Hey bloom girls! We all love to plan, but do you ever plan too much that you forget to leave time for yourself to relax?
I know I have! Last semester, I was abroad and didn’t have to balance as many extracurriculars which was nice - all I really had to jot down in my planner was what time my flight departed that weekend. It was a nice change of pace and I got to learn a lot about the value of personal time. Coming back to campus, I’ve stepped back into many of my extracurricular roles, as well as taken on some new ones, and I’m balancing some difficult coursework. I went into the semester with the right attitude - I can get this done, I can stay on top of it all, but I forgot about one very important key to my success: my personal time!
When I sat down each week to outline all the work I had due and put all the important dates in my planner, I was focused on what time I had available to work on projects, study, and go to my jobs and clubs. I never once considered that I should set aside time for things I enjoyed, like playing my guitar, volunteering in my community, or going to the gym, because I always think of these things as ones I can “fit in” later on or see when I’ll have extra time for them. But this method didn’t work for me for too long. I could feel myself craving my personal time and I wasn’t giving myself enough of it. So, I sat down, had an extensive date with my planner, and re-organized my schedule and my priorities.
Here’s how it went:
First, I set some goals for myself and my own personal wellness, like “I want to go to the gym 4 times a week,” or “I want to volunteer in my community for 50 hours this semester.” After having an idea of how much time I wanted to dedicate to a specific need, I went in and picked days and times I could accomplish this task. A great tool to help visualize this day by day is one of our planning pads, and you can choose how specific or generic you’d like them! (There are some just with check boxes, but I personally love the one that has things like Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and glasses of water for each day - those are self-care things I often don’t plan ahead on!) Or, if you want to focus on your work/life balance, we’ve got a great planner pad for that too! There are also some great options geared towards packing checklists that I would have LOVED to have while I was abroad, so you can check those out too!
After I filled in my time to take care of me, I could visualize the time I had left to take care of others and of work. I cross-referenced all my class syllabi and spread out my assignments and study time so that I wouldn’t get too overwhelmed with a bunch of due dates at once. I also wrote reminders to myself a few days before important deadlines so that I’d be sure not to let them slip my mind. If you’re like me and need a lot of reminders for things, try this approach when you have your date with your planner too!
Once I had the balance between my self-care and my obligations, I felt way more empowered to tackle my busy schedule! I now know there will still be stress for me to deal with, but I can also be more confident that I’ll be in a better mental and physical state to tackle it and give it my all. I hope some of these tips can help you #bloomgirls out, happy planning!