That being said, I have spent the last week working like a madwoman to get everything caught up. I figured what better way to get back to blogging than to write about "getting back in the game" and talk some tips and tricks for upping (or re-upping) your productivity.
When you're busy and stressed out, it can be easy to let some things slip behind. While it is tempting to feel like you have to do it all, I have found that the most productive way to dig yourself out of a rut is to not do it all. Though it seems counter intuitive, trying to accomplish everything to the best of your ability is what got you here in the first place. In order to get back in the race of life, you have to cut some corners, so to speak.
For me, that was a combination of things. For one, I decided to stop blogging for two weeks. I gave myself that time limit so that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. Avoiding a commitment can feel a lot like quitting, and can quickly turn into abandonment if not carefully managed. "Two Weeks Away" meant that I was only taking a momentary break rather than cutting blogging out of my life all together.
I also came to terms with the fact that I wasn't going to see EJ as much. I had gotten used to our summer schedule of grilling on the deck with a glass of wine, watching some TV, and spending a solid amount of time together each day. Shocker - that wasn't attainable when I was suddenly working 40+ hours a week on top of being a full time student. It really bothered me for a few days until he sat me down and straight up told me, "Chels, this is temporary. I'm not going anywhere. Right now other stuff needs your attention and I can wait." Knowing that he understood and supported me was a huge green light for me to throw myself into my work and get myself back on a regular, manageable schedule.
This is where I'm at right now. My staff is trained and (almost) running themselves. I've settled into classes, and last night I got to have a glass of wine and catch up on some much needed snuggling. I have a little free time again, and yet, yesterday I couldn't shake this feeling of guilt all day.
As a serial over-committer, I have gotten to a point in my life where I feel uneasy unless every moment of my day-to-day life is routinized and scheduled. When I realized yesterday that I only had 250 pages to read between now and Wednesday and could enjoy three full days off of work in a row, I started wondering how I would fill my time.
The answer? Don't. The funny thing about time is that it will fill itself when left unaccounted for and those are often the moments that truly matter in life. Cleaning the apartment yesterday while dancing in my socks to Disney Pandora, or the hour I spent walking with a friend this morning weren't big accomplishments, but both went toward positively increasing my well-being.
Get the important stuff done, but don't get so caught up in giving yourself deadlines that you forget to love your life.
Admittedly, I'm still working on this one. I will be hitting publish on this post as soon as I finish it. I'm still doing only the reading necessary for my next class. My deadlines still sneak up on me.
My goal for this semester is to find myself ahead of the game. Begin my thesis reading early. Start calendaring posts for my part-time job as a social media coordinator rather than finding time to post each day. Same for the blog - get a bank of posts together and write ahead, rather than in the moment.
Do I have a ton of tips and tricks for this one yet? No. Maybe that will be another post down the line. And maybe I'll even write it ahead of time.