I could not go to sleep last night — I was tossing and turning, ruminating over all the things I had to do today. I finally got out of bed and made a list:
Once I got it all out of my head and onto the paper, I could go to sleep! 🙂
I woke up this morning and took James on a nice 1.25-mile walk. We walked for 25 minutes.
The sun was just coming up when we left, and it was so relaxing to just WALK. As a runner, sometimes I forget how pleasant walking can be.
Maggie was left at home because her legs are too short to walk far distances. :) It’s hard being a wiener dog sometimes.
Back at home, I made a lovely breakfast. It was exactly what I was craving.
I had two slices of whole wheat toast with organic blueberry jam and a Green Monster (1 cup almond breeze, 1 banana, 1 cup spinach, 1 tablespoon flax).
Juggling a 40-hour job, 20 hours of blogging, 3 night classes, book proposal writing, and marathon training taught me a LOT about time management. I’m not saying that I always handled it perfectly — there were many, many night when I cried in my car or snapped at the Husband because I was overworked and tired. I called Meghann with total emotional meltdowns more than once (she’s such a good friend). But, as time went on, I got better and better at managing my time.
Here’s what I learned:
- Understand that your schedule is your choice. I can think of very few obligations (mostly all personal) that are not a choice. Working long hours, studying for classes, and exercising…. they are all choices. Everyone needs to work, but where you work is your choice. Everyone should exercise, but no one is going to throw you in jail if you don’t! Accepting my schedule was my own personal decision made it a lot easier.
- Worry about the acute emergencies and don’t stress about the long-term. I quickly realized that I was wasting precious time and energy by obsessing about a huge test I had in two weeks. There were things I needed to be doing RIGHT NOW, and worrying about something that wasn’t immediate made the situation worse.
- When it comes to exercise, do what you can. When I started to go back to school, I had to re-examine my workout schedule and drop down from 5 – 6 days a week to 3 – 4 days a week. Did I put on weight? No. Did I lose endurance in running? Only a small amount. Did I feel guilty for working out less? No! I was doing the best I could do, so why feel bad? One of my life mottos is "don’t set yourself up to fail." If your schedule changes, do the best you can do with fitness — it’s better than falling off the wagon completely.
- Wake up early. Really early. I learned this summer to stop hitting the snooze button. Why? Well, trust me — those 30 extra minutes of sleep are probably not going to impact how rested you feel during the day, but 30 extra minutes in the morning does affect how productive you are. I had to wake up early every weekday to study, blog, or workout before work. It made a huge difference in my schedule to get up early and get moving. Just do it!
- Prioritize. When you are doing a lot, there are moments when you realize that not everything you *want* to do is going to get done. A perfect example for me was finals this summer. I needed to study for Chemistry and Anatomy, but I only had about 15 hours of available studying time. I was at risk of getting a "C" in Chemistry (which would’ve shot my chances of grad school), but when I computed my Anatomy grade, I realized that I was going to get a "B" in the class unless I epically failed the final, and an "A" required a perfect grade on the final. So, I didn’t study for my Anatomy final and put all my energy into my Chem test. Prioritizing isn’t the ideal solution, but sometimes it’s necessary.
What are your time management tips? I always need new ones – especially now!