I haven’t always been the type of person I am today. I have gone through different phases and had different lifestyles, but am constantly working to improve myself. I used to be sort of lazy. I used to cram all night before an exam. Used to hang out in bed all day and eat pizza with my roommate. Used to skip class. Used to struggle to manage different parts of my life. For instance, if I had a boyfriend, I’d give up time with friends. If I had a difficult class, I’d be a grumpy mess.
Now, I’m a very different person. I could not possibly love my life more. I have my hands in a lot of different stuff. I mean, I'm a 24-year-old with a masters and her own business, writing a book. Plus, I still manage to find time to work out daily, cook healthy homemade meals, and have amazing times with all my friends and boyfriend.
I constantly get asked ‘How the heck do you do all that?!’ I really, really love what I do, so to me, it’s easy. However, getting asked that made me think about how I do what I do every day. So, here goes.
It is all. about. that. HUSTLE.
HOW TO HUSTLE & LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT
1. Realize that it’s not about having time to do things, it’s about making the time to do them. Most people don’t ‘have time’ to go to the gym in their routine. You can’t rely on having free time lingering in your day to make things happen. You have to make the time for them. I use every inch of time in my day. Even if it’s only 20 minutes between meetings, or waiting in line for a sandwich. You have to change your mentality about time to see it in a new light. There are 24 hours in a day, 16 of which are healthy to use. USE THEM.
2. Take a breather. Take at least two hours a day to yourself & at least one day of the weekend. I know this sounds crazy – two hours?! That’s a long time! I know it is, and you need it, deserve it, will be much better off with it. I take one hour for yoga and one for reading, cooking, or watching tv. You need to take some time to relax and enjoy life every day, otherwise you’ll just be consumed with work and miserable. I also make sure that if I have to work the weekend (which I do, every single weekend), I only work one day, not both. Make sure to do something really fun at least one day of your weekend! Oh, and smile. A lot.
3. Stress is pointless. This one is hard to control, but should be easy. I have trouble listening to people freak out about how much work they have to do. I’m a venter – sometimes I’m sure I annoy my friends by telling them how much work I have to finish, but I never fully stress about it. Venting is one thing, but we waste so much energy and time being anxious and stressed about stuff. Think about how exhausting it is to be stressed out! All that ATP our body is making to feel that could be put toward being productive instead. Try to channel your stress toward healthy behaviors, like organization.
4. On that note, be organized! You need a planner…and a calendar…and a to do list. I have it all. I have a list for each list. A list for all the lists I have to make. I color coordinate my lists. My to do list is organized by type of work (writing, my clients, managing my team, business collaborations, miscellaneous, calls/emails) and color coded. I’m a organization monster. The feeling of checking things off at the end of the day feels like a high. It may or may not be a problem.
5. Be pleasant. I know this sounds really off topic, but hear me out for a sec. This falls in line with the whole don’t stress out thing. I make it a point to be super friendly and nice to strangers, no matter how late or busy I am. A lot of busy people tend to run around with their heads down focused on what they’re running off to next. But, by taking the time to smile at people and appreciate small interactions like that, you are boosting your mood and energy, de-stressing. You’re literally multitasking by being nice. Plus, you’re being nice! So when you get your morning coffee, order it with a smile and ask the barista how his morning is going. Trust me, it’ll not only make his day, but it’ll give you an extra boost. This also applies to anyone you meet at school or work. You want to be the employee or student that everyone loves, because trust me, when your mentor is getting emails about how much everyone wants to work with you, that extra mile will be soooo worth it.
6. Eat healthy. Especially breakfast! Whoever said ‘you are what you eat’ was not messing around. I can feel it when I don’t eat well. When I eat my usual weekday breakfast (a big green smoothie with whole grain granola on top & cup of green tea), I feel amazing. I feel energized and ready for the day. If I skip it for a bagel and cream cheese I feel awful, and usually tired by 10 am. Making sure you’re getting your fruits and veggies and healthy protein and fats is SO essential to feeling good, and feeling good is SO essential to productivity. Unhealthy foods make you tired, overeating makes you lethargic, and not getting enough essential nutrients makes you fuzzy. All those totally stink, it’s so not worth it.
7. Workout. Exercise is a serious, serious natural mood enhancer and stress reducer. I get so stressed out when I miss a workout. I feel all crazy and off balance. Making sure you get at least some exercise in daily will boost your mood and keep you pleasant, while distressing you AND keeping your body healthy and fit. Triple win? Yup. It is a great way to take a little break from work and get some clarity and time for yourself.
8. Sleep! No matter how busy you are or how crazy your schedule is, losing sleep is never, ever worth it. Even if I have a massive assignment due, I always prioritize getting at least 7 hours of sleep minimum. If you think about it, staying up all night actually makes you lose productivity time. You’ll stay up really late, get a couple hours of work done in a tired, caffeine induced work-coma, and then pretty much lose the whole next day to being a zombie with their shoes on the wrong feet. A lack of sleep also increases stress and promotes weight gain, both total bummers. Make sure you don’t procrastinate so much you’re pulling all nighters, that is for amateurs. You’re a go-getting hustler.
9. Put yourself together. Looking good is much more important than most people think. This may sound silly, but I’m sure you can relate – when I put myself together in the morning (you know, a little chapstick, brush my hair, nice outfit), I have a little extra spring in my step and actually feel like being more productive. Not only do my colleagues and superiors notice it, they subconsciously notice the spring. Who would rely on/hire/trust/etc the girl who looks disheveled and showed up in yoga pants with wet hair when you’re standing next to her looking flawless and well-rested? As much as people love to deny this, appearance is important. You don’t have to show up for class looking like a supermodel, but a little touch of poise goes a long, long way. There’s actually been research that proves people naturally trust women wearing a little bit of make up more so than those with nothing on. Jusss sayin’. My motto: If you don’t look like you’re totally drowning in work and on the brink of your mental stress breakdown, you won’t be.
10. Don’t settle. We are only here for the tiniest blip on the universe’s radar. You’re itty bitty when it comes to the grand scheme of things. That sort of blows, doesn’t it? The most we can do while were here is make some noise. Make your parents proud. Make yourself proud. Make. Some. Noise. Being ordinary or falling in line with the pack is BORING. You are special enough to stand out, to push yourself farther, to be the one that’s going to shake things up and make a real difference. Growing up, I didn’t just say ‘I want to be a doctor,’ I said ‘I’m going to cure cancer.’ Even if that’s obviously a stretch, I still think in that light. I don’t want to be a run-of-the-mill dietitian who helps a couple hundred people, I’m going to be the dietitian that changes millions of lives and (more realistically, helps to) prevent and cure cancer. Don’t ever, ever, EVER settle for being ordinary. Be f-ing extraordinary (excuse my French).