October 12, 2007

Staying Sane - tips to keep you going in a crazy world.

My name is Jordan, and I am a workaholic. I am 22 years old, I work 2 full time jobs, and am in college. Life is crazy, and time is limited, but this is how I have kept it under control.

  1. Manage your time: Take an hour or 2 to look at your time commitments for the week and month. Every Monday, I sit down, open Outlook Calendar and plan my week. I first create broad categories. So I block out the time for my 2 jobs and school. Within those blocks I created sub-sections for the meetings I have planned. Then I block out any time I know I'll need to work on projects. Next I block out time for social engagements I have scheduled. Don't forget to schedule in time for commuting if you are traveling. Then set up some "buffer" time between meetings/projects so you don't fall behind when something "urgent" pops up. (In my field, something urgent always pops up) This in it self will make life run much smoother, I carry my smart phone with me all the time so I know when I have time to goof off and when I need to be headed to a meeting.

  2. Find something that relaxes you: Find something that you know will relax you when things get tough. For me, its music. I know that when I'm getting stressed out, or when I'm falling way behind schedule and am starting to worry my self I can pop in my ear phones and play some music and it will calm me down. Be stressed is bad for efficiency. You don't think clear and you waste time because you make more mistakes. So find something that you can do in your office (or close by) and do that when you get stressed. for some its meditation, others its taking a short walk. Find what suites you.

  3. Eat Right: I have a horrible habit of eating out a lot. I'm always running around and its just so much easier than to worry about carrying a lunch. But fast food and junk food slow you down. When I pack my lunch and bring nice healthy snacks I function better, I don't feel sluggish, and am in the mood to just keep working. You wouldn't put "regular" gas in your Ferrari would you? Of course not, so be sure you are filling yourself with "premium"

  4. Exercise: After a long stressful day, I'm usually exhausted. But going to lift weights helps me relieve that stress, and usually energizes me. Working out gives you more energy, and has been proven to make people happier. Exercising on a regular basis also provides some stability in your schedule so it helps you relax because its a little more control over your life.

  5. Be Social:Hang out with friends, go on dates (this includes people who are married or have a girlfriend/boyfriend.) After working so much, your friends, family and significant others miss you and probably would love some time with you. MAKE time for them. Its relaxing and great for your self-esteem.

  6. Make Time for Yourself: Make some time for yourself. Take this time to do what ever you want, take a nap, go fishing, read a book. It doesn't matter. Just don't work. This will help you center yourself and disconnect from everything for a little bit.

  7. Get Some Sleep: You need sleep. Period. I don't believe that everyone needs 8 hours of sleep (I know I don't) so sleep as much as you need to. I like to sleep for around 5 hours a night, and take an hour nap during the day (when I have time). At times I only get around 3 hours a sleep a night, and this is OK for a week or so, but after that I need to recharge some and go back to getting my 5 or 6 hours. Find a sleep patter that suites you, then stick with it. Your body likes stability and routine, it makes life easier.

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