Thursday, June 6, 2013

How to be a Superhero: Balancing Work, School and LIFE!

Sometimes it can seem like we are the elephant pictured above...trying to balance a ton (pun intended ;) in such a small amount of time (the ball). Fear not, you are not the only one trying to master the art of becoming a tight rope walker daily--balance is definitely key though :)

As cliché as it may sound, organization is a life safer and preparation is key. I promise it is worth the investment of your precious time to prepare for upcoming happenings. After taking some time off from school (I became uninterested and lost sight of my goals unfortunately), I stuck to solely working for a while. Now, while working with 4 children daily leaves me panting through the door as I search for a cold shower and a hot meal, I knew that I had to head back to school to become what I really wanted to, aside from a nanny :) 

While I can't relate to mothers in the sense that I have never had a baby come out of my body, I do change diapers, get pooped and peed on, vomited on, feed the kids, clean up their messes, attend school events, play soccer carpool, ballerina (try instructing a 9 year old to work on her 5th position without actually doing it yourself! lol), counsel them on their bad days and rock the little to sleep with sweet lullaby's after the evening bathing routine or nap time. Surprisingly enough, I sang "the itsy bitsy spider" over 100 times in a row just to get baby to calm---ok so I don't have many baby songs in my vocabulary! lol Needless to say that night my voice was hoarse and I needed a throat lozenge hahah

Enough about all that---back to organization and making it through the day with so many tasks. Below are some of the things I find personally helpful. These things, like many others that did not work for me, may in fact not work for you--BUT when you're in a rut, anything is worth a try :)

  1. Get a planner (I use the "Reminders and Calendar" sections on my iPhone) ---how can you expect to remember everything, totally not realistic. In here I jot down appointments, homework and test due dates, events I'm attending, dinners with friends--even vacations (yes I can sometimes forget that I am going to paradise--imagine that?! lol)
  2. Make a list --I make these in the notes section of my iPhone again---a simple post-it will work just as well. The satisfaction of being able to check off (or delete from phone) a task that you've completed is so amazing--for myself at least. Seeing my list shrink gives me motivation to keep on chugging along on the train of tasks!
  3. When studying or doing school work, choose a quiet place free of distractions, ok, mothers are probably thinking "umm hello this is impossible!". Hear me out--there are times at work where I need to study, while the baby is napping and the older ones are doing their homework, I do mine-simple as that! (Kind of like when the baby is sleeping, mommy sleeps--I know some mothers do this and it works out well haha) Remember to set your cellphone aside and really promise yourself to stay dedicated to your task at hand.
  4. Take breaks--and no this does not defeat the purpose of getting things done, it actually aids in you remaining sane while getting things done lol If you give yourself an hour to study, take a 10-15 minute break at the 30 minute mark. This has proven to be a lifesaver for me and honestly, really has helped me retain information better and be able to study for longer periods of time--I don't get frustrated with breaks. 
  5. Get the rest you so deserve! Being a superhero is hard work, after all ;) Make sure that when its time for lights out, you really turn them off! Your body can only be its best with proper rest. Hey that rhymed ;)

 Some other things I do to stay balanced
  •  Eat well
  • Make time for friends and or loved ones--their support is one of the keys to your success, don't forget that or you'll kick yourself in the butt later. Set one day on the weekend, maybe every other weekend for our extra busy bees, to have dinner with a friend or time at a book store for coffee. You deserve this! When it comes to my boyfriend, we see one another whenever we can, even if just for an hour---have to keep the love alive. For those of you who have the pleasure of living with your spouse or loved one, make time for one another--have date nights, even if just at home! 
  • Reward yourself for a job well done. The last two semesters I have been in school, I have done exceptionally well. For balancing 15 credits, a job and my family and boyfriend, I was so proud of myself for having been able to achieve such excellence. With it though, did come extreme levels of dedication. At the end of it all, I rewarded myself with a weekend away. Positive reinforcement, even as adults, is an awesome way to keep motivated ;)

Being busy is bittersweet, you get a lot accomplished, but the climb to the top seems never ending and tedious, hang in there!

What are some of the ways you guys stay sane and balanced in life, I'm sure other readers would love to know!

It's time to throw my many hats on, grab my cape and start my day as student, girlfriend, blogger and nanny ;)