As many of you know already know, I work full-time in addition to running my blog. I started my blog as a way to learn about the digital space, express myself creatively (although I hate the overused term “creative outlet”), and connect with like-minded individuals through this incredible community. It’s become a hobby that I genuinely enjoy and have learned an immense amount from. As my blog has evolved over the past year, I’ve begun to take on more projects and collaborations. Somewhere along the way, what used to be a passion project started to toe the line of feeling like extra work, and I had to re-evaluate my relationship with blogging and learn how to prioritize. It’s so easy to build up stress and negativity in our minds, that something I often tell myself is to take a step back when things begin to feel like too much to handle. Because remember, stress is bad, bad, BAD.
There really are only so many hours in a day (you have as many hours in a day as Beyonce ; )) and I often get asked how I’m able to blog as much and as consistently as I do. The truth is, it’s all about prioritization, which truthfully means sacrifice. You can’t have it all, so pick and choose what matters. Lately, I’ve been all about giving fewer f*cks and only giving one when it matters. This book has been a recent favorite, and there is MUCH more to come on the many gems inside.
Basically, we all have limited time and energy to spend and give. Figuring out what matters to YOU and how to prioritize how you spend your time is everything. It took a long time to really figure out what was most important to me. Here’s what I’ve learned to prioritize:
I feel my best when I get enough sleep, eat right, and exercise consistently. When one of these things falls out of sync, I feel sluggish and weak – and get sick way more easily. I function best mentally, physically, and emotionally if I’m well rested – because of this, I do my best to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. I really think getting enough sleep is one of the best things we can do for our bodies, and something many people neglect to do.
As far as diet goes, I don’t do anything crazy, but I do notice a difference in my energy levels and mood when I stick to clean, unprocessed foods – think lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (AVOCADO, eggs, salmon, nuts), lean proteins, and whole grains. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sugar fiend and love eating out, but in moderation. I also try to stay away from alcohol when I can, because if there’s a major productivity killer, it’s booze.
Finally, exercise. I haven’t always loved to exercise and for a long time avoided the gym like the plague. Over the years I’ve come to love being active and when I’m having a bad day or feeling stressed, nothing boosts my mood more than a good workout (current faves: Barry’s Bootcamp and yoga at Y7).
How you spend your time.
Time is money. I’m still trying to figure out how to prioritize daily tasks and commitments – my main goal is always to work smarter, not harder. I think it’s totally okay to outsource tasks if they take up time that would be better spent elsewhere. For example, if you absolutely hate cleaning, see if you can make room in your budget for a maid. If doing your hair takes hours every week, get a blowout and use that time to work. Make a list of to-do’s and rank them in order of urgency and importance. Figure out how to make time for the ones that matter. Doing this made me realize how many the things that were making me “so busy” were actually pointless errands that I could outsource, streamline, or batch into a couple hours over a weekend to be more efficient.
And as my fellow bloggers know, there is so much time and hard work that goes into blogging – with limited time, what is the best thing to focus on?? Since I only have so many hours to dedicate to my blog after work, I’ve made a point to shift my focus to shoots and content creation on the weekend, and networking during the week when I can. I don’t make it to every event and that’s fine, there will always be another one : ).
Just as important as how you spend your time, is who you spend your time with. It’s important to surround yourself with people that not only support you and lift you up but also aren’t afraid to keep it real with you. I think we can all agree that toxic and negative relationships are harmful and we’d be better off without them. Stop wasting your time and energy on people that bring you down and give more to those that are there for you and believe in you – it’ll make a world of a difference.
I noticed myself feeling a bit of negativity lately and had to remind myself on the importance of keeping a positive perspective and not complaining. At the end of the day, a lot of our problems are “first world problems” that really are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It’s hard to keep that in mind when we’re constantly swimming in social media and images of how perfect other people’s lives are, but the truth is NO ONE is perfect and EVERYONE has problems. You’d be amazed at how people with seemingly perfect lives can be incredibly unhappy with their situation.
It seems like everyone is so busy these days, so I’d love to hear your thoughts – how do you prioritize and stay afloat?
photos: ryan chua