As an artist who works a full-time job, feeling overwhelmed or behind in my creative pursuits is an understatement. Constantly having split my time and ENERGY between a mundane job and my life purpose becomes mentally draining, leaving me to feel unmotivated to work towards my passion.
Over the last year, I have tried to implement different daily structures to my every day schedule to increase my productivity and balance, but nothing seemed to stick for me.
It wasn’t until I realized that my daily structures were centered around the goals I wanted to achieve, instead of an actual lifestyle change based on self-discipline. I came to the realization that if I wanted to truly live for my purpose, I would need a daily structure that would remain constant to yield optimum productivity.
Within the last several months, I created and maintained a completely new structure that would allow me to oppose the “burnt out” feeling, giving me a chance to work on my personal pursuits.
Here are the easy changes that I have implemented into my daily routine.
1. I Created A Killer Morning Routine.
The first moments upon waking up are crucial! What you do in the morning to prepare for your day serves as the foundation for the day you will have. Being though my work day begins at 7 a.m., I wake at 5:30 a.m. daily. (The trick is to always wake up before or with the sun to get the most out of your day and time) I then hop out of bed and I immediately give a prayer of gratitude. Following, I journal a list of the things that I want and desire out of life and how it would feel to have those things; I use this as a reference to revise when I need an energetic boost. Once I finish my morning routine, I then proceed with getting ready for the day; hair, face, clothes, tea.
2. I Dress Up For Myself Daily.
Okay, so working with Pre-K children is not really a job where you need to get beautified in nice dress or slacks; however, I’ve realized that wearing exercise clothes every day to work has played a significant impact on the self-image that I hold for myself. I feel better and readier to tackle the day when I feel like I look my best. (When you feel sloppy, you perform sloppy.)
3. I Allow Myself 15 Minutes To Meditate.
I know meditation isn’t for everyone. Not everyone can sit in silence to quiet the mind for 5 minutes, let alone 15. When I say meditate, I mean anything that will allow you to become mindful of your current surroundings in the here and now. That could be anything. Journaling, taking a walk, reading a chapter of a book, quick power yoga stretches etc.
4. I Split My Day Into 2-Halves.
I split my day into the a.m. shift and p.m. shift. During the morning, whenever I have any downtime, I will use that as an opportunity to tackle my personal to-do list: my creative goals, respond to personal emails, work on my brand, read and research for personal growth. During the afternoon, if any downtime. I make it an opportunity for content creation: brainstorm new ideas, strategize new concepts, free-write new material. (I have learned to use moments of downtime as moments of personal development.)
5. I Give Myself An Hour Before Bed To Explore.
May sound crazy, but I am usually in the bed by 9 p.m. daily. I think it is important to recharge, refocus, and restore your energy by giving yourself the adequate amount of sleep each night. By resting your body at a decent hour, you can grant yourself an extra hour to explore other fun-filled interests, hobbies, passions, watch mentally stimulating documentaries, and incorporate self-care rituals.
These five changes have become such an integral part of my routine, that it feels like second nature. I feel centered, more productive, and less drained after implementing this new approach to my work/life balance. Whether you try one or all five, I hope these shifts allow more peace to your day-to-day. When improving your life, it only starts with one small change.