Achieving Balance: Make the Most of the Time you Have

Katie Corbett holds the book "I Know How She Does It."

By Katie Corbett

No person wants to feel like one area of their life is dominating over all others. I first had this experience when I was working a data entry job fresh out of college. I went from primarily spending my time how I liked to being at the same location for nine hours a day, five days per week, doing work I didn’t enjoy. This period of my life forced me to manage my time better during off-hours.

I didn’t read time management expert Laura Vanderkam’s book, “I Know How She Does It,” until a couple years after leaving that first job, but she makes many points I have found to be true and have made more of an effort to apply to my life. She first points out that every week consists of 168 hours, so there is a lot of time not spent at work. I spent 45 hours at the office and 7 hours sleeping per night, resulting in about 49 hours of sleep. That meant I had 74 hours free the rest of the week. Making the most of that time is the best way to fit everything in to live a full life.

One way I made the most of my off-hours was to take charge of my commute. Since I’m blind and cannot drive, I either hired a driver or took public transportation to work. I found that taking the bus was ideal, since I could listen to audiobooks on my daily commute. Taking the bus also meant I needed to leave at the same time every morning, so I had to head out the door and be ready bright and early. As a result, I made a point to plan what I was going to wear and have for lunch the night before. Taking the bus also involved a walk from my home to the bus stop, and another walk from the bus stop to work. This brisk exercise, repeated for my commute home after work, was a great way to get outside and move, even just for a few minutes each day.

What area could you take charge of each day to make yourself more productive? In what ways could you make the most of your time when not at work? Share any suggestions in the comments. I look forward to reading them!

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