Life can feel like a juggling act because there so many responsibilities on our plates.
I am balancing school, work, and living expenses for the first time and trying to find a balance. Even if you are in a different place in life, finding a balance can be a struggle. For me, adjusting the way I organize my day makes all the difference.
Categorizing responsibilities into simple subjects makes a fully-booked to-do list seem less intimidating. I use different colors for each category. Your subjects maybe different, but for me, the subjects are:
- Work/Livelihood – This includes all the tasks and deadlines for the day and week.
- Education – You may think this category is only for students, but it actually benefits everyone! Learning new skills can mean anything from math assignments to learning a new trick in Adobe After Effects for work. An “Education” category can help you focus on strengthening your skills.
- Home –Pets, kids, cleaning, you name it. All of these responsibilities are just as important as a job or school, but it’s easy to set them aside if they don’t have a deadline. These tasks can also be commitments you make to your family or friends. Incorporating your non-work-related responsibilities into your daily itinerary keeps these activities from feeling so opposing.
- Personal – This last category is the most important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Allowing as much personal time as possible each day will help you recharge for tomorrow’s to-do list. For this category, you don’t have to write down a task, just allot a reasonable time-frame to take a break to do whatever you feel like in these moments whether it be reading, drawing, listening to music, or just staring into space to clear your head.
Another important key is to simplify your tasks to the least number of words possible while still keeping the objective clear. Only pick out the important details to remember. For example at work if I am asked to change a character’s shirt color and email it to Jane Doe by 2pm, it can be abbreviated to:
[Project] Shirt 2 Jane
Pictures always aid the memory. As a visual thinker I might draw a quick t-shirt symbol for this.
Some advice I find very helpful came from my dad:
Once the day is done, it’s not worth stressing over what else is left to do. Simplifying and categorizing your job tasks reminds you that once you check off your goals for the day, it’s okay to leave the rest for another day’s to-do list.