First blog! Woohoo! Let’s talk about managing school, working and working out, since it’s often thought that you can’t do all three, but I’m here to tell you that you can.
Since I was 15, I’ve been juggling two jobs and school. I never really thought it to be a big deal, since I primarily worked nights or weekends, and I went to school during the day. In high school, I played 2-3 sports per year, worked, and took all honors/AP classes, but I never really studied or devoted time outside of school to practice sports. When I got to college, I learned the hard way that not studying and not devoting time to working out didn’t end well. I had to learn a few time management skills, which to this day are the reasons I can juggle 3 jobs, working out, and a full course load.
- Buy an agenda book or a calendar, and use it. This will become your best friend. Write anything and everything in there. Appointment times, homework due dates, test dates, work schedule, meal prep, etc. You need to learn how to plan everything. The days of winging things are over. Then, from there, figure out when you’ll have time to eat (meal prep), workout, and perhaps even socialize.
- DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Procrastination is the absolute biggest “no-no” when you’re trying to juggle a million different things. If you get assigned a project or a paper that’s due in a month, do it as soon as you possibly can.
- Learn how precious time is, even the smallest amount of time. If you have an extra 20 minutes between classes that you would otherwise spend on your phone or scrolling through the internet, use those 20 minutes to start an assignment, or outline the assignment, or even just brainstorm what you’re going to do for that assignment. Utilizing these small chunks for time is what is key, in my opinion, when living a busy lifestyle.
- Get sleep. Sleeping is often the first thing to be neglected when you’re stressing out or you’ve got too much on your plate, and that should be the LAST thing that you neglect. You may think sleep isn’t as important as cramming for an exam that’s worth half of your grade, but multiple studies show that lack of sleep leads to declined test performance. It also leads to declined performance overall. Your motor skills will be compromised, your cognitive skills will decline, and you probably won’t feel like doing anything the next day besides sleeping. By not procrastinating, you don’t lose sleep, you perform better, and you’re not a crabby human.
- Plan a gym workout BEFORE you get to the gym. We’ve all been there when you just walk into the gym and YOLO it, and though it may work at times, it often leads to a crappy workout and you spend more time trying to decide what you’ll do next, and less time actually working out, and when your time is limited, that’s not something that is desired. Train smarter, not longer.
- Meal prep. Meal prepping isn’t just for those who are following a strict bro diet of rice, chicken and veggies, or someone in contest prep. If your goal is to be healthier, and your time is limited, MEAL PREP. Meal prepping is essentially cooking food in bulk, measuring it out (either with a scale or eyeballing it), and putting it away for later use. If you’re going to be out of your house from 7am to 8 pm, you’re going to want to take some meals with you, and that’s where pre-measuring and pre-making your meals helps tremendously (side note: Buy a cooler or a bag to take with you to carry your meals. Food-born illness is no joke, and it’s essential to keep cooked food cool). Meal prepping also makes your food choices easy, so you’re not left with the choice of grabbing easy fast food or making food, because you already made the food.
- Make time to workout. Anyone who has a busy schedule doesn’t “find” time to workout, they make time. Whether that be early in the morning, late at night, or somewhere in the middle, you need to sit down and figure out when you will make time for working out. Personally, I’ve worked out at 5am, 11pm, and every hour in between, because that’s what my schedule allowed for that day. Remember, everyone has the same 24 hours. What you do with that time is what will set you apart
- Don’t forget about yourself. Living la vida loca aka juggling a million things is going to take a toll on your psyche, so every week or month, or whatever works for you, put aside a chunk of time for YOU. Take care of yourself, whatever that may be. Watch Netflix, go shopping, volunteer, play with your dogs, hangout with friends, call your parents, have a glass of wine or a slice (or 5) of pizza or cake or whatever fills your heart with joy. Do not forget about your happiness and do not forget to pause and take in the wonderful world around you.