Hey everyone! I’m Amanda, the blogger behind The Sweat Life Boston. I’m about to turn 30 (EEEK), and I’m also a newlywed, new step mom, full time publication editor at a tech company in Cambridge, AND I teach rowing, lifting and yoga classes at Sweat Fixx in Wakefield & Arlington. Phew.
When people finish reading that, they tend to have worked themselves into a panic on my behalf. But, that panic is totally unnecessary.
So, HOW do I do it?!
The biggest part is that I ENJOY it - I love my clients and I love working on long form written projects. I went to school for journalism, started my high school paper, and have way too many journals to talk about. Having a love for what you do will always make you a little more sane when balance comes into play.
However, for practical reasons - I write EVERYTHING down.
I have a planner that ALWAYS is with me. It allows me to look at the month on a larger calendar, and then drills down daily by week. So, when someone asks me if I can cover a class, or if I have a new publications deadline, I write it on the bigger month overview first. Then, I flip to the day, and set a time for it to get done by. This allows me then to build a daily to-do checklist when I get to that particular day.
Everything from weekends with my stepson to get togethers with college friends gets put into this planner. Mine is from Sugar and Type, and has some inspirational quotes, coloring pages, and even a budgeting worksheet within it.
What else do I schedule? My workouts.
My most used app on my phone is the MindBody App, because it lets me schedule workouts in advance, no matter if I’m in Cambridge, Wakefield, Arlington, Boston or anywhere else. Once those classes get booked, they then get written down. This was something I had to learn the hard way - I found that if I didn’t treat my workouts with the same seriousness that I treated my deadlines and work, that I just wouldn’t do them. So, as cliche as this has become, my hour long workouts are an hour long meeting with myself. I’m a morning workout person, so usually my alarm will go off between 4:30AM and 5:30AM to let me know it’s time to get started.
What else is important to remember? My relationships.
I recently married my husband in June, and making time for us to hang out and enjoy each other is very important, and admittedly something that I’m still trying to work on.
Since I teach Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, making sure that I keep Monday and Tuesday nights open for us to hang out and have a date night is really important. There were frank conversations, plans and goals, because - I admit - sometimes I can over commit myself. So, I always try to book off one full weekend day and two weeknights for us to unwind and enjoy each others company.
In the end, regardless of how much I plan and organize --- Balance is HARD.
I don’t have it figured out, but it’s something I’m working towards. Planning and organizing only goes so far, when a last minute event comes up and then you have to weigh priorities and figure out what your next move is going to be. Asking yourself what the MOST important things in your life are will make this part a little bit easier. I keep a Post-It in my planner, on the front page, that says “Family & Friends & Yourself… Remember what’s important”. It’s a reminder to always make time for the people who care most about you… including you.
While balance is hard - Burnout is real and ugly. My goal is to try to NEVER hit burnout again. Once was enough.
Trying to balance it ALL will most likely never work, but laying the foundation and finding out where your balance is will help you achieve that feeling of harmony between your work life, family life, and YOUR life.