By Monica Knudson, SEO Career, Class of 2015/FIU/AM
Client Associate/Resident Director’s Assistant at Merrill Lynch
I’ve been working since a young age, so I’m accustomed to the mental and physical toll working full-time and going to school can have on a person. It’s not always the easiest; there are multiple moving parts to keep in mind throughout any given day, which can make it hard to catch my breath sometimes. However, I like to keep myself busy, so I guess you can say I “enjoy” the challenge of balancing my crazy life schedule.
Throughout my time with SEO Career, three things have really helped me to be successful in keeping a good work/life balance. Here’s how I keep from drowning in my busy schedule.
1) Prioritize organization
Time management has been crucial in keeping me sane all these years. With school and work, it might be very overwhelming thinking about all the things you have to do, but keeping daily to-do lists or just scheduling time for certain tasks makes hectic days that much easier.
Not only does it keep you organized, but it’s also very satisfying crossing tasks off a to-do list. Laying everything down in paper – or putting it on your phone – and being able to spread the work over multiple days tricks your mind into believing that the workload is not as heavy as it seemed before.
2) Always keep an “adult mindset”
Another piece of advice I can give anyone transitioning from college to the real world is getting in the mindset of being an adult. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be grumpy and serious all the time, but it does mean you have to start taking responsibility for your actions and for yourself. This is important in every aspect of your life, but it’s especially essential in the work place.
Remember to take responsibility for yourself. Your manager is aware that you are not going to know everything from the beginning, and that you are going to make mistakes, but owning those mistakes will show a lot about your character. Although it might upset your boss at the moment, they’ll trust and respect you more in the long run.
3) Schedule a “me day” every once in a while
It can be hard to find the time to take care of yourself, so every once in a while, I suggest taking a day for mental recovery and well-being. Try not to do anything related to work or school; go out and have fun!
I realized how important this was recently while I was going to school, working and studying for my Series 7. Initially, I did not give myself a day off, and was always doing one of the three. After a couple weeks, the stress was so much that I wasn’t being as productive as I wanted, so I decided to be selfish and take a day to myself.
Of course, the first few hours I was in the verge of a panic attack because I felt irresponsible for not studying, especially for my Series 7, but after a while the guilt went away and I was able to relax. something I had not done in ages. The next day, when I went back to my routine, I was able to perform better and concentrate more. Having that “breather” helped me get back on track, without feeling like my world was falling apart.