They say that once you start working fulltime you’ll miss the good old days where you were in school. Having been in school up until August 2018 for over 20 years, I wasn’t really sure it would apply to me, as I had done my fair share of student time. I did enjoy almost all of it, except the occasional finals week and overloaded presentations and group projects days. I did enjoy having long breaks in the middle of the day, or finishing at noon during grad school. It gave me so much more freedom to do more things, which ended up being more training, or at least not training at 6am or 7pm. That’s probably what I miss more. The flexibility of my schedule (except mandatory class time obviously), swimming at 10am, after the morning rush and before the aerobic class, getting a long run in at 1pm, when the city is quiet but it’s bright, sunny and warm out, or even getting a nice long ride in the middle of the week outside, and not in my basement at 6am! So yeah, I do miss it for these couple reasons, but I’ve been enjoying having a more anchored routine, getting a good sweat on before work, or taking a mid-day break to go run before returning to my desk. I’ve been enjoying serving an actual purpose and being able to give my bosses all the right information to make a decision (I’m not important enough to do that yet!), be more efficient and simply be part of a team that makes a difference. While I won’t get into too much detail about my job, it’s been such a big learning curve, and I’m nowhere near comfortable or confident to tell you that I actually know what I’m doing every day, but those many years as a student have taught me to ask question, and do it often, soak up as much information as you can and talk, network build relationship with people around you. I’m not an expert in the art of work-life balance just yet, but here are a few tips that have been helping me the last couple of months.
People you work with also have a life outside of work (Hopefully!), so if you have a commitment, or you swim with a master group during the week that would make you be a at work 1h later than usual on that day, just let them know and stay later that night, find an arrangement that works for everyone. In the end just communicate, you’ll never be in trouble for asking.
You’re probably not going to like this one if you aren’t a morning person, but waking up earlier to get a workout in before work, is so worth it. You get to the office knowing you’ve already accomplished something, you feel better mentally and physically, you’re more productive and that also means, that if it was your only training, you’re done for the day!
This one might not be available to everyone, but if you have a gym at work or close by, or even a shower available, getting a quick run in, hit workout or strength training in during lunch is awesome. I feel so much better after, and that 3pm slump that hits a lot of us at the end of the day usually don’t because I still feel the endorphins of my workout. It also helps me not eat all the leftover and free food available, because I mentally am more capable of resisting if I worked out. Obviously, the down side is that I have to eat lunch while working, but I would probably do it anyway.
A cool thing to do it enlist a few of your coworker to go run with you, either before or after work or during lunch time. You’ll be surprised to see how many of your colleagues actually do run. Here we have a great running community and even a small triathlon one. And if no ones is really into it, try to motivate them to start and they will thank you later.
At the end of the day, it comes downs to only a few things. If you give yourself the means to succeed, you will achieve your goal. You will never be motivated 100% of time, but by creating a plan, being organized and reminding yourself once in a while your why, I’m pretty sure you will succeed.
PS I do snooze my morning alarm sometimes, most of the time I regret it, sometimes it’s a good call, because I’m actually tired, but know that we all do it, we are all humans, and that OK. Just don’t make it a habit!