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Keep Calm & Wear Heels: My Chaotic Life

I was recently asked by Stacy, one of my readers, how I organize and manage all of the things I’m involved in…
 which is a very good question. Honestly, I’m not the most organized person in the world. With having so much to do and so little time to do it, you’d think I would be the most organized person in the world with my hours of the day planned out by activity in pretty, colorful columns.

That is soooo not me.

I have a planner and a huge calendar on my wall, but I rarely use them. And even when I do make myself write something down, I usually never look. I think if someone looked inside my head, it would be full of crinkled up sticky notes and to-do lists because that’s where I keep all of my thoughts, ideas, schedules — everything… which is probably why I get so stressed out. But, it definitely helps me improve my memory.

So how do I manage everything, you ask? I realize that in college, getting a great education should be a student’s top priority, but it gets tough when the only time you have a chance to do homework is when you get home at 11 at night… and you’re absolutely drained and can practically feel your body cuddled up in bed and your head on a nice, soft pillow. I do manage to get good grades, but I have so many other obligations that my school work usually has to wait until I get everything else done since so many people depend on me to do so.

Being involved in so much has really taught me a lot about time management. To make time to get to do my homework at night, I have to make sure I’m being super productive during the day. Depending on the day, I usually have class starting at 8 in the morning and going until 2 in the afternoon with some breaks in between, so I take advantage of those breaks and usually squeeze in some studying at those times.

After class, my next priority is Love Twenty. I have to make sure I’m keeping in contact with all of my writers, editors, interns, and business partners. I do a lot of emailing and post all of the content as soon as I can each day. After putting up the content and doing some final edits, I try and make sure all of the social media accounts are updated so our readers can go check out the daily content. The funny thing about Love Twenty’s Twitter is that I’m usually tweeting from that account while walking to class. It’s the best time to do it!

I tend to go back and work on things related to Love Twenty throughout the day, but there’s at least a two-hour period where that’s all I’m doing.

After working with Love Twenty, I’m usually working with writers for my Campus Life Editor position at the University of Northern Iowa’s newspaper, the Northern Iowan. On Sundays and Wednesdays from around 1-8 p.m., I’m editing material for the newspaper and putting together my page layouts. I also have to go in the following mornings to make changes and get the articles ready to put up online.

When I’m not playing the role of an editor for the paper, I like to get out and work as a writer as well. I love covering events around campus, but it takes a lot of time to actually go to the event, do the interviews for it, the write out the article. Unfortunately, although writing is my main passion, I don’t have as much time to do it as I would like.

She’s the First is also a big part of my day. I do a lot of planning and setting up for our fundraisers and have to make sure I’m updating the social media outlets for the organization as well. We also have meetings every other week as well, so I do a lot of prepping for those so we always have new and fun things to do at them.

By the time everything is done,  my eyes definitely hurt from starring at the computer screen. It’s a lot of sitting indoors, so when it’s nice outside, all I want to do is get my pup and take her out there to play. She’s sure patient with me — her Mommy is pretty busy. But she’s always there right by my side. The long days at the Northern Iowan are tough since I don’t get to see her for hours, but thank goodness I have awesome roommates who adore her almost as much as me and keep her company while she waits patiently for me to get home.

Between all of this, I try to balance having a social life. A lot of me being social these days is online, since I’mworking with people from all over the country. Freshman year I was able to hang out with friends any time I wanted, but this year it’s been a lot more difficult. It’s hard, but when I do get to take a night off and relax with everyone it’s definitely worth it.

As you can see, this is just a general look at some of the things I do. I’m involved in a lot more, but these are the things I don’t go a day without doing. All I have to say is thank goodness for tea and lots of sugar.

My advice to other busy ladies out there is the following: 

1. Make time for yourself. No matter how busy you are, you have to take a night and grab a movie, some hot chocolate or whichever beverage you prefer, and cuddle up to relax. If you don’t take time for yourself, you’re going to go crazy. Believe me, I’ve been close. I’ve realized that when it seems impossible to get everything done that you need to, you just need to take a step back, take a deep breath (maybe have a good cry), and give yourself a break.

2. Write it down. I’m working on my bad habit of not using a planner. It’s hard having everything that you need to do and remember jumbled up in your head. Although I don’t use a planner often, I do make to-do lists while I’m sitting in class. It’s a nice way of just getting everything out of my head so I’m not laying in bed at night thinking through it all. Even though these lists end up getting thrown somewhere and are never seen again after I make them, it’s still nice getting my thoughts down on paper.

3. School isn’t everything. I know having awesome grades matter greatly, but don’t focus on school all the time. If studying is taking over your life, make sure you have a hobby to keep you sane. Love Twenty is one of my hobbies, and although it takes a lot of time out of my day, it’s something that I enjoy doing.

4. Make time for friends and family. Scheduling people in your busy life is no fun. I hate having to put off spending time with my friends because I have other things I have to do, but sometimes you just have to do those things. Even though you’re busy, make sure you’re keeping connected with the people that have your back and are there supporting whatever you’re so busy with all the time. Whether you call up your Mom every day while walking to class or meet your friend for lunch, make sure you get to see them or at least hear their voice.

Well, this is my life. Although I’m to busy to even breathe sometimes, I occasionally get a chance to whip out a blog post to tell you that. ;-)

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