Balancing a degree, a blog, a (relatively) normal life and making enough money to fund it all is a tricky balance. Luckily, Northern Roots remains a fun little place for me to come and whinge at you lovely lot and so rarely feels like a chore. I really don’t mind putting some time aside to sit and write/rant but sometimes working until the wee hours of the morning is a little less fun.
It does mean that I have to be fairly organised or there is no way I could manage it all. Right now, it is not too bad as I’m not at university or doing any of the extra things that that involves – I’m talking to you evening language classes, newspapers and societies. But after a few years of liking a busy plate, I’ve picked up a few tricks that I live by:
1) Know your own strengths. Like I said, I like to be busy. I always have. What it does mean is that I tend to say yes to a lot of things that my friends and family think I won’t have time for and that I have no-one to blame but myself when I suddenly realise that I have seven articles, an essay and tutorial prep due in. But it works for me. I also know that I work best in the morning so try to schedule most things then when I’m at my most productive.
2) Write it down. You may think you can hold everything in that noggin of yours but chances are, you are going to forget something. Unless you have your own Sherlock-style mind palace in which case, why are you reading this?!
3) Prioritise. Essays come first for me even if this means I have to put off some reading or even put a little less time into the blog. Similarly, things that involve other people are probably harder to rearrange (and more disappointing to forget) than if its something you can do by yourself when you have a spare moment.
4) Remember to play. Or else you’ll go crazy. I’m not talking about taking regular holidays, though that would be very nice, but it is important to leave yourself some time to relax and have some fun or else you will simply burn out. During term time, I used to set aside an hour while my roommate was still asleep to have a cup of two and catch up on Instagram/ Bloglovin/ Made In Chelsea or have a good old fashioned bubble bath.
5) Don’t beat yourself up. We’re all human and, at the end of the day, even the most organised of people are likely to forget something. It happens but it is something that is usually fairly easy to deal with. Hey, I went to school with a girl who forget a pretty major deadline until the night before and she’s doing well for herself! Don’t stress about planning every aspect of your life either; some of the best days I’ve spent have been completely relaxed and spontaneous.