You could say that working full-time, studying a masters degree, writing a blog and planning a wedding is too much for one person – but I’d say not!
Yes I am one of those annoyingly restless over-thinkers who has to be occupied within an inch of their lives. However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy switching off and having some ‘me time’. And whilst I’m no expert in time-management, people often ask me ‘how do you find the time to do it all?‘ So here’s a few thoughts on how I’m learning to manage my time…
It’s a choice
First things first, no one ‘has’ time: we don’t own it, we don’t control it, and we can’t ask for more. Instead, it’s something we use. And like most things, we have to choose when and how much of it we want to use. So after I finish work, I choose to spend my evenings studying or blogging, instead of hibernating in front of the sofa. *Inserts shocked face emoji*
Now don’t worry, I still make time for Love Island at 9pm, and I love nothing more than curling up and watching a film at weekends. But when it comes to weekday evenings, I choose to spend my evenings studying or blogging.
And that’s the main thing to remember – we’re all spending our time exactly how we choose to. If you’re thinking, erm, I don’t actually want to spend my time at work all day, then that’s fine – but you do. Why do we go to work? To earn money, to help others, to have something to do. Why don’t we just quit? Because we have responsibilities. And as much as it may pain you, we are all choosing and ‘using’ our time just the way want.
And if you’re looking to take on more, it just means you have to be stricter with yourself. Write down your goals and think about where you really want to focus your time and energy. You’ll soon find that when you really want something, it’s amazing how you find the time to do it.
Learning to say no
When you’ve got lots going on, you may find yourself choosing to say no to things more often, and that’s okay. Establish your commitments until you form a routine, and learn to say no if it’s not one of your priorities. And whilst I don’t necessarily have ‘Steph’s life schedule’ pinned to the fridge (although I’m quite drawn to this idea now), I plot key dates in my diary to help me plan where I’ll need to spend my time outside work.
And just as I plan study days or blog shoots, I also love to plan wedding trips, movie nights, and catch ups with the girls. And if I wake up one weekend wanting some down time, I don’t feel guilty for scrapping my schedule and having a pj day. We can’t achieve anything without good health, so I’ve learnt to make this my number one priority.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I choose to keep busy because I enjoy it. I thrive off variety, and get a kick out of juggling multiple projects. And this may or may not be the same for you. If you are happy as you are, keep it that way. But if you are struggling to find the time for the things you enjoy, take a moment to rethink how you are really choosing to spend it.
Photographs taken as part of a sponsored campaign for Cute Nutrition’s Teatox Kit.