Tips and Tricks for Maintaining Balance with Multiple Jobs

 Photo by Vanessa Smith Photography Photo by Vanessa Smith Photography

I can’t tell you how many times I get the question: “So what do you do for work?”….and instantly I get a little sweaty and a little mumble-y because, honestly, telling people what I do can often be really awkward! See, on top of running this little business over here, I also have two OTHER jobs. I’m a digital storyteller for an amazing military nonprofit, USO-Metro, and I also teach FlyBarre classes for FlyWheel Sports! When I tell people what I do for work, my answer is usually met with: “Wait what? You do what?! Do you ever sleep?” It makes me super self conscious, and I never quite know how to answer those questions! Yes, I do sleep! Yes, I know my life sounds like chaos! Yes, I love {almost} every moment of it! {The D.C. traffic that comes along with it? Not so much!}

You see…this season of life is so crazy yet beautiful and for sure such a learning experience. But, it’s just that—a season! These 60+ hour workweeks are neither sustainable nor can they be forever. The fact of the matter is, I am so incredibly grateful for each and every opportunity that has come my way, and each beautiful day I’m given is an opportunity to work for where I want to be in the future. I’ve set goals and plotted points to get where I want to be. I prioritize each task at hand, and I know I’m incredibly young and have so much learning to do and experiences to have. But above all, I know how I want to serve those that I work with through each of my jobs. I truly believe that I have three of the best jobs in the entire world, and this is what keeps my momentum going during the longer days.

So, in response to a question I get quite often, I’ve brainstormed some of my top tips for how I am currently balancing, what can often feel like, chaos. In a perfect world, I would be living each of these points day in and day out, but life’s tough! I do, however, try to stick to them as close as possible.

So, to my side-hustlers and dreamers, my creatives and entrepreneurs, and my friends that are wondering: “Will I be able to make this work?” I’m here to tell you that YES!…it is possible! It takes heart and passion; failure and recovery; late nights and early mornings. But most of all, it truly comes down to believing in the work that you are doing. If your work fuels your soul and makes you feel complete, if you can’t imagine life any other way, if you don’t even mind your mounting to-do list because you know your work matters  and it means you get to do exactly what you love most each day, you are so on the right track already. If you want to make it happen, it will happen.

So, whether you’re just making the jump into a new career path or are feeling overwhelmed with life at the moment, take my advice and a few of the tips below to help you organize what can often feel like mass chaos in your brain:

  1. Communicate: With your clients. And your bosses. And your own calendar. And your friends and family too! When you have so many things going on, life can start to feel really overwhelming. I have found it so incredibly helpful to be open and honest about when I am committed to what. It is truly impossible to be in two places at once, and it is so important to me that I am able to give my all to each of my commitments. So, planning well in advance and then communicating said plans and schedules to the appropriate audience is absolutely key.
  2. Fail to plan; plan to fail: Ok so maybe this is just a teeny bit cliche…but can we all please just agree on how true this is?! From social media posts to emails and playlists to workouts and even meal prepping, laundry, and spending time with friends and family…if I don’t have it written down and scheduled out, chances are, it just won’t happen the way it needs to! I’ve become pretty strict when it comes to my personal schedule because it truly helps me get everything done that needs to happen. It has helped me plan my days and has actually helped reduce my anxiety because I always know when I am supposed working on what. One of my favorite tools for staying on task? I discovered The Day Designer a few months ago, and it has seriously revolutionized the way I plan my days and to-do lists. I’m not kidding when I say I have my to-do list color coded by job and my schedule written in for the entire day right next to it. This planner is MAGIC!
  3. Write EVERYTHING down: With three jobs also comes a lot of information and deadlines and goals and planning and AHH–craziness! I often leave home after answering emails and posting social for the day for the office then head to the studio and then finally return to my home desk after a long day for emails, edits & prepping for the next day. Many days, my head feels like it is spinning by about noon, and my day isn’t even close to being halfway over yet–I’m sure y’all understand this feeling! I try my best to keep good notes on everything. This helps me keep my head straight, ensures I don’t forget small details, and also helps me keep each of my jobs separate from the other. But, from sticky notes to scrap paper, and designated notebooks, I’ve developed a tendency to jot notes here and there. My desk at work is covered in sticky notes, and my notebooks are often covered in notes from various meetings mixed in with client notes and grocery lists and workflows. On my to-do list for the coming months?  Developing on a system for keeping my notes in a clear and trackable way!
  4. Be realistic; give yourself some grace: Do I often wish I could pour a little more into certain parts of my life? Do I often question each and every move I make to the point where it keeps me up at night? Would I love to be blogging 5 days a week and posting multiple times a day on social media? Yes to all of the above! But, as I have come to learn, this simply isn’t the season of life I’m in right now!  We all want to be a superhuman, but that will so quickly lead to burnout. Craft your to-do lists. Create workflows within reason. Prioritize your actions. Know that there is a difference between: has to get done, should get done, and is just a distraction for now {I’m looking at you, endless Instagram scrolling!}. If it important to you, you will make the time to make it happen! For the days where it simply doesn’t feel like there is time to maintain a healthy relationship with your work, forgive yourself! Tomorrow is a new day with a wealth of opportunity.
  5. Give yourself time off: So this one is multilayered and is for sure the point that I struggle with most. Burnout. Is. Real. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked through the week, then the weekend, then gotten to Tuesday of the next week, thinking: “Oh my goodness…it is FINALLY Friday. Bring on the weekend!” Only to realize that we still had quite a few working days left in the week! Personally, I find taking time off to be something that is really hard to do, but giving your brain some time to relax and reload is truly what will keep you from going crazy {and what will ultimately keep your cup of passion full!}. I truly feel so lucky to have the opportunity to do what I am so passionate about each day, so I understand just how hard to step back from it all. But, make sure you take at least a few hours {if not an entire day!} to step back from your computer and enjoy the beautiful life you’ve been given! From sleep, to personal care, and pouring into the people most important to you, don’t forget that you are a human first and hustler second. So, whether it’s a workout or snuggles with your pup, dinner with a friend, Netflix or a bubble bath, make sure you are setting aside time every once and a while to relax and decompress.

So, to the dreamers and the hustlers and the ones that are just feeling so overwhelmed by all of the to-do’s on your list don’t quit your daydream! Know that it isn’t going to be easy…nothing life worth doing is! The above are just a few tips that are helping me stay sane during this
crazier season of life. I have plenty more, but I would so rather hear all about your hopes and  your dreams and what you’re doing to make ’em happen. I’m cheering for you, friend!
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