I work, run a business, study 2 university degrees in a university located in 200 miles (300km) from my work and obviously I also blog, additionally I have a husband and a dog. Have you guys ever wondered how this palette actually works or is possible? Today I’ll share my secret to working on many things simultaneously!
Nobody in here has ever asked about my time management. However this is the most common thing people outside the blogosphere ask when talking with me. Thus I thought I’ll open this topic a bit in this post. Are you ready?
How I Manage My Job + Med School + Economic Studies + Blog + Own Company + Husband + Dog?
Tip 1: Plan Thing in Prior for Next 1-3 Months
With as many things as I have at the moment planning multiple months in prior is a must. At the moment I have planned everything in my life for next 3 months.
This means I have all my work shifts, all my university schedules, all family events and other events we’re planning to participate and blog schedule for whole 2018 and part of 2019 planned. I use lists and sometimes bullet journals for my planning.
I assume that for most of you planning 3 months in prior is not possible. Anyhow, the further you can plan the easier it is to fit everything into your schedule. Also, you will know a lot in prior if some day or week won’t work out well. And that gives you a plenty of time to reschedule things or find other solutions.
Tip 2: Have Virtual Calendars Shared with Relevant People
Many people enjoy handwriting to a calendar. That’s a great habit! But if you’re on the go as much as I am that can be really bad idea since there will for sure be days you’ll forgot it home. Also, letting others know your schedules and possible changes might be hard.
Because of this I use 5 different calendars that are all synced to my Apple calendar app so that I’ll see them all from all of my devices. All these are separated with different color codes.
My calendars are: 1. Yellow: family calendar for me and husband, 2. Brown: My own business and social media calendar that’s visible only for me, my 3. Purple: school / personal calendar that’s visible only for me as well, 4. Blue: work calendar shared with my managers and some of my colleagues and finally 5. Green: work planning calendar which is visible for me and when I confirm my shifts I move them from this one to the work calendar. I don’t put everything into these but everything that has exact schedule like school lecture and work hours are always in my calendars.
Here are couple of examples of my calendar from the past (all names and addresses removed to protect privacy of others, I hope you don’t mind some empty blocks – or the fact I have these in Finnish, probably I should switch to fully English some time soon):
Tip 3: Take Care of Yourself
When you’re healthy and well-rested things are a lot easier, right? So, irrespective of the length of your to do list try to take good care of yourself.
For me this means trying to sleep 6-10 hours every night, avoiding driving between midnight and 6am, eating 3-6 meals everyday including breakfast 95% of days, using bright light on mornings during the winter, taking a holiday abroad 1-5 times a year.
Remember to find some healthy and nutritious snacks and meals you enjoy! Above you can see one of my favorites, my banana bread, which is btw sugar free, milk free and gluten free.
I’ve earlier written plenty of articles with tips for better wellness, you can find all of them in my wellness category. Here are some of my personal favorites:
- The Best Bedroom Colors for Sleep
- 5 Healthy Breakfast Ideas
- How to Survive Extremely Busy and Exhausting Times
- 5+5 Tips: How to Sleep Better + Remain Energetic During the Day
- Foods I Eat (almost) Everyday
- Sugar-Free Banana Pancakes
Tip 4: Do Things Efficiently When You Do Them
It’s not about he quantity of hours you study or work, it’s more about quality. In another words don’t count the hours but focus on studying and blogging efficiently. In some work places you can also finish the project efficiently and get the same pay in less time.
For me this works with studies, blog and my own business. Even thought I do a lot of planning in prior I’m a bit flexible on what I do each day. Let’s say I’m super tired and I need to create new content, study a new subject and edit photos for the blog within couple of days. I know that creating and studying doesn’t work when I’m tired so I either do the editing or take a power nap and do the more advanced thing after that.
There is plenty of methods for adding your efficiency. For me the most efficient one for studying and working is turning off all the social media and even putting my Apple Watch to the Airplane mode sometimes. Also, knowing and recognizing when you’re the most efficient is very helpful.
Tip 5: Figure Out When Your School and/or Work Can Be Flexible
Can you work partly remotely? Could you work from different location? Can you work with flexible hours? Can you do some of your exams via Internet?
If you can get some flexibility in co-operation with your boss or teachers don’t be scared to use those when needed. However, make sure you can do everything well and in a timely manner.
For me the medical school is far from flexible but luckily other things in my life are pretty flexible. My employer offers me a change to plan my own work shifts and work partly remotely. Also, the school of economics let’s me to do 99% of things internet based. Additionally, my own business is 90% internet based and flexible which makes it possible to make so many things simultaneously.
Tip 6: Ask for Help if You Need It
This is a must sometimes. Let’s say both me and husband need to work over 10 hours some days in highest peak seasons without time to go home take my dog in between. I’m lucky to have amazing neighbors and relatives close who take care of getting the dog out these days. It would probably survive without but it’s great to know that we’ll have a happy dog even if we would have to stay even longer.
Also, if you have to be at school and work and there are tight deadlines you know you cannot meet let the people at school and work know as soon as possible! Then either ask a colleague for help or ask for extended deadline.
If you need to ask for help from others, remember to thank them and help them as well when they need. Bring a gift to thank for dog sitting, help a colleague with a project or offer a dinner in exchange from help with polishing a blog post.
Tip 7: Understand What’s Really Important and Do Compromises in Less Important Things
If you’re combining million things in just one person’s life, you must understand that you cannot do 100% perfect everywhere and always – or you might be able for a while and getting a burnout if carrying on too long.
This means that you might have to accept not-so-good grades in less important courses, not looking absolutely perfect everyday or eating on go sometimes. The important thing is to know when you can compromise the quality or the outcome.
Personally I accept a bit worse grades in some courses I’m not that interested. Sometimes I also do exams next semester if I know I have more time to read then. What comes to work I always do everything that’s asked well, but if I’m tired and busy I do less extra things. I have also sometimes compromised a bit on healthy living. I try to avoid this because I know it affects my outcome in every other area of life as well.
What kind of combo you have at the moment? How you manage to combine those things? Did you find this post helpful? Is there anything else you’d like me to discuss around this topic?