The picture above is just a one thousandth of a glimpse of how cramped up my life is. How much I am being made to do at the same time.
Juggling-the word has lost it’s wonder to me, for its an understatement to what I am doing these days. All day, everyday.
But, despite contrary belief, I need to mention right now that I wouldn’t change my life for anything because every night when I fall in bed tired, groggy, my sentences making no sense, one line is clear as a bright sunny day in my mind.
“I am satisfied.”
Why, you ask yourself, is she crazy enough to love a messed up schedule where even breathing forgets to find a place for itself.
Because, I am doing all that I love, all that I care for. And I am working towards all that I want.
What I do is a topic for another day, the list is too long to confound you with right now. I have digressed enough already.
I want to share with my beloved friends here today the little tricks I have learned over the way that help me make the schedule a little less messed up and a lot more survivable.
Here is my humble guide to how to work your schedule the best. If even one person benefits from this, my purpose will be served.
Love thy bed-from a distance.
1. Don’t procrastinate
Since I started university, I have learned this lesson the hard way. Every second I waste in procrastination, I have been made to pay for. And usually at the cost of something even more important. I have lost on valuable opportunities or been stuck in unforgiving situations because of thinking, “oh I can do that later, right now I need to veg-out”. But now I pre-prep for things and if at some moment I don’t feel like doing one thing, I go and take up some other project. It keeps me from lapsing into days of laziness and from getting complacent. Believe me, once you fall in that cycle, its viscous.
2. Get your sleep
I cant stress on this one enough. If you are lacking on your sleep, you are processing slower then ever and even what you are doing at that pace, most of it is just filtering right past your mind. Your efficiency and the worthiness of your output decreases too much. But, I had be asking for too much if I had wanted to get an 8-hour daily sleep routine. So, here is what I do. Any day, at least once a week, when the work load is the least-or sometimes even when its not-I sleep till my body lets me (which usually is a good ten hours). Other days, I try to sleep at least 6 hours.
3. Find time to laze around
It might seem a little contrary to what I said about procrastinating. But hear me out. The difference here is that you ‘schedule’ in some you time, some telly or internet surfing time. You wouldn’t be lying around “instead” of doing something important, rather you would make time along with that something to give yourself a chance to relax. Plus, this will allow you not to let this ‘break” to stretch too long. If you master this one trick, you have gotten down the main part of the your time management done.
4. Eat healthy
What you eat is what you are. My mum raised me on this line, and its true. If you eat fresh, healthy, natural foods your professional behavior, your work efficiency, your alertness and the sharpness of your mind would be at your best. You eat crap, you will end up being and feeling like crap in every walk of your life. Golden rule-never skip breakfast and eat an hour before sleeping. Believe me, you do this, and your colleagues would soon be asking you how you can work well despite the long hours and the weird schedules.
5. Use caffeine wisely
People tend to over step their caffeine intake to a point where it loses its effectiveness. I personally avoid it completely on days I don’t have to do too much, like on holidays. I know if I make my body used to it, then I wont have that “magic emergency-helper” for waking me up when sleepiness is killing me at two in the morning.
Decide, stop wasting times.
I know its a cliché, but be very clear of what engagements matter more then others. Maybe that dinner this Wednesday is not as important as the client meet the next morning you just have to work for. Or maybe you can catch the drinks with your friends during weekdays because during this weekend you have a huge exam to prepare for. So, think a little before you commit to anything.
7. Finish in time
Its much better to have done with your assignment a couple of days before due. It doesn’t just give you time to relax before you can recheck it, but it also lets you off the pressure-hook and lets you look around at other matters too.
8. Balance with fun
All work and no play, makes me an irritable person. True story. So when I find myself with even an hour of free time, I spend it partying as best strikes my mood right then. It could be a shopping trip with my sis or a coffee date with my bff. Otherwise, I know, I had lose it.
Learn the art of doing this. Its high time. I am sure you already do it, in fact. Have you ever sat watching telly while eating lunch and talking to someone and texting another person all at the same time. Sounds familiar right. Well in work you can do that too. There are times where I am whatsapp-ing, talking to a client, eating and studying, all at once. Its easy, you just need to give it a try.
Finish in time.
10. Utilize every second-
I don’t drive, not often. Rather I use that time in the car, or waiting in line at the grocery store or the time at gym, to do a billion other things. Like calling my clients, updating my calendars, my notes, making lists of this or that. Smartphones have made lives easier, all we have to do is recognize their potential. But not just that, at the lack of doing anything else, I have even taken power naps while in the car. If Japanese can do it, why cant we?
11. Put away thy smart phone
They are useful, they are essential parts of our lives and working without them is now near to impossible. But sometimes I find it rejuvenating to separate myself from my smart phone and everything internet for a couple of hours. It usually makes me feel like the horizons have broadened, that the world has enlarged and sprung to life around me. Even though in reality it was just that I was limiting myself to a smaller world.
So guys, these were the ten tricks that have made my life much more productive and much less strenuous. A holiday trip now and then or a spa day once in a while are further perks to increase your own output. The truth is that I try to make my 24 hours equal 48. Impossible yes, but I atleast end up using every single second of those 24 hours. If you have been to London, you must have seen that people there carry their Kindles and their paperbacks along with them everywhere, so that when they have nothing else to do, they can use that time to catch up on their reading. That’s the ingredient you guys, the decision that every minute of your life is too precious to be wasted. Own that dedication, and time will never be able to
Work hard, stay happy!