THE NEW 9-TO-5 CAREER ACTUALLY SEEMS 24/7. WE'LL SHOW YOU HOW TO FIND BALANCE AND MANAGE IT ALL.
Growing up, I had a picture in my mind of what a “real career” looked like: power suits and corner offices, lunch dates with my co-workers, and paid time off. Instead, here I am juggling writing projects, event coordinating, marketing, and even teaching spin class.
True life: my full time job is actually more like four full-time jobs.
On an normal day, I average 2.5 outfit changes. The trunk of my car holds everything from event fliers to spare notebooks to sandy beach chairs and extra tennis shoes, and I know my coffee shop owner by first and last name.
As career trends continue to evolve and shift due to technology and the economy—side hustles, anyone?—the puzzle-piece workday seems to be the new norm.
And while some days I’m three-shots-of-espresso jazzed about my projects, on others you’ll find me facedown in front of the couch with The Office reruns on Netflix as I wonder just what the heck I’ve gotten myself into.
So, for all of my multi-jobbing, entrepreneurial, or freelancing sisters out there, here are a few of the ways I stay balanced and productive as I try to manage it all:
SET YOUR INTENTION
Instead of slapping the snooze button every morning, then rushing around the house in a tizzy to get ready, find a few quiet minutes in your morning to journal, meditate, or pray, reveling in a little bit of stillness before opening up your email and setting off to work.
Start each day with this question: “What do you want to accomplish today?” and go from there.
Setting an intention, recognizing a moment of gratitude, or making an “I am” statement invites power and energy into your mind and your body. We are what we think, so learning to harness the power of our minds can transform our outlook, and therefore our productivity, each day. Today, I am focused. Today, I am powerful.
MAKE YOUR BED
I may sound like your mother, but trust me: You should make your bed every day. Even when you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it. This one small task helps set the tone for the rest of your day.
I may sound like your mother, but trust me: You should make your bed every day. This one small task helps set the tone for the rest of your day.
When we complete an activity, no matter how trivial it may seem, it becomes a catalyst that powers us through other to-dos. Starting the day with a freshly-made bed gives you a clean slate to launch from—and a nice, comfy place to return to at night.
If you work from home, you may find you work better in a clean and clutter-free space. Making your bed keeps your work environment polished and peaceful, especially if your desk is only a few slipper-steps from it!
SCHEDULE IT OUT
When you don’t have a commute to signal the beginning and end of your work day, you have to decide how to shift in and out of work mode on your own.
The great news is that when you work is up to you! Consider when you work best (mornings are my go-to) and are the most productive. Then, set your work hours each day, share them with the people you work with (clients, contractors, etc.) and stick to them!
COLLABORATE IN COMMUNITY
As humans, we are made to thrive in the company of others. Sharing community with other like-minded individuals gives you a space to find encouragement, gain a fresh perspective, reenergize, and bounce around your ideas.
Join a networking group, a gym, or even just start chatting up the people you see every day at your favorite coffee shop. This is especially important if you don’t report to an office everyday or you work from home!
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
Never underestimate the importance of rest. When you’re juggling various projects or find your mind constantly whirling through your own ideas, set aside time each day to simply be. Take a walk, hit up a Pilates or spin class, call your mom, or sit in silence and just breathe.
Never underestimate the importance of rest.
Taking these moments of stillness allows us to reset and clear our minds, preparing space for fresh inspiration to come through.
* * *
Working from home and balancing the multi-jobs job isn’t for everyone, but really, neither is a 9-to-5. Positions, companies, and ideas are being founded now in industries that didn’t even exist five years ago. Having a space to work with your passions and feel purpose behind your day is finally a reality. It just takes a lot of hustle—and often multiple projects—to get there.
Sometimes, I wonder if the stress, insecurity, and balancing act is worth it. And then, I have an 11am meeting on a paddleboard, where I talk shop with a potential business partner as seagulls fly overhead.
Yea, I’ll take it.