We all lead busy lives, and often, we don't have time to do the things that we genuinely like, due to school, work, and other commitments. Over time, life can begin to seem like one long challenge, in which there is no reward. But it shouldn't be that way! As someone who wishes there were more hours in the day, here are some tips and ideas to make the best of them, and have time for what you want to do.
To be clear, this is not multitasking while doing work. This is pairing something mindless with something that involves more thought, effectively killing two birds with one stone.
For me, I like to go through photos while listening to Ted talks. I used to listen to music on the radio, but found those tended to get stuck in my head often, preventing me from falling asleep at night. Ted talks are thought provoking, and I can still "turn them off" when needed.
I also walk my dog while listening to music. You could easily replace music with a podcast, book, or even lectures if you're studying for tests. I personally don't, because I use dog walking as a time to clear my mind and take a break from school work.
Set a limit (and follow it)
Almost everyday, I'm done with work at least an hour before I go to bed. I use the remaining hour to do things I like, such as maintaining the blog, talking with my family, and watching TV. We like to religiously watch The Big Bang Theory - past addictions have been Burn Notice and White Collar.
Even if I haven't finished all my work, or perfected all the details, I stop working at a certain time. It can be hard at first, but it really pays off for your sanity to be able to say, "I worked until this time. I deserve my guilt free night now."
Organize your time efficiently
Similar to multitasking, organizing your time well will ensure being able to devote quality hours for you time! With the majority of my work being done online/needing technology, it's sometimes hard to stay off Facebook or Instagram. In the end though, I find my concentration is the best when I'm completely focused on one thing.
A method of studying I like to use during finals is the (25/5)x2, 15 (edit: it's called the Pomodoro Technique). I simply study/work for 25 solid minutes, taking a 5 minute break at the end. After 2 of these chunks, I take a longer 15 minute break. It makes concentration so much easier, and you feel completely in control of your schedule.
Simple things you can do for yourself
A few easy and quick things I like to do for myself are:
- Short exercise videos that really pack a punch. These are best (for me) right before bed, or when I need a break from work.
- Pour yourself a hot cup of coffee or tea before you get down to work. I go through so many containers of Trader Joe's Spicy Chai mix!
- Make your bed and clean your room. It'll do wonders for clearing your mind, and helping you think!
- Hit up your friends or family and see if they can video chat or talk on the phone. It's much better and quicker than texting, and I think it's something we should do more of. Also, just a crazy idea, how amazing would it be if we could all get on a video platform sometime and chat with each other?
- Late night sweets/snacks run. There is nothing more satisfying than going out after a long day and buying some junk food to
share with your friendseat all by yourself.
- Journal about your day or thoughts. This has been a habit of mine for many years, and it's very therapeutic. I feel like once I write down a thought or emotion, I can stop holding onto it, and don't need to think about it anymore.
A bit about my week:: I recently got over a cold and fever. There was something going around at school, and it wasn't severe enough to warrant staying home. I started with a sore throat on Wednesday, which progressed to a pounding headache. All of Saturday was spent moping around, but on Sunday, I woke up feeling so refreshed and happy.
I actually don't have too many quizzes or exams this week, and it's nice. I ordered a few things online, and have been anxiously awaiting their arrival. Time seems to pass slowly when you're waiting for things!
Also, yesterday was the first day of autumn, and I'm hoping we'll be able to start wearing actual fall clothes soon! Unlikely, given our odd swings back and forth in temperature. Still have to shave for a few more weeks..
Finally, I started a blog Instagram! I won't be posting too often (unless I get carried away and you guys have the responsibility of telling me my life can't possibly be that interesting and to stop posting everything. I mean it. Do it!), but you'll get to see some exclusive content that won't be on the blog.
What are some things you guys do to unwind? What are your tips for making me time? How has your week been?