presently, i am a full time graduate student, work almost everyday of the week at multiple jobs, commute to school, have a social life and run a self-branded instagram, and now blog. but what's most important is that i do this all without going insane or becoming overwhelmed.
how do i manage it all and still have time to enjoy myself? how do i have a social life on top of all my jobs? how do i juggle school and work at the same time? the answer is simple: by utilizing my current networks and passions in combination with time management skills. all it takes is disciple, practice, and prioritization.
*before you guys think i'm crazy for doing so many things in one day, its important to note i am just one of those people that has to be busy. i love changing my atmosphere throughout my day and i genuinely like being on the move... this is just my lifestyle... some people don't like to juggle as much as i do, which is totally fine! DO YOU*
step 1: write it all down!
most nights, before i go to bed, i take out my planner/journal and write out my next day. you should write down every priority for tomorrow, even make time for showering, driving, etc. this helps you visualize your day and will organize it for yourself. i feel like sometimes its scary to write out ALL the things we have to do because it definitely gets overwhelming... but something i've noticed is that if you figure out the timeline of your events and responsibilities, it actually all seems pretty do-able. just learn to utilize your routes and down times.
let's look at my tuesday and wednesday schedule:
tuesday: class, graduate assignments, internship.
wednesday: graduate assignments, grocery shopping, work out, work.
this is what my journal/agenda would look like for these days:
know what must be done, think ahead, schedule, prioritize, and WRITE. SHIT. DOWN.
i cannot express how important it is to write things down if you want to become organized and juggle a couple of responsibilities at once.
my strategy is as follows:
i always work backwards from top priority.
if work is at 4,
i write that on a lower line first
then i write in other responsibilities that must be done prior
and then i add times working backwards from my top priority time.
if today is wednesday and a paper is due next wednesday, i will work backwards.
i will use the tuesday before the paper is due to to finalize
monday to proofread and make changes
sunday to write pages 5-8, saturday to write pages 3-5
friday to write pages1-3, and thursday to find sources and make an outline.
also, doing work in short, focused hours of times avoids cramming and long hours spent doing one assignment. by opening and closing my assignments , i give my mind time to refresh and allow ideas to brew while i focus on something else for a bit
**this organization skill also teaches self awareness. by allotting time frames to do certain work, you are asking yourself "how long will it take me to complete three pages of a graduate paper?" ... you now self analyze and examine your abilities to see if the goal is achievable and if so, how long will it take you achieve it? once you develop the skill of self awareness, you will be trained to focus on whats important and focus on opportunities that benefit you due to this skill becoming a habit. it all becomes a domino effect and eventually the time frame 9am-12pm will no longer say "write paper" and it will say "9am-12pm corporate meeting with president of company" 😉**
step 2: look at the places you spend most of your time and utilize your network
one of the jobs that i am so grateful for is my sales, marketing, and management job at a boutique gym about 10 minutes from my home. i was a member of this gym 2 years and after casual conversation with the staff and learning about the business by being a client, i asked if they were hiring.
so now i have a job (check), know i can easily fit this obligation into my schedule considering i was already making the gym a priority (check), added experience in sales, marketing, and management to my resume (check), and now i have a free gym membership (minus $30 a month and related to my love for fitness, check and check).
i also love sports (and adidas, duh) so i have a sports marketing internship with my school's athletic department and basketball team (court side view, check. resume boost, check).
the point here is that not only am i working, but at both jobs i love where i'm working and the environment benefits me in many ways other than getting a paycheck.
i have one other job that fits perfectly with my schedule, it would be redundant to give the details because the point is that i searched and secured jobs that i enjoy and work for me.
*disclaimer and PRO TIP: every single one of these jobs came from speaking with the people around me. the sports marketing internship i have was established by simply talking to a friend that has a similar work schedule and similar goals. he eventually put me in contact with the sports marketing director of my school.
by speaking with and utilizing the people around you, you know their lifestyles are similar to yours and there is a higher chance the job will be easier to manage.
lastly, its important to note that i have probably filled out over 100 applications throughout the years. some people call back, some don't - i am aware of the places i spend most of my time and look for opportunity there. if i'm spending a good amount of time somewhere, clearly i value it and its culture, so why wouldn't i want to work there? last thing you want is to have a job you hate. trust me, i've been there. i have applied to coffee shop i do my work in, places i shopped at, restaurants i eat at, etc. and sometimes job opportunities just fall into your lap, you just have to keep your radar on.
jobs that fit with your schedule, your goals and your lifestyle will either work with what you currently have going on, or you will re-prioritize. basically, that's life. constantly searching for opportunity and being proactive lets you practice your networking, interpersonal, and communication skills. regardless of the outcome there is always a skill being practiced or a lesson being learned that is setting you up for the future.
how did you guys like this first blog post? was it a good topic? was it too long? (i often struggle with keeping my writing short) what should i write about next? did you benefit from this at all? will you use any of my tips? let me know! 💛