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Associated song of the day: Shawn Mullins: Twin Rocks, Oregon (One of my favorite songs about doing what you love)
Balance is one of those things that seems to be harder to come by these days, especially with EVERYTHING that we have going on. However, it is also an integral piece to living a healthy and happy life, while still being efficient.
I have spoken about this many times, as I have been a juggler, or a multitasker, for as long as I can remember. I am notorious for working multiple jobs at a time, and doing so pretty darn efficiently. The key for me is that I thrive in diversity and greatly detest monotony.
The perfect example of this is when I was putting myself through grad school for Nutrition. I was taking a full load of 18 credit hours, while having my kids 50% of the time and working 9 different jobs. I got all A’s and B’s, created my own internship and started my business while I was finishing school as part of a project. For my jobs, I worked in 2 different departments at a 5 star hotel, 2 different departments at the Science Museum, 3 different caterers, cleaned a house and worked for an Interior Designer.
Having that many jobs while in school full time and having my kids may sound insane, but I did it. How I was able to do it, all comes down to balance and organization.
Tips to Make this Work
I got asked how on earth I made this work, more times than I can count. For me, this was a simple problem to solve because I am a planner. I’m not going to lie though, some weeks it was much more difficult than others. This was not a cakewalk, but I made it seem like it was. The weeks that I had my children were trickier because I had to account for their schedules and the fact that they needed me as a parent, so I couldn’t be working all of the time.
Therefore, I worked less the weeks that I had my children and worked more when I didn’t. The school workload didn’t really change, but I rearranged my schedule to make sure that I got done what needed to get done when they were sleeping or in school, whenever possible.
Tips and Tricks
So, how did I do this? Here are a few tips and tricks that I used, and still do currently. I use these to maximize my time and still have time to breathe.
- Figure out all of your school deadlines from the syllabus at the beginning of the semester
- Go through all of your employment and figure out what set schedules you have or can create
- If you have children, figure out their school schedules and other extra-curricular activities
- Make sure that you schedule some free time for yourself to socialize
- Schedule time to participate in some form of exercise regularly
- Make sure to get enough regular sleep for your body (I only require 5-6 hours a night)
- Eat a well balanced diet to keep your body functioning at it’s highest level (including enough protein, fiber, calories, fruits, veggies and WATER)
- Put everything into your calendar
I realize that most people won’t undertake 9 different jobs, while taking on grad school full time and children because that can be a bit intense. And also because I have been told that I am crazy, more times than I can count. So there’s that!
However, I want to give you an example of how I scheduled my time to make that work, so that you can see that this doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you may think it is.
Week 1 (No children)
Sat & Sun:
- 5 am – 3 pm work for one of the companies
- Sat night usually pick up a work shift or do school work
- Sun night exercise and socialize
T & Th:
- Work all day for multiple companies
- Pick up catering shifts at night for either night
- Socialize at night on the opposite night
M, W, F:
- 5 am – 8:30 am school work
- 9am – 4 pm work for one of the companies
- M, W evenings exercise and/or socialize with friends
- Friday get children at 4 pm to start my week with them, which includes having Super Nacho Night
Week 2 (Children)
Sat & Sun:
- Pick up a Saturday night shift catering
- Play with my kids all weekend
M,T, W, Th & F:
- 5 am – 6 am do yoga or spin on my spin bike
- 6 am – 7:30 am do school work
- 7:30 am – 8:30 am get us all ready for school and work
- 8:30 am take kids to school and head into whichever job I am working that day
- 9 am – 4 pm work for one of the companies
- 4 pm get kids from school and head home to do homework for all of us
- 6 pm dinner, then showers, teeth, read them a book and bed
- 8:30 pm relaxation time for me, or school work if I happened to be on a deadline
- Friday night work a shift for one of the catering companies or the hotel
As you can see, it may take a bit of planning to get a schedule that works well with everything that you have on your plate, but it can be done. Not only can it be done, but it can be done so that you have some normalcy, with a set schedule, to help create the balance that we all need. A very efficient calendar with reminders will certainly help.It may take a bit of planning to get a schedule that works well with everything that you have on your plate, but it can be done! Click To Tweet
I made it through all of that craziness and now don’t have to worry about school work, thankfully. But I do still have multiple jobs that I juggle between. As of right now, I have my hands in 11 different pots, with NO signs of slowing down the diversity. And I LOVE it!
I really like this lifestyle because I get to be my own boss. I am very good at time management so I get everything done. I realize that this can be difficult for a lot of people because this is not something that comes naturally to a lot of us. The lack of being able to multitask efficiently has a tendency to cause a world of chaos to ensue.
If this is what is going on in your life right now, then please reach out to me because I would love to help you find a way to create your balance. When you are in a state of balance it is not only better for you but better for everyone around you.
If you you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to me personally, but would like to learn more about how I’ve achieved balance through diversity, please keep an eye out for my new book (The Art of Being a PITA) that is being released this month by Wisdom House Books.
What tactics have you employed to create balance in your life? Have you achieved that balance through diversity?