I was 11 years old when the picture of what a real career woman came to mind. When I was 11, Two Can Play That Game came out and I was mesmerized by Shante Smith, the main character in the film played by Vivica A. Fox. In the film, Shante was very successful, had a beautiful relationship (for a minute at least), and had a her girl gang of boss friends – all while looking drop dead gorgeous. In my mind, Shante had it all and I vowed to myself that I would be the same.
17 years later, here I am in my own career, and let me tell you, it has not been as easy as I always imagined it would be. For me life has become managing my demanding 9-5, side hustle, trying to work out, drink water, meditate, go to Sunday Funday, and be a good friend, sister, and daughter all at the same time. To be honest, my 9-5 makes it harder for me to do all of those things (have the energy to work out, brunch, be a good friend, etc.) because it can definitely take up more than 8 hours of my day, mostly each day.
Overtime, I’ve learned how to find the balance in my life when my 9-5 tries to become a 9-9.
If you are like me, a very busy, multi-jobbing, Millennial that’s trying to stay sane and balanced, here are some ways how you can help manage your life:
1. Be intentional
Instead of slapping the snooze button viciously or rushing to see what’s on IG in the morning, start your day by being more intentional on YOU. When you wake up, don’t let the noise of others (or social media) distract you.
Once you open your eyes, journal, meditate, or pray before you step out of bed. Doing so will help you get centered before the world has a chance to throw their demands and noise at you.
2. Make your bed
For some people, making their bed in the morning can be daunting – I mean you already had to fight and convince yourself to get out the damn thing. However, doing a small task like this even when you don’t feel like it can set the tone for the day. Also, when you start the day with a clean slate (freshly made-bed), it will put you in a state of mind and environment that is polished and peaceful.
When you have a demanding 9-5 that has the potential to go over 8 hours a day, scheduling is uber important. I like to schedule out the following work week on the Friday before I leave so that when I get to work on Monday, I’m ready to go. If you have a team, don’t be afraid to delegate certain tasks to them as well so that you can better manage your day. Last but not least, as you are scheduling you your 9-5 work, schedule out your personal time too. As trivial as this may seem, when you are busy, it’s helpful to map out even things like your workout time, tv time, side-hustling time, and even time with friends. When you have a set schedule, you’ll have a guideline on how to conduct your day.
4. Go home Roger
Never underestimate the importance of rest and knowing when to go home. When you’re giving so much of your time at work, you need to equally give time for yourself as well.
Although your 9-5 job can be demanding and may require more time, it is not healthy for you to overwork yourself all the time (yes I know that sometimes overtime will be needed, but it should not be an everyday thing). I totally believe that if you are always at your 9-5 and never make time for yourself, you can’t truly be your best or give yourself what you need to feel balanced or sane.
As they say, you can’t pour into others if your own cup isn’t full.