Continuing on my thoughts about having realistic expectations for myself…
I’ve realized that I can’t do it all (at least not within the confines of my current commitments)! I suppose we all come to this realization at some point, but I’ve spent a lot of time working on work-life balance over the past few years, so I’m a bit frustrated that things have gotten SO unbalanced again. This frustration is not conducive to productivity – if anything, it leads to more stress and I find myself in that vicious spiral where I can’t seem to get anything done.
So, instead of stressing about this, I need to break things down and figure out the best way to maximize my time. School and work are obviously top priorities, so those commitments have to pretty much stay as they are. I also need to keep sleep and exercise as a priority. However, instead of trying to drastically improve strength or speed, I think I should focus instead on maintaining my strength and building my running endurance.
Of equal importance (though certainly less tangible) is my family time, both with Jeb and with my parents/sisters/niece. The time passes so quickly and I sometimes forget (during my marathon homework sessions) how much time has passed since I spent time with my family. I’m much better about this with Jeb than anyone else, but that might be largely because he lives with me! 🙂
Then, I have to allow some time to enjoy life and recharge my brain. As hard as it is to find the time, I’ve learned that I actually am more productive if I’ve set aside time to take a complete break. This downtime includes time with my dogs (which has the added benefit of being motivating on its own – I feel a responsibility to make them happy and, in doing so, I get a little recharge).
So, in general, my priorities are school/work, family, sleep, REALISTIC workouts, and downtime (with dogs). Now, I just have to figure out how to fit all of that into a 24-hour day!