Time Management Tips and Tricks

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

But how am I supposed to work full-time, work on my side hustle, spend time with family, date, and have a social life?

It seems impossible, I know. But that’s why as we get older, time management is more and more important.

I hate to break it to ya, but we’re not as young as we used to be. Our bodies and minds can no longer function as well as they once did at 3 a.m. when we were up writing that 10-page paper. Things usually need to be done now when it’s still light out.

But, there are only so many hours in a day. I know that, too. And that’s why time management is critical.

Make lists
Write everything down. Write down what you want to get accomplished for the day or the week. I promise you that you’ll get a sense of satisfaction upon completing a task and crossing it out. Having everything that you need to do written in one place will allow you to visualize everything, see what you still need to do, and take pride in all that you have already gotten done.

Schedule
You get countless calendar invites at work for meetings and conference calls, don’t you? Why not mimic that in other aspects of your life? Buy an agenda, and write everything down in it. Or utilize the calendar in your phone. You’ll see what you need to do, and what time you’re free to do it.

Do things when you have spare time
Some of you probably laughed at reading “spare time” but even just five minutes of downtime can result in emails getting answered or a blog post being drafted. Take advantage of unexpected free time. If you have the time to get work done, why not? Of course, this is not to imply that you should stop having “me” time — we all know the importance of self-care. This is for when you finish a task early, something gets cancelled, etc; take advantage. It’s all about having and finding your balance.

Have a buddy
Sometimes, we’re just better at staying on track with things when we have a friend checking in on us. Ask a friend to be your buddy. Tell them your plans and goals for the week, and have them check in as frequently as you want — whether that be midday everyday to see what progress you’ve made so far, or at the end of every other day.

Utilize your phone reminders
“Shoot, I forgot I needed to get that done.” We’ve all said it. And unfortunately, sometimes writing it down isn’t enough. But now, our phones are here to help. Set reminders or alarms in your phone to go off at the time you were planning on doing something. Yes, you can still “snooze” the alarm, but at least you’ll be reminded of what you need to get done.

Pets

Worried About Pet Care? Here’s How to Balance Your Pets, Job, and Life

Adulting, Author: Claire Greene

When I  just graduated from college, I made the decision to get a cat. I am a natural animal lover and thought a cat would make a great companion in my postgrad apartment. I decided I wanted to get a black cat because I read that a great deal of black cats are bought and then abandoned around Halloween, and I wanted to give one a good home.

I decided to look at shelters and adopt. I met one and fell in love with him, and I named him Binx. He ended up rescuing me. I love him with all my heart, and I would do anything to ensure him a happy life.

It’s very easy to fall in love with a pet quickly — they become so a part of our little families — but keep in mind that getting a pet is a big decision. We want to make sure that our furry friends have what they need — in spite of your schedule. Here are some tips to do just that.

Research the breed, species, and number of pets
Before you purchase or adopt a pet, research the specific type of animal you are considering getting. You should know the demands of your specific animal type. If you get a dog, you should know the specific breed. If you get a sporting dog, you are going to have to be prepared for a high energy dog that is going to need to exercise quite a bit. Get ready for lots of hikes, runs and swims.

If you get a dog as a puppy, make sure you know how big they will be at full size. You don’t want to have a Great Dane in a tiny apartment. If you get a bird, research its diet. A budgie needs lots of fruits and veggies, but make sure you know which ones can be harmful! To give your pet a long life, you have to know what they need.

Know which type of animal works best with your schedule
The reason I decided to get a cat and not a dog was simple: I did not have the time to put in the responsibility having a dog entails. I was living by myself, worked an accounting job and went to school.

With a cat, you do not have to be home every hour to take it outside to use the facilities. You can leave a cat alone for the night and as long as there is enough food and water — it is not a big deal. A dog cannot be on his or her own for more than a couple hours. While I am a dog lover, I would not have been able to give it the proper care.

Do what is best for your animal, not what is best for you
The hardest thing about owning a pet is learning to separate what is best for you from what is best for your animal. For example, if your cat is scratching up your furniture, is it best to declaw? My answer would be no.

While in the past declawing has always been an acceptable form of corrective therapy, what many cat owners are unaware of is that declawing is not simply the removal of the nail. It is actually the complete amputation of the joint. In humans, it would be like the removal of the entire finger to the third knuckle. The moral of the story? Always do your research before you make a decision regarding your pet.

Know your pet!
If you love your pet, you really can’t go wrong. Pay attention to what makes your pet happy. Each animal is different.

 

Make sure you take your animal to the vet for their routine checks. Also, don’t forget that it is just not the initial expense. After investing in an animal, there are other expenditures that you will routinely have to accommodate for, i.e vet bills, food, etc. — and incorporate that into your budget.

We love our animals. They give us unconditional love, a friend and a sense of responsibility. Make sure you can give them what they need in return.

Schedule

Beat the Schedule Monster: How to Balance a Full-Time Job With Your Side Hustle

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Career Advice

Don’t worry, millennials. I know having a full-time job is no joke. An exhausting, day-to-day, up-down, drag out affair. From office life to crafting the perfect email multiple times per day and everything in between, it’s easy to forget that we should actually be grateful for our employment.

But, if you’re looking to start a side hustle (or have one already and are having difficulty with the balancing act), work full time and still have a social life and some semblance of sleep, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible.

As a blogger, I can tell you that a blog (and any type of side hustle, really) is no joke (and I’m sure Nicole of GenTwenty will tell you that too!). Here are some of my tried and true tips for “doing it all”:

Schedule – however it works for you.
I’ve tried a number of methods for keeping my to-do list as well as my appointments and meetings straight, and have figured out what works and what doesn’t work. Recently, I discovered that writing down what I have to do in a notebook works better for me than the to-do list apps I’ve downloaded and tried.

Improvise During the Week
Whenever you find free time — even if it’s in unexpected places — utilize it. Lunch breaks at work are ideal for this type of found time, but you may be lucky enough to have a lull in your work day where you actually don’t have anything to do! If you do, in fact, get lucky enough to have a free hour fall in your lap, make use of it (depending, of course, on your type of side hustle). If you’re a commuter who relies on public transportation, your commute is another great time to play catch-up.

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Use the Weekends
If you’re like me and work an office job, you most likely don’t have to work your 9-5 on Saturday and Sunday. Resist the urge to sleep in on Saturday and get to work early. This way, you’ll still have time to enjoy your Saturday night. If you’re also like me in that religious services take up the majority of your Sunday morning, Saturday is your ideal side hustle work day. If not, use whichever day (or both!) works best for you — but start early on Sunday too! That way, you’ll get to bed early with work in the morning on Monday.

Every Opportunity is a Networking Opportunity
Even at your 9-5, talk up your side hustle. Invite your co-workers to like your Facebook page and follow you on Twitter and Instagram. Don’t be afraid to ask for support.

Get Some Sleep!
I’ll admit…I’m very guilty of not getting enough sleep. But I’m learning that I’m not useful at my day job or with #NAMB if I’m up all night and up early the next morning. You don’t want to end up tired, distracted and distant in all areas.

How Do You Balance Work With the Holiday Season?

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Career Advice

I’m sure you either grew really, really excited or you groaned once you read the title of this piece.

It’s possible that your work schedule has interfered with the traditions of the holiday season, that you look forward to with the fervor of Buddy the Elf. But it’s possible to get in those gift wrap marathons following a full day of work. Here are a few trade secrets:

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Make your gift list ahead of time
You won’t have an entire week to get it together the way that you did during your college years. You’ll be at work. If you haven’t made your list already (and checked it twice) do it now.

Get your dates straight
Keep track of the office holiday party, your community bash, the Yankee Swap that you have with your friends every year, and any and all family celebrations with a calendar or your phone (whatever you prefer). And get those dates down way ahead of time. Between going to work every day and attending social events at night — even during the week — you’re bound to forget where you need to be. That’s why the calendar will remember for you.

Set an appointment with your family, if necessary — and keep it
Yes, it sounds unnecessary — after all, it’s your family and you shouldn’t have to set an appointment, especially if you live at home! But members of your family probably work too, and have busy schedules to keep, and setting a time to partake in the important traditions that go with the holidays is imperative. Pick a weekend to decorate the tree, bake the cookies, write out the place cards for the dinner table, etc.

Utilize online shopping
If the stores where you wish to buy your gifts for family, friends and co-workers are closed following a late night at the office, jump right on Amazon when you get home! And while I’d definitely recommend researching the vendor you purchase from before clicking “finalize order,” Etsy offers numerous custom-made gifts at reasonable prices.

Make the most of the weekend
Find yourself with a free weekend in early December or even just one weekend day free? Get that shopping done. See if anyone is available to exchange gifts early. Bake your cookies. And, of course, wrap, wrap, wrap!

finish-christmas-shopping

Or, take the opposite route and get work done ahead of schedule. Big project due two days before the big family gathering? Get as much done as you can now. I know, I know, the weekends are supposed to be about getting away from work — but that thinking can go by the wayside during the holiday season, when you’ll be missing lots of work late in December anyway.

Be flexible
While some may find this a sad reality, the town tree lighting that you have grown to love so dearly may fall on the same night as the office holiday party, or your December monthly team meeting that happens to be held at night. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to skip the tree lighting and fulfill your work obligation.

However, don’t totally despair. Maybe, with a little internet research, you can find another local tree lighting that falls on another night.

Yes, balancing your work schedule with the holiday season seems difficult. But even those of us with the largest extended families manage to get it done. Don’t forget — rest is important, too.

The Holidays Are Coming…How Do You Balance Work With the Season?

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Career Advice

023620-buddy_the_elf_what39s_your_favorite_color

I’m sure you either grew really, really excited or you groaned once you read the title of this piece.

When I was a kid, I looked forward to the holidays with the fervor of Buddy the Elf. It wasn’t only the result of my holding the title of December baby – I loved the season in its entirety. Starting with Thanksgiving, getting together with family, tree lightings, mall Santas, Manhattan all lit up, TV specials…I wanted to do it all.

I had some difficulty adjusting during my freshman year of college, as I missed some of the early traditions that my mom and I had made a point of making traditions in years past. But I was usually home and done with final exams right around my birthday (which is nine days before Christmas) and we continued with our late-season traditions.

You would think that living at home would leave me with more time for holiday traditions as well as the ability to attend events that I couldn’t have attended while I lived away.

However, over the past four years of postgrad holiday seasons, I’ve found myself mistaken in several circumstances. My work schedule has interfered with the traditions I’ve so grown to love. I learned that while I don’t have to lose my enthusiasm for the holiday season — unlike the photo above — I cannot answer the phone at work like Buddy the Elf.

I’ve become known for all night wrap-a-thons (following a full day of work) to make certain that everyone on my list receives a wrapped, thoughtful gift. But I’ve been admittedly exhausted by the end of it all, and I’ve had to learn to balance the holiday rush with a full-time job.  Here are a few of my trade secrets:

combine-stress-work-office-holidays-anxiety-funny-ecard-SYq.png

Make your gift list ahead of time.
You won’t have an entire week to get it together the way that you did during your college years. You’ll be at work. If you haven’t made your list already (and checked it twice) do it now.

Get your dates straight.
Keep track of the office holiday party, your community bash, the Yankee Swap that you have with your friends every year, and any and all family celebrations with a calendar or your phone (whatever you prefer). And get those dates down way ahead of time. Between going to work every day and attending social events at night – even during the week – you’re bound to forget where you need to be. That’s why the calendar will remember for you.

Set an appointment with your family, if necessary – and keep it.
My parents and I decorate our Christmas tree together every year. I always let my mom know when I’ll be available – and I don’t make any other plans. We do it on a Saturday or a Sunday, so that it doesn’t interfere with work, but any other plans for the day have to be set for as early as possible.

Utilize online shopping.
If the stores where you wish to buy your gifts for family, friends and co-workers are closed following a late night at the office, jump right on Amazon when you get home! And while I’d definitely recommend researching the vendor you purchase from before clicking “finalize order,” Etsy offers numerous custom-made gifts at reasonable prices.

Make the most of the weekend.
Find yourself with a free weekend in early December or even just one weekend day free? Get that shopping done. See if anyone is available to exchange gifts early. Bake your cookies. And, of course, wrap, wrap, wrap!

finish-christmas-shopping

Or, take the opposite route and get work done ahead of schedule. Big project due two days before the big family gathering? Get as much done as you can now. I know, I know, the weekends are supposed to be about getting away from work – but that thinking can go by the wayside during the holiday season, when you’ll be missing lots of work late in December anyway.

Be flexible.
While some may find this a sad reality (I know I do), the town tree lighting that you have grown to love so dearly may fall on the same night as the office holiday party, or your December monthly team meeting that happens to be held at night. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to skip the tree lighting and fulfill your work obligation.

However, don’t totally despair. Maybe, with a little internet research, you can find another local tree lighting that falls on another night. This year, for the first time, I have to work on the day after Thanksgiving, and my mom and I have a tradition of shopping bright and early on Black Friday. While I was sad initially, my mom came in clutch with a great solution she called “Black Saturday.”

Yes, balancing your work schedule with the holiday season seems difficult. But even those of us with the largest extended families manage to get it done. Don’t forget – rest is important, too.