Working girl: how to balance your career, your interests and your life

Busy? We feel you, girl.

You’re putting in long hours at work trying to move up in your career, rushing to make it to the gym, and squeezing in a late night read or FaceTime session with friends. And that’s just Monday.

The rest of the week looks equally daunting – family obligations, that personal project you’ve been putting off, a networking meeting at a restaurant *all the way* across town, and, while you’d rather forget it, cleaning your apartment. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.

The other problem is that when you do finally get time off, you find it hard to be in the moment – your never-ending to-do list rudely interrupts your well-earned ‘me’ time.

If you’re like many young professional women today, you’re struggling to keep up and looking for a new way to manage your responsibilities.

Well look no further, lady. We’ve got you. Here are 7 ways to do just that.

1. Set priorities

You have about 59 things you want to get done in a week, right? Let’s face it – that’s just not going to happen. So make life a little easier for yourself and set weekly priorities. Choose just three things you’d like to get done, and do them. Having a manageable, realistic and tangible to-do list is a good way to reach your goals. For example, your to do list for the week could be: go to the gym, finish reading a book and take your pet to be groomed.

2. Make work productive – and then leave

One of the biggest issues at work is procrastination. Whether it’s LinkedIn or back-to-back meetings, the days can get away from you. And then you end up falling behind, staying late and being tired the next day. So try this: eliminate all distractions and be as productive as possible for 45 minutes every hour. Once those 45 minutes are up, you can get up to take a walk or get some water. You’ll be amazed at how well this works – and how much time you get back.

3. Learn to say no

Put a heart around this one, ladies. You can’t do it all, and there is no reason to pretend you can. It’s just not healthy for us to take on more than we can handle – and more than we want, sometimes. So please – get used to saying no. In that same vein, don’t see failure as a negative thing, especially if you’ve done your best. Practicing self-compassion is important, and a big part of that is knowing your (very healthy) limits. So just say no. You won’t regret it.

4. Connect with your social network (in person)

Social connection, whether with friends, family or other peer groups, is one of the most important elements of a healthy life, so prioritize that in your weekly to-do list. Connecting with those you care about will allow you to better deal with stress, be more open and engaging at work and more present in your other obligations. It will also allow you to maintain an important emotional foundation without which career success is difficult to achieve.

5. Practice yoga, exercise or move – every day

Research has shown how important exercise and practicing mindfulness – yoga is a good way to do that – is for not only your body, but your brain. You will be more productive at work, less irritable to your colleagues, and more balanced holistically. Don’t take our word for it – exercise, meditate and watch how much your perspective – and energy – change.

6. Honor bed time

How many times have you woken up exhausted after a late night and promised yourself you’d go to bed early, only to find yourself scrolling through your Instagram feed after midnight that evening? Yeah, us too. To get a better sleep, why not set a ‘no phone in bed’ rule for yourself so that when you crawl into bed, you begin to unwind and relax right away? It also helps to set a bedtime that you honor every night. Other than that, make use of whatever helps you sleep: white noise, black-out curtains or your favorite teddy (no judging).

7. Think positive

Finally, to help balance your busy life, try to state positive. Optimistic thoughts help you not only stay happier, but they have a way of coming true. After all, look at you – you’re young, healthy, smart, driven and totally in control. What’s not to love?

Now go conquer the world, queen!

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