During my first year at University, I was introduced to one of the most important skills essential for success in the classroom, varsity sports, my social life, and life after school. The skill is called time management. It is rarely perfected, but also rarely considered until it is absolutely necessary. For example, when you have exams and projects all due at the same time or when you have a work presentation in the middle of month end activities, time management becomes your priority in a hurry. This article will help you to be succeed in a career you enjoy while fulfilling your passions of the outdoors (And maybe making some money out of that passion)!
1) Create a poster that shows your goals and vision.
Start by writing 5-10 of your most important values right in the centre of a poster. Next, write “Personal Goals” on the top left corner, “Education Goals” on the bottom left, and “Business Goals” in the bottom right. You will want approximately 5-7 goals for each section. These sections will allow you to identify what is important in your life and also how you can manage your personal schedule.
For personal goals, it’s all about you! Write down how many times you would like to camp this spring, summer, or fall based on the number of weekends you have available. Other goals could include how many summits you want to conquer, 3 small/ 2 medium/1 big travel experience for the year, people you want to meet and why, etc. These personal goals should have just as much weighting as your business goals. Take the time to develop yourself.
For education goals, what do you want to learn how to do or be an expert in? Is it photography? Is it writing? Is it hiking? Is it learning another language? Being self-educated is a necessity today because of all the free information out there, so take advantage of it! I’m a self-taught photographer, like the majority of the photographers out there today. How do they get better? Practice, read, study, ask, practice, fail, fail, fail, succeed, fail. This is the cycle of learning something new. Often people give up after they fail for the first time, but if you keep going, you’re slowly becoming that expert you always wanted to be.
For business goals, I don’t care if you’re a corporate slicked back hair power suit or a hippy making his or her own clothes out of leaves (I’m exaggerating here), money is essential to live your vision. Now what you do with your money is what separates you from the folks who care about things vs. those who care about experiences. Seems simple but experiences are expensive. SURPRISE! People often disconnect money and experiences, but I can tell you, you can’t go far without a bit of cash. Business goals happen by connecting your personal goals with your education goals and making a product or a service from what you learned! Remember this, people pay for expertise. tentree is a perfect example of connecting personal passions and education goals and turning them into an opportunity in which the founders then connected to a business plan. Can you do the same? Of course!
2) Being spontaneous is a waste of your time. Use a calendar.
Spontaneity is romantic, but also romanticized. Remember folks, time is money. So when you don’t know what you’re doing or where you want to go, you take up more time. Make sense? In some cases that’s okay, but when you’re trying to maximize your passions and life out of work, plan trips, plan hikes, and plan small getaways (weekend trips or after work adventures). That way you can change/adapt your schedule to start work early and leave early. This directly links to my last point about identifying your goals and making a realistic agenda to get things moving. Then if something comes up you’ll know what days you can re-schedule. For example, I receive my corporate calendar with our Stat holidays and company specific flex days, and then try to pair those with my vacation days. Call it Vacation Optimization.
3) Surround yourself with 5 people who share similar passions
It’s common knowledge that you are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with. When you have friends that are doing the things you want to do, you quickly learn through osmosis how they manage their time to make life their priority! Also, these folks will help you with your vision of who you want to be and then you can re-arrange your goals to be more ambitious. If you’re with individuals who like the city more than the mountains, I guess you’ll be in the city (or lonely in the mountains). Catch my drift? This may be one of the toughest steps because we are creatures of habit. Recognize that and change. That’s what is great about apps like Instagram, you can go to @tentree and see who they follow and see their followers. For the most part, it’s people who care about our planet and outdoor enthusiasts!
4) The most important things list – Prioritize the work and life experiences
Whenever you have a to-do list, how often do you complete the whole thing? Probably never. Because your list is like a virus, it keeps growing and getting bigger and bigger. What I do to manage this is create a list of my 6 most important things to do. 6 MAX! This includes work and personal things. What stuff really matters? What are people asking from you consistently? What’s on your mind the most? Write it down and get it done and cross it off (sure does feel good).
5) Block out the distractions.
What activities are you doing that are not adding value to your day or weekend? A huge distraction is our phones. Typically, an individual who is on top of their time management game uses their phones to get things done or clear their mind briefly. Your smartphone, or tablet, are tools meant to make your life more efficient, but often we’re caught in a mindless state and an hour goes by passively. Use it and don’t abuse it. On the weekends go explore and leave the Instagram posts and browsing until Monday. Or commit to sending max 5 emails for the entire weekend or 1 post per day maximum 30 minutes for the weekend.
6) Eliminate the FOMO – The Fear of Missing Out – Learn to say ‘No’
This is the Generation Y’s biggest fault. Everyone wants to do everything and when you miss it, you miss “The Best Night Ever.” What I have come to recognize are patterns. A night out on the town has only a handful of outcomes that could happen but the guaranteed outcome of that was being tired and unproductive the next day and only functioning enough to go out again. Additionally, going out to the mountains without a set hiking plan would result in a long mountain drive, taking some of the same photos I had previously taken. So when you refer back to tip number 4, when you know what you need to do, the choices of whether complete a work priority or educational priority, the FOMO becomes suppressed. Furthermore, understanding your own personal values and goals will also eliminate the FOMO, because what’s important is clear and the word ‘No’ is easily said.
7) Maintain energy with diet and rest
With a career and all of your passions, you may be frustrated with your body by it not being able to keep up with you. “How to increase energy”is one of the most common Google searches. The answer is via diet with proper nutrition and water intake, as well as proper sleep and resting periods. Your mind needs to rest just as much as your body does. Meditating is a popular practice, but I haven’t personally taken on meditation so I recommend reading, hiking, running, or working out and listening to music to clear your mind. Find out what works for you mind, but for your body the answer is sleep!
8) Perfectionist? Used to be, never again.
Here’s a quick tip, most of the work you do from school projects to business projects are based on a recommendation or “ask” from a professor, boss, or a hiring individual. Therefore, how you see it may be completely different from what they envisioned. So why waste time making it perfect when there will be guaranteed amendments at the end? Ask for feedback throughout your work and you’ll save yourself stress and frustration. Feedback is a good thing.
9) Weekend champion? Get up before the sun’s up.
You can always nap later. This is a great tip that I don’t always endorse but I wish I could because everything in the morning is easier. The highways are bare, the trails are bare, and you can accomplish a lot during these hours. My favourite (only if I have my coffee)!
10) Learn from your experiences. Record successes and failures
How do you know if you are growing as a person? You can recall highlights and lowlights on your mission to achieve personal and career brilliance. The quicker you learn from your mistakes the more time you’ll have.
I hope you enjoyed my top 10 tips to balance your work life and personal life! tentree is an incredible brand and I proudly wear it everywhere I can. Support passionate people and they’ll support you.