6 months ago, I decided I needed to get a day job.

The decision came after I had run my fashion design business and realized I needed firsthand experience running the kind of business I wanted. I got a job as a Personal Assistant in a big manufacturing company. The role is combined with several other unofficial roles.

6 months down the line, I can safely say I am not so over my head as was 2 months ago.

Between this full-time job, running my fashion design business on a small scale and freelance writing, it is safe to say I had no “me” time. I had no life outside of work.

I had finally done two things I dreaded: living for the weekend and working hard without being productive.

Two months ago, I told myself that this had to stop.

I finally came up with a routine that helped me do all I wanted realistically and still have a life.

Here are my four quick tips for having a life with a full job and side gigs.

Balancing two or more responsibilities with self-care is hard but not impossible. Here are the 4 commandments to follow: Click To Tweet

1. Thou shall keep a To-Do list and use it.

I found out that having a to-do list keeps me organized. With so much to do at work and in my side jobs, I find myself running around a lot and doing nothing much.

My daily To-do list is organized the night before. I factor prayer, working out, my main job, my writing, my sewing in the evening into the list.

I make sure I leave blocks of time to accommodate the unforeseen jobs that will come up at work. This is a daily occurrence.

The To-Do list increased my productivity by 50%.

2. Thou shall set realistic targets

3 months into the job I developed stress belly and added weight. My face broke out and I started to wear wigs, leaving my natural hair matted under the wigs. Forget mani-pedi.  That was gone.

When I took the decision to get my life together, the first thing I did was set goals.

Safe to say the targets were pretty high and I gave up.

I went back to the board and re-drew the plan.

Work out thrice a week as opposed to every day. Drink water, get my nails done bi-monthly. Braid my hair once a month and wear wigs for the other days of the month.

2 months in, my stress belly has reduced and I still maintain my hair and nails routine.

3. Thou shall factor in “You” time

I love going to the movies, green tea, and red wines. One of the first things I stopped doing was going to the movies. Weekends were tight. No more tea time and wine time.

I now find time on Sundays to savor a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Most importantly I fix movie dates so I will have to make time for them. This means I must close out official work by Friday and put extra time into the writing.  It is worth it.

Relate each work experience to your business. This way your work and life is balanced emotionally. Click To Tweet

4. Thou shall find a purpose in what you do.

If your job pays a bit low like mine, you might grow resentful over time. This will definitely affect your work-life balance. For someone who wants the experience, this will make a terrible experience.

One way I have managed to balance myself emotionally is to relate each work experience to my business.

One thing I have learned to do is to be grateful and positive. It gives more light to the work I do. I make the choice to cut back when I can.

Balancing two or more responsibilities with self-care is hard but not impossible and we are getting there.

Till next time. For now, drink a glass of wine or cradle a cup of tea and take care of you!


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