Balancing Life and Work: The Never-Ending Struggle

As a student, I know that when it comes time to apply for jobs, I want my resume to speak volumes. Managing my time efficiently between internships, organizations and school can be challenging, though.

Sunrise meme time

I don’t want to show an employer that I was somewhat involved in the industry, I want to show an employer that I’ve had experience and here are the results from my involvement in the industry. This is the perfect concept, of course, but the tricky part is actually landing internships and taking opportunities that are going to reflect well on my resume and on top of that, ensuring that my coursework is done every week.

The great part about receiving one opportunity is that it opens the door to many others, if you network and use your connections well. So once I accomplished some of this, the problem arose to figure out how to balance my time– wisely.

The hardest lesson I have ever had to learn and ultimately the key to balancing work, school, organizations and the rest of my life was to not take on too much.

When you do pretty well in one position, you know you can take on a similar position elsewhere. Being involved in school helps me out because of the unending amount of resources, but I have to urge myself not to take on everything everyone asks me to do. Burning yourself out can take all the fun out of the things you should enjoy. It took one of my professors and PRSSA Faculty Adviser to point this out to me last Spring to realize it’s OK to say no. Better yet, in leadership positions, learn how to delegate tasks effectively.

This was another big lesson it’s taken me a while to learn. While it may seem like if you don’t have your hand in everything that it could fall apart- you have to realize that the people on your team were either elected, hired or appointed to take care of their duties. You have to trust them enough to do their job and if they aren’t, then restructure, but if you’re constantly checking everything or doing it yourself (AKA micromanaging), not only will you be frustrated but so will your team member. Everyone on the team can make a difference. I had to take some time and step back to comprehend this. I wanted to do everything but I didn’t have the time and most notably, when you don’t micromanage, team members can go above your expectations and surprise you, because they want to excel.

I’m also one of those people who has to write everything down or it will be completely erased from my memory. When I figured this out, it resulted in many more pages of note-taking (I now have a tablet), but I became more organized and when I left that classroom or internship and went home for the day, I remembered everything I needed to work on and future goals. I also use Google Calendar for everything- even scheduling phone calls. Not only does this allow me to know what’s coming up but it syncs through all of my devices and it helps me remember events as well. I would suggest writing everything in some calendar format so nothing slips your mind and eventually, you’ll use it everyday. If you forget to check something regularly but need to, such as a school website, make it your homepage. You’ll never miss it if it pops up every time you start your browser. While writing everything down is my way of keeping up with everything, it may not be yours. So find what works for you and run with it.

Post it note reminder time management I’m curious to know how other people manage all of their activities- so please share your secrets with me in the comments! =)

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2 thoughts on “Balancing Life and Work: The Never-Ending Struggle

  1. First, let me just say, it is awesome you have a website!

    I know exactly what you mean! It feels like an uphill battle being burdened with so my tasks and responsibilities. I find myself literally working on projects until the sun comes up. I also use Google Calender for important dates and assignments. I don’t know how I could function properly without it!

    My goal is to create a trinkle down method of performing tasks beginning with my most immediate and important down to the leisure activities (which only covers 3-4 hours of my entire week. Ha)

    There seems to never be enough hours in a day, but you sound like you’re on the right track. I never tell anyone to slow down, but rather find a way to consolidate tasks to leave gaps in the day to breathe… Now, if only I told my own advice. 🙂

    -JRDN

    Like

    1. Jordan- thanks! It took a while to get it the way I wanted it to, but then again, I’m always tweaking it.

      My dad makes a running list like that in excel with numbers and if he adds something in between say, 1 and 2, it becomes 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. People used to laugh about his list but they see how much he accomplishes with it!

      Gaps in the day is something I am fond of too-ideally, jamming everything together sounds good because you can be done quicker, but it can make you burn out, too.

      We may not all be sane, but we have to try for peace of mind, haha.

      Thanks for reading!

      Like

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