I’m lucky enough to work in an industry were attending events is part of my job aka network, network, network! When I first started out in the industry I used to say yes to everything which often meant I had very little “me time”, I was constantly exhausted and had no time for my friends and family.
The average person will spend over 90,000 hours, or about a third of their lives, at work. With another third of our hours spent sleeping, the time we actually have for “living” and managing the “work week” is getting harder and harder.
I am the first to admit I am the queen of FOMO…I hate missing out and having to watch the post event highlights on Instagram. But in order to find a realistic balance I have had to learn to manage my work week.
First up, I have had to learn to say ‘no’. Becoming accustomed to “missing out” takes time, but learning to say “no” to things – even when you truly wish you could do those things. While many people have an intuitive desire to please others, re-framing how, when, and why we say “no” can create fewer distractions and protect your time.
One of the best things I did to manage my time actually started as a budgeting exercise for myself leading into my wedding (aka full save mode). Instead of saying yes to every drink or brunch invite I suggested going to a Pilates class or a walk (for friends with kids and fur babies) on weekends and doing a workout before work. For the record I am NOT a morning person and setting an alarm before 6am hurts my soul, so this is really hard for me, albeit easier for others.
But after I get over the offensive alarm time and complaining this allows me more time at night after during the week for socialising and/or network time …more importantly it gives me time to myself.
Naturally I’m a planner and pride myself at being pretty organised at work and life (yes, I’m one of those people that love stationary and calendar invites!). If an appointment, catch-up or gym class is not in my diary on Sunday for the following week then it won’t happen. We do our weekly grocery shop every Sunday for the week ahead – this is almost a reminder of what I have committed to weeks in advance and allows me to mentally prepare for the week and shop accordingly (so we don’t waste food).
By managing my diary this also allows me to say no to spontaneous plans and gives me more control of my time during the week and ultimately makes me more productive.
Get a bit smarter with your time, often the commute to work means being stuck in horrendous traffic but it also often means you are alone for a decent chunk of time (mum’s I’m talking about you). Think of your commute as your time..There are tons of great podcasts and audiobooks out there that cover just about every topic. Do some research and find a few that interest you.
Personally listening to people talking isn’t my thing, I find listening to one of my epic playlists (hello 90’s bangers) put me in a really good mood before my coffee! So make yourself a solid playlist or find one on Spotify that pumps you up. It will make a huge difference in your morning mood (if you need my playlist let me know?!!)
In summary YOU have more time than you think, seriously! It’s actually about being able to focus your energy and time so that you’re productive and don’t burn out doing pointless sh!t.
By: Hayley Conway @hayleygen
pic credit here