When Life Gets Hectic

Written by: Sheena Jeffers for Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins

I have 5 fully-functioning calenders in my daily life.

One hanging up in my bathroom by my sink to read over while brushing my teeth or putting on my make-up. One on my phone, which is the first method of any record. It's electronic and quick. One hanging on the wall in my office. One taped to my desk by the phone, which only has numbers that I put dots over once a day is done. One physical one that I carry around with me to write down what I did each day. It's one crazy, well-oiled, multi-tasking machine / balancing act!

Here are my tips for staying energized, staying focused, and staying right on track:

1. Know what you are doing: Write it down. Set reminders. Mentally know what is coming up on the horizon.

2. Pace yourself: If you think about your daily schedule before the actual day (or at the latest, the morning of), you may realize that you'll need most of your energy toward the end of the day. That means... no where in your energy budget do you have time to stress! This will fatigue your body and mind. Be mentally aware of that so when someone or something attempts to stress you out early on, you are prepared to let that go. Take one task at a time. Breathe.

3. Track your progress: When you have something done, check it off! Congratulate yourself, even if it's just a mini-internal party!

4. Figure out "What's Next:" After your mini-party, figure out the next step. Play through every scenario in your mind, and figure out where to move on from there. Then make the move.

5. Sleep: Do not cheat your body of its rest. You cannot function to the best of your ability without a rested mind and body. Pick a bedtime, and stick to it. There is no "catching up" on sleep; so respect sleep, and understand its power.

6. Treat yourself: Make time in your busy schedule for "treats." For me, a treat is taking my own ballet class or popping into a hot yoga class. Occasionally, I'll spend a little too much on a hair cut. These are treats for my hard work!

7. Become acquainted with multi-tasking: You will have many projects going on at once. Teach yourself how to "flip" your mind from project to project.

8. Always exude confidence, passion and energy: No matter how exhausted you are... you aren't in front of a client / student! Always appear to have your plan, yourself, your knowledge and your story in line and prepared! Even if you probably could have used a little more preparation time on this or that. People feed off of each others' energy. If you show it, share it, and they'll return the favor. You'll find yourself perk up, naturally!

9. Remind yourself why you work so hard: I have little drawings from students hanging in my office. I print off sayings to hang up. I write in a journal. I do activities that keep me encouraged and inspired. When we are busy, we tend to...forget why we wanted to be busy in the first place! Remind yourself daily.

10. Give yourself a moment: Sometimes, you'll need a moment to step outside and remember who you are and what you are trying to project. When you get frustrated, breathe and let that emotion pass. When you are sad, tell yourself "this too shall pass." When you are angry, stay quiet. Give yourself time. Do not expect yourself to react the proper way and right on time! Patience.

Do not fear the chaos. Instead... ride the wave, and be in control.

Know what you're doing, and where you want to be. Know how to get there. Know who you need to get you there, and work with them. Be smart. Be patient. Be kind. Know your goals and your issues. Know your strengths and your weaknesses. Prepare. Read. Focus. Desire. Plan.

Yes, my life does look like this...

Currently I'm balancing work, school, dancing, editing music, putting together a show, choreographing pieces, working with photographers, planning my future... the list goes on forever and forever.

But I have it written down: whether it was planned or whether it was a life surprise that happened along the way! Because this is my life, and I want it to be amazing yesterday, today, tomorrow!

There's no stopping; just dreaming, planning, achieving, and (of course) beauty sleeping.



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