When I left university and started into the adult world in my first full time job, just a little over two years ago now, I really REALLY struggled to come to the terms with having no free time. Well, I THOUGHT I had no free time. I came from a background of part-time jobs and an easy going college/uni life to suddenly being drawn into to a strict routine, and even though I have always been a very organised and scheduled person, I found it really tricky to fit into ‘real life’. I struggled to have ‘me’ time and I found it extremely annoying that I couldn’t go to the gym when I wanted i.e. in the morning (because that’s when I love exercising best!) I felt myself rushing to get out of work, rushing to get home, rushing to fit in everything I wanted too and I became very quickly impatient and frustrated, both traits of a personality I had never faced before. I was even penciling in phone calls with friends and relatives into my diary which is when I soon realised that my lifestyle had to change.
This, as you can imagine, also included blogging and YouTubing. I felt cross (yes, cross!) that I couldn’t build my blog or channel on YouTube as quickly as I wanted too, and although it’s still slow growing now, I feel my opportunities are larger now after being able to manage my time better and get used to the real world out here.
Which leads me onto TIME MANAGEMENT. THIS is the biggest advice I can give to anyone who was struggling like I was back then when I felt like I didn’t want to be an adult and I wanted to still be tucked up in my uni bubble doing what I liked when I liked. Time management has helped me to realise that life can be done exactly the way you want it, if you realise that there are actually enough hours in the day and days in the week to do it all. You just need to figure out a routine that’s best for you and no one else but you. That’s why I have decided to write this blog post – to help others who may be struggling to a similar situation that I used to be when I first started entering the adult world and working full time.
MY TOP TIPS
Lay out your clothes the night before – This may sound daft but this has saved me the world of 5 minutes extra when I just prepare my clothes the night before a work day. I lay out everything I may need, pack my bag etc. all the night before I am due to head into work. It means I can roll out of bed, reach for my clothes blurry eyed and the only thing I have to worry about is making sure I put my clothes on inside the right way (trust me, plenty of times have I realised when getting home AFTER WORK, that I have been wearing my tights inside out all day!) It happens to the best of us. This also can include gym clothes too – I always make sure as soon as I am back from the gym I re-pack my bag ready for the next day if I am going again. I am a regular gym goer (4-5 days a week) so making sure this is already packed saves me SO much time every morning. I can just pick it up and go.
Make your commute easier – This is something I have already seriously touched upon on my blog before so I won’t go into too much detail but if you want to know more, check out my scooter adventures *here* . There is nothing I love more than making life easier by making my commute easier to get into work every morning and return home in the evening. Okay, so I am lucky in the fact that I can scoot to work as it only takes me 25 minutes. Or on days I fancy a walk it takes me 50 but it’s made my life a whole lot easier. Plus it’s adding in those extra mindfulness minutes and becoming an extra calorie burner every day. Think of ways you can make your commute easier, whether it’s cycling to work, getting off an extra stop earlier on the bus to get a bit of thinking time in or leaving earlier to avoid rush hour timings.
Set an alarm – This comes as a no brainer really, because I honestly don’t know anyone that can rely on their body clock to wake them up…and if you do…then I salute you! Setting an alarm for 6AM is my daily wake up call, but I snooze it for 8 minutes. I don’t, however, use this time to go back to sleep but to wake up and allow my eyes and brain to adjust to the world once again. I don’t pick up my phone straight away and this then helps to understand what day it is. Let’s face it, how many times have you woken up to realise it’s only Tuesday & then feel a sense of remorse as you remember that the weekend is still 4 whole days away?! We’ve all been there. Allowing yourself this time to succumb to the fact it is REALLY only Tuesday makes it a lot easier. I think of all the things I have on that day and when I feel ready, I get up and splash my face with cold water. It works, trust me on this.
Go to bed as a reasonable hour – When you are younger and your parents give you a strict bedtime routine, as children you hate it. But as an adult, you realise and thank your parents for this. You realise how sensible it actually is to get in that 7-8 hours of sleep every night. I know for one that I cannot function under 7 hours sleep on a work night. This is just me, so I can’t vouch for all, but I can’t go out partying till the early hours of the morn and then get up fresh and bright for work every day, sorry but it’s just not going to happen. Plus, I work with children and THAT in itself is both physically and mentally exhausting.
I usually try and start winding down about 9PM, get little jobs done that need to be done like the washing up etc. Which sounds boring, but it helps to take my mind off work, and gets me away from the internet, picking up my phone and watching the TV too late. Once I get into bed I like to browse Pinterest which really helps me to wind down. I usually head to sleep by 10:30 and it gives me the beauty sleep I need to wake up feeling refreshed the next day.
Don’t stick to a routine all the time – I am going to end on this one because even though I say go to bed at a reasonable hour etc. there are times I have been out and about with friends after work or quite often I use this time to head to the gym. Don’t let working life swallow your life whole. When I first started working I refused to do anything after work because I was worried at what time I would get home to get to bed or worry about all the little things I needed to do at home. I wasn’t really LIVING or enjoying my life in such a beautiful city. Give yourself time to relax, use your time well, go see friends, the city, the world and make sure you give yourself time to enjoy your own hobbies and interests. This is probably the most important tip of them all because without them you can get stuck into a rut with no enjoyment or fulfillment. After being aware all of this, I can now manage my time well and use the weekends to blog or focus on my YouTube as well as being able to have the time to enjoy my own interests. I no longer worry about hours in the day, and it’s through this that I have achieved what I need in life to keep me happy and feeling free!
What do you do to manage your time whilst having to work full-time? Do you have a set routine or schedule or do you live more spontaneously? I would love to know in the comments if my tips have helped you or if you have tips to share, write them below so we can all live a happy & healthy lifestyle!
Photo credit goes to: