Back To School

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pexels-photo-51174Summer is always a great relaxing time. Nice sunny weather, vacation, lots of outdoor festivals… unfortunately these usually means normal routines and schedules go out of the window. For me, September has always been a great time to reset and get back on track. In some ways I almost feel like it’s a better time than January to set new goals. The hardest part, of course, is figuring out what to focus on and what to let go. Here are some tips and tricks to get back on track.

Evaluate Your Schedule

Our schedules tend to change quite a bit over the summer but regain some normalcy in the fall. Take some time to look at your schedule and see where you have extra gaps or blocks of time to accomplish things you want to do. This could mean finding time for a cat nap between classes, doing meal prep for the weekend, or finding time to fit in a walk or fitness class.

Schedule It In

You should still have some free time to relax and do whatever you want to do but when life gets extra hectic, it can be even more important to schedule in time for self-care. Self-care allows you to recharge your batteries and feel refreshed and ready to go for the coming week. If you’re feeling extra overwhelmed, it can be helpful to write down a To-Do List. I get a lot of satisfaction out of crossing things off with a flourish.

startup-photosWork Life Balance

Work life balance is something I continue to struggle with regularly. Take some time to figure out what is important to you or what you would like to spend your time doing. For example, this could cover things like your day job, volunteer activities, friends/family time, sports/exercise, hobbies, etc. Rank them in order of priority to you and then try ranking them in order where you spend most time. For example, perhaps spending time with friends and family is most important to you, but you find you’re spending most of your time at work. Take some time to reflect on your priorities versus where you spend your time. In some cases, it will be unavoidable to have an imbalance. If you work full time, you probably spend most of your time at work but you might want to spend more time with friends or family. Reflect on how you might be able to create more friend/family time or to cut down on excessive time spent at work, thinking about work, etc.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is a great way to maintain a work life balance but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. You can set boundaries by:

  • Setting rules for yourself: if you find you’re spending all your time thinking about work, try not checking your email after work or write down a To-Do list for the following day before you leave work. You’ll know before you leave you won’t forget anything for the next day
  • What is the best thing I can do for myself right now?”: try asking yourself this question once or twice a day and answer honestly. Instead of forcing yourself to stay and work another unproductive hour, maybe the best thing is to go home and catch up on some sleep or to go for a walk to clear your head. You might find this actually makes you more productive.

Plan Ahead

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” When things are going well and everything is on track, take some time to think of a time when you’ve fallen off the band wagon. What happened? How did you respond? How did you get back on track? Planning ahead can help you recognize these situations before they happen and you can implement steps before you relapse again. If you know your meal prep goes out the window when you’re stressed, try batch cooking and have ready to go freezer meals for when you are short on time. Notice your exercise habits go down the drain after the holidays or a vacation? Book a session with a trainer or sign up for a fitness class to get back on track.

Additional Resources

There are some great resources to help you tackle your to do list and stay on top of things. Give these a try.

  • Best Self Journal: This journal has free printable PDFs to help you organize your life and stay present. It includes daily gratitude prompts which can help you stay motivated.
  • Passion Planner: Similar to the Best Self Journal, it includes monthly goal setting and reflection exercises. We have these and love them!
  • HabitBull: This app helps you form habits and helps you keep track of streaks. You can set your own goals and it will give you little motivational quotes along the way. Available for iOS and Android.
  • Pacifica: This app is designed to help you destress and stay mindful when life is challenging. It can help you keep track of your mood, self talk, and give you exercises to make your day a little calmer. Available on iOS and Android.
  • CommitTo3: Research says setting 3 priorities a day will help keep you motivated and on track. It can help keep you focused and give a sense of accomplishment. This app will let you set your priorities every morning.

Do you have a resource you like that we don’t have? Let us know in the comments!

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