Some weeks are tougher than others, no? This past week I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed, and a little behind. It started with a website crash, and a long list of to-dos.  Working full-time, trying to run/grow a business on the side, and attempting to learn new things doesn’t leave much time for actually creating. Not to mention making time for fun with friends or a moment to stand still and take in your surroundings. Sometimes it’s hard to find a happy medium between work and play. I tend to shut down when the inbox gets too full and the to-do list too long, but avoiding the work doesn’t lead to a stress free me. Grace Bonney’s podcast on After the Jump last week struck a chord with the way I’m currently feeling. It was inspiring, and I’m going to implement some of the practices into my routine.

What I took away from the episode:

1. Take 20 min for you. Before bed and first thing when waking up. I’m going to try to let my mind rest and do something just for me. Rather it be a dog walk, a favorite magazine, or just coffee on the front porch rather than the computer.

2. Focus on the Present. Put some things down, and focus on one project in front of you. Be Present. Give the one thing you are working on all your attention. I definitely work on 5 projects at once, and could see how this helps you to move forward. Tackling one thing makes me feel better, and pulls me back to productive mode, so I can keep moving ahead.

3. Reminders! I have Remember The Milk currently for my more long-term goals and to-do list. My latest phone reminder app is called Today, and it let’s you focus on the immediate task at hand. It’s straight forward and simple with check boxes for once a task is completed. At the end of the day you can push the task to the next day or save it for later. I’m also using Gmail calendar to add due dates of each project I’m working on, and that’s helping me focus on where I should spend my time. There are a zillion of these apps, and I’m constantly trying to find the perfect fit.

4. Slow Down. Emails don’t have to be answered within the hour. Be firm with your timeline, and stick to your guns. Be realistic about what I can get done today, and don’t stress about what’s due in the future. Time with friends is important, time for you is important, it can’t all be done at once. Make time for creating, and experiencing.

5. Schedule. Work hours need to be set. Stop working at a certain time. This is a little tricky for me since I have a day job. For me work hours are 7am to 9am or 8pm to 11pm so I need to really schedule my time to maximize my day.

Juggling your day job, side job, making time for friends, boyfriends, beautifying your home, and taking care of yourself can make for a pretty full schedule. Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping life organized, and making time for you?

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