This past weekend I also got to break in some new kicks! I love these shoes I ordered from MerinoShoes.com just for this trip. They come in so many different colors, but I ended up selecting them in Beige! I love how soft and comfortable they are, and I appreciate how many different outfits I can wear them with. They don't come in half sizes, so I would definitely recommend rounding up a size. I'm usually a size 8.5, so I chose a 9! Look below to see how I wore them in Colorado:
I found that these shoes are absolutely perfect for traveling because they're incredibly lightweight. If you're interested in checking out the different colors, you can find them at MerinoShoes.com.
Happy shopping and happy planning! I hope these tips are useful in figuring out how to balance your schedule. I know it can get pretty tough, but you can do it! :)