November 26, 2012
Today's post is written by ECS Graduate Advisor Jillian Baer, who advises intern, co-op, and full-time employment seeking students.
Making the transition from being a student to working a full-time job can be challenging for many individuals. Once you start working 40 hours (or more) a week, you might find yourself struggling to find balance with the rest of your life. Below I have included five tips to help bring a bit of balance to your daily routine:
Build downtime into your schedule. During your college years, you were probably accustomed to having ample downtime to spend however you wanted.Once you are responsible at a full time job, this might not be so readily available.Make sure to prioritize activities that help you recharge.If you have plans with your family or friends, or a date night or softball game on your calendar, you’ll have something to look forward to and extra incentive to manage your time efficiently.
Drop activities that zap your time and energy. Many people waste time on activities or people that add no value to their daily lives.An example might be a colleague who spends too much time venting or gossiping at work.You may also notice an exorbitant amount of time spent on social media sites, making personal phone calls, or checking your bank balance while at work.If you cut down on these types of activities, you could potentially increase your efficiency and maybe even leave work earlier.
Learn to say no. If you’re feeling over-committed, whether at work or in your personal life, then feel confident in backing off of a few of your responsibilities.Everyone has their limit and life is too short to spend trying to catch up all the time.Assess your activities and if anything starts to feel like a chore, decline politely.
Be 100 percent where you are. It’s easy to keep thinking about that project you’re working on long after leaving the office, or to check your work email while sitting down to a family dinner.We are also guilty of fantasizing about the game you have coming up next week or the party you’re planning on Saturday while sitting at your desk.But by doing this, we let each of these actions distract us from the goal at hand.Make an effort to leave work in the office, physically and mentally, while also committing to focusing on work-related items while in your workplace.
Get moving. It’s hard to make time for exercise with a jam packed schedule, and often times this can be the first thing we give up when sacrifices have to be made, but experts say that regular exercise will ultimately help you get more accomplished in your day by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.
Keep in mind that the transition to the working world can be difficult for most students. By following some of these simple tips, you should be able to stay on top of your game and make sure to succeed at more than just work, but having a fulfilling and engaging life.
“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.” – Hilary Clinton