When you’re fresh out of college and diving into the career path of your dreams, it can be easy to get caught up in working long hours and even easier to give up the parts of your life that make you happy and keep you balanced.
If you find yourself doing this, don’t worry! There are ways to get your life back on track. Here are five tips to make sure you’re not losing your identity underneath a pile of paperwork and an overwhelmingly full inbox.
1. Schedule Date Nights
It’s often a challenge being single and working long hours at your job. Your schedule becomes crowded with work events and late night projects and your weekends become reserved for sleep and catching up on the shows you missed during the week. Make sure to block off one evening a week in your calendar for a “potential” date. That way you’ll have no excuse or work interference when someone special asks you out.
2. Stay Involved
When you’re in college or high school, your level of involvement in hobbies, sports and activities seems to be high at all time. That’s mainly because you have more free time and fewer responsibilities. In order to stay focused and relaxed, it’s important to latch back onto those hobbies that used to define you when you were younger. Join a casual sports league, find a meet-up group or explore new ways to get back involved with an old hobby of yours.
3. Time to Relax
Whether or not you’re into meditation, it’s important to give yourself a 15-minute break at some point during the workday. Go outside for a walk or do a lap around the office. Stretch your legs, clear your mind and take a break from squinting at a computer screen or answering a cluster of emails.
4. Learn to Say “No”
It’s normal to want to attend every happy hour, BBQ or other after-work adventure, but it’s okay to say no sometimes, too. It’s okay to stop by an event and leave a bit early so you can indulge in some much needed “me” time. If you spend all your time at work and all of your free time at work events, your life will begin to feel so utterly monogamous that the days will blend together and so your happiness will become limited.
5. Time Management
At the start of your workday, write down all the tasks that you need to cross off your to-do list before the day is over. Then, schedule an amount of time next to each item. That way, you’ll know how to delegate your time for each task you need to complete and you can motivate yourself to “X” out of Facebook when you see that you’re starting to waste precious time.
(This content was originally posted at News to Live By. If you want to read more of what Jen has to say, check out her site: The Things I Learned From. Also, she’d love you to say hello: @tthingsilearned or firstname.lastname@example.org.