How to Make Time For Yourself With a Busy Schedule

Hi, hello!

It’s been awhile since I last showed my little corner of the Internet some love, but at last here we are. I've got my iced coffee in hand, and it's never felt so right to sit in front of my laptop, ready to type away.

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You guys, I’m still trying to master the art of making time for myself (hence the lack of posts) while handling a busy schedule and juggling several projects all at once. And you know what I've learned? In order to succeed at everything (yes, you can do it all), you must make time for yourself, too—if only to keep your sanity, girl.

No, I’m no expert—hell, just when I finally got a grip on my current schedule, I decided to pick up blogging again (more to come on that later)—but today I'm sharing some tips I've learned along the way to lead a more balanced, stress-free lifestyle.  

Ready? Set. Go.

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PLAN AHEAD: Take it from the girl that hates the stress of making plans and has always had a more laissez-faire kind of attitude: planning ahead is crucial to living a more balanced life. Whether it’s scheduling doctor appointments a month in advance, or keeping a social calendar so you don’t double-book on your girlfriends—just do it.

If you’re like me, you have several meetings a day, after-work events, fitness classes, social outings, the occasional date—you get the idea—and keeping track of everything (though I’d like to think my memory is still pretty damn good) is quite the challenge.

And so, as you know, I take my daily planner very seriously. Though I don’t take it everywhere with me, I also keep a digital version on my phone so I can access and/or edit it on the go.

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PRIORITIZE: This is one I’m still trying to master myself: setting priorities and sticking to them. Whether it’s getting 30 minutes of cardio in at least 3 times a week, or making time to go through my never-ending inbox—these are things I’ve decided are important to me.

Therefore, when I’m faced with a choice—happy hour, or spin class—you bet your ass I’m choosing the latter. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all about balance. If you had a bad day, then maybe happy hour with the girls does trump an epic workout. Which brings me to my next point...

WORK HARD, PLAY HARD: Reward yourself. If you busted your ass working on a presentation and it went really well? Treat yo-self! If you had a long, rough work week and you made it out alive? Cheers! I'll drink to that. 

Again, it's all about balance. Enjoy the fruits of your labor, whether you treat yourself to a spa day, or you take yourself on a mini shopping spree (don't get crazy), or hey, maybe you're more of a kick-it-in-your-pajamas-and-watch-Netflix-all-day kinda girl—you deserve it!

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BE REALISTIC: Be real with yourself, not only when you’re planning your schedule—booking meetings thirty minutes apart across town (hashtag-guilty, hashtag-New York traffic)—but also when you’re setting expectations or goals for yourself.

Don’t agree to deadlines if you know you won’t meet them. Don't take on more than you can handle to prove a point. You'll set yourself up for failure. 

Instead, do give yourself enough time to meet deadlines (and kick ass on your projects). Do take on just enough to where you're busy, but can still have "me" time (see "plan ahead"). Do learn how to say no when you have to. Your body (and brain) will thank you. 

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TAKE A BREAK: Sometimes, all you need is a break. If you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or uninspired, give yourself a break. Go for a walk, take a power nap, hit up the gym—whatever it is you do to clear your head, just do it.

In my experience, sometimes walking away from the computer for a couple hours and coming back with a clear head and a fresh pair of eyes does wonders for my work. 

Or, perhaps you need a longer break to figure out what's next. Take it from me: I took a 4-month long break away from Style Operator because I had too much on my plate and I wasn't inspired to put out good content. Four months later, here I am with a new vision and feeling more inspired than I have in years. 

IN THIS POST:

CLOTHING — Forever 21 Top (similar), H&M Skirt, Zara Shoes + Bag

ACCESSORIES — Marc Jacobs watch, Bling Jewelry rings, HRH Collection chains

BEAUTY — NARS 'Sheer Glow' foundation, NARS 'Casino' bronzer, MAC 'Velvet Teddy' lipstick