Carpe Diem

By Tom Shaw Mar 21, 2018

Ah, the first days of spring. The days are getting longer, the weather warmer, and the foliage greener. Arguably the most rejuvenating season of the year, spring feels like the perfect time to reassess priorities in order to make the most out of our day-to-day lives.

“Carpe Diem” is an aphorism I strive to live by every day. My 5:30am alarm is accompanied by that saying, as a reminder to make my way out of bed so that I can get the most out of my afternoons. Granted, I am lucky enough to be in a position at N2 that allows for flex-hours, thus the reason for my early start; but whether you have flexible work hours or not, aligning and balancing your life can alleviate the stress of getting buried under errands, tasks, and obligations.

There are constants in life that we can capitalize on in order to make the most out of our time:

  1. We (generally) work around 40 hours per week.
  2. We will be hungry about three times a day.
  3. We will have other things that we want / need to do besides work and eat.

Here’s the trick! We can plan around the first two in order to make more time for the third. So without further ado, here are three tips to help you reduce the clutter from your life and make the most out of your day.

1. Meal Planning

Meal planning saves money, wastes less food, and alleviates the need to go to the grocery store multiple times per week. On Sunday afternoons, plan out your dinners for Sunday through Thursday before going to the store. Stock up on what you’ll need, and be sure to cook enough for leftovers! You’ll never have to worry about cooking lunch again.

2. Work-Life Planning

At the beginning of your work week, go through your calendar and take a look at your current workload; see what days look like they’re going to be the busiest. Plan easy-to-cook dinners for your busy days, and plan errands for lighter days.

If your job allows for flex hours, take advantage of that! Personally, I like to start work early and finish up mid-afternoon. That gives me time to do things like run errands, hang out with the family, or do something active.

If there’s one thing smartphones are great for, it’s planning. Be sure to set reminders for anything that you think you may forget otherwise – appointments, meetings, something you need to pick up on your way home, anything! Be sure to set the alert for when you need to remember, not when you need to arrive somewhere.

3. Organization

Have you ever heard the saying, “A clean house is a happy house?” Well, it’s true, and the same goes for your office and workspace. Sunday is my prep-day for the week and, along with meal planning, I make sure to straighten up my home and office. Keeping these spaces clean helps me feel like I am in control of things, and being proactive about cleaning keeps the anxiety of a messy room or house at bay. In addition to straightening up and vacuuming, I make sure to keep my email inbox and the desktop of my computer clutter-free.

I hope these tips help you realize that taking the time to plan and organize your life week by week can lead to a better work-life balance. I know that when I have a clean house, a clean office, and my meals and errands planned out for the week, I am able to better focus on the things that matter – like how I will be spending my free time, and what my “cheat meals” will be on Friday and Saturday.

It’s YOUR day. Seize it!

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