I received a direct message a few weeks ago about balancing two jobs (I repeat one DM, not “LOTS” or “a ton”). So I figured I’d dedicate some space to talking about general time management when you wear a few different hats.
I’d like to first preface this my saying while I absolutely love my job(s) and all that I do, I have been prone to spending too much time working and missing important things because of work. I’m still not quite sure I’ve really found a balance, but all arenas of my work are deeply important to me.
My absolute first priority is my job as a PA. I dedicate all of my primary energy to this. I’ve been in a routine with my blog and social media for quite some time, and I’m glad I had this established prior to starting PA school and my job as a PA. I started the account when I was working in the hospital obtaining hours to apply to PA school and getting my nutrition Masters (more on my general background here). All of this to say, I’ve been accustomed to juggling for some time. The account and all the people I meet through it breathes life into my medical practice. And being able to explore different passions through social media, blogging, and writing is a form of active rest.
This year I’ve taken more time off social media than ever before, as I’ve been sprinting at a non-sustainable pace for a long time and have had some pretty significant and deeply troubling lows and bouts of burnout.
When I do have a bit more bandwidth, here is how I will create space to mindfully multitask.
- Plan the day to day on one of your days “off” – I do all of my social media stuff and content creation on the weekends. This means pre-planning content, taking photos, creating captions on weekends and teeing them up in the app so all I have to do is hit post during the week. I’ll usually dedicate a bit of time during the week (after work) to think about what I want to have planned for the next week. If I was super organized I’d have it planned out a few weeks in advanced but I’m just not quite there yet.
- Take breaks and PLAN for time off – while the general plan is as above (doing everything on weekends), I also allow myself ample time OFF from work. I find that when I push it too much, I become entirely uninspired and end up disliking the content that I do create. So time off is certainly a major part of the time on.
- Allow yourself the freedom to not complete the entirety of your to do list. If I get too caught up in the to do list, I end up missing some spontaneity that could potentially be my favorite content!
- Jot ideas down the moment they come to you. My notes in my phone are pure chaos, but it ensures I won’t forget them and reminds me to flush them out in the future!
- Ask for help. One of the hardest things for me to do, and yet the most important when you’re juggling different things! My sister will often come and help clean my space or plan a fun afternoon. My management company is also hugely helpful! I was doing everything on my own for quite some time and have been working from them for the past 2 years. I truly don’t know what I would do without them!
- Keep a clean space. This helps keep my mind organized. When my space is chaotic my mind tends to be as well. So spending 5-10 minutes a day to clean up greatly helps.
- Set a routine. My days largely look the same – I go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time, and my morning routine is always the same. I usually enjoy movement most in the mornings, and my meal prep is done on the weekends. Because my morning routine is so structured, it means I have free time when I get home from work! Once I’m done finishing notes from work, I can spend some time on blog/social media projects if I have the energy.
- Use helpful apps and props: A tripod is essential. I use the app Lens Buddy often when taking my own photos. I also love the Tezza app for video editing. I use LightRoom for photo editing, too. Learning your way around a few easy apps can speed up time in the future.
- Time block. When I’m working on blog projects on the weekends, I’ll dedicate a few hours of time to that project, and then take a form of active rest, ie laundry, cleaning, going for a walk, grocery shopping.
- Organize your to do list into what NEEDS to get done, what could get done, what doesn’t need to get done. Do the things that are an absolute must first. Sometimes I’ll organized based on what I’m dreading most. I’ll complete that FIRST so everything else feels much simpler following that task.
- Prioritize certain tasks. As above, I always advise doing what you don’t want to do first. That way at the end of the day all you have are the ‘easier’ items/projects (or the ones you’re looking forward to more).
- Nutrition matters! Fuel yourself with intention so that you have the energy to do what fills you with purpose. A bit more on how I fill my plate here.
- Don’t forget to move! Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m on walks. Movement always fosters creative energy for me.
- Change up your work space. If you’re always stuck in one spot, you may begin to feel a bit stale. Switching up locale can breathe new life and energy into tasks!
- Say no to opportunities that don’t serve you. When I first started to grow my account, there were many opportunities that seemed exciting but were a pretty colossal waste of time. This was all part of the learning curve, but now I very often say no. Saying now creates more space for yes to things I’m genuinely passionate about!
- Carve out creativity time. A few times a month I’ll set aside a few hours to sit in silence and just write and plan out future projects. This keeps me motivated and my eye on the big picture. It can feel easy to get stuck in the minutiae of the day to day. Carving out time for creativity can really help!
- Think big picture! I have a ton of big picture goals, and I want to ensure my day to day habits have me walking in that direction. I’ll write these things down and then revisit this list when I’m feeling bogged down or uninspired.
- Mindset shift to ‘active rest.’ I’m so passionate about my blog and social media projects that it genuinely feels fun. It engages a different part of my brain, engenders connection with like minded folks, teaches me so much, and broadens my stop of medical practice. I feel so lucky that I get to practice medicine AND blog. It brings me so much electric purpose that my blog and social channels often don’t feel like work; they feel fun. And when they stop feeling fun, CC about about planning rest.
- Let go, don’t care so much, and try to get out of your own way. It takes A LOT of time to second guess yourself. When this headspace becomes dominant, you guessed it – time for rest!
- Patience. Trust yourself and the process and have patience when starting something new!