How To Deal With A Busy Work Schedule?

By: Kaala Harrilal

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 11.41.26 AM
Photo Credit: Andy Rementer

Monday: go to work and meet client A. Tuesday: go to work meet client B, go to the doctors. Wednesday: double shift at work. Thursday: go to work and meet with the building contractor. Friday: go to work and bank. Saturday: go to the town site. Sunday: go back to town site then city site. This is a typical weekly schedule for Justin Thyme.

Justin Thyme, 28, lives in Baltimore City. He has two jobs. One job is with a small company and he has several personal client’s projects on the side. On average, he works from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Saturdays and Sundays, he works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seventy-six hours of his awake time is spent at work. If he gets the recommended eight hours of sleep, then he remains with 36 hours per week of available time. He has approximately 5 hours and 14 minutes each day to manage the rest of his responsibilities. His chores list consists of the following: cleaning, laundry, groceries, financial budgeting, cooking, and yard work. Thyme is struggling with how to balance a work and a personal life.                    

Thyme first needs to get organized. Thyme creates a weekly list of responsibilities, arranging them by importance. For instance, paying bills should come before buying the latest superhero movie. A prioritized list is a smart list. Thyme carries a black book around everywhere he goes. Colored coordination is key to an organized planner. The different colors help Thyme to visually see the difference of importance with each task written in his planner. While he stares at the colored-coordinated list it swirls into a psychedelic painting, and his breath starts to become heavy and his heartbeat races. A panic attack.

A panic attack is described as an emotional nightmare. According to American Heart Association, common symptoms of a panic attack can include the following: racing heartbeat, dizziness, chest pains, trembling, and chills. A planner will help Thyme become more organized than trying to remember each appointment. However, his mental health also needs improvement. Thyme can use mindfulness as a technique to maintain and improve his mental health.

Mindfulness is the “basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us,” according to mindful.org. Mindfulness is practiced by meditation. Mindful.org recommends nine steps to meditate. Step 1: Find a comfortable spot. Step 2: Cross your legs or rest the bottom of your feet on the ground. Step 3: Sit up straight. Step 4: Relax your arms and let them rest wherever it feels natural. Step 5: Avoid looking straight forward. Step 6: Inhale through your nose and exhale through your month. Step 7: Stay focus on breathing, although your mind may start to wander. Step 8: Pay attention to your wandering mind. Practice observing your wandering mind without reactions. Step 9: Lift your gaze and take in the sounds of the environment. These are simple steps for meditation.

Several benefits come from practicing meditation, according to Mindful.org. Understanding your pain: mindfulness can help reshape your mental and physical pain. Connect better: mindfulness helps the connection made with others. Lower stress: mindfulness decreases stress. Focus your mind, mindfulness creates focus. Reduce brain chatter: let the little voice in your head take a break. Mindfulness practice should be penciled into your schedule, according to Mindful.org. Mindfulness will help Thyme’s mental health, but his physical health may need improvement.

Thyme did not buy groceries for the week, which means he resorted to buying non-home cooked meals, ex. fast foods. Consuming fast food every day cannot be healthy for Thyme. With Thyme’s organized schedule, he has found he can spare two hours on weekends doing house-related work. Before he heads to the grocery store, he adds a load of laundry into the washing machine. Thyme needs to create a grocery list of the basic foods he may need, like bread, eggs, milk, cheese, and butter. Thyme also needs a meal plan. He needs simple meals that are quick, easy and healthy to make.    

The American Heart Association recommends a daily intake of 6 servings of grain, 3-4 servings of vegetables, 4 servings of fruits, 2-3 servings of dairy, 3-6 oz. of meat, 2 servings of fats, 3-4 servings of nuts and 0 serving of sugar. Thyme decides to create a chicken salad with cranrasians and walnuts since it is quick and simple. Thyme gets tired of salad, so he makes baked chicken with green beans and wild rice, as an alternative meal. He plans and makes crockpot (pressure cooker) meals in the mornings so when he returns home, and he has a hot meal waiting.

Thyme now has a color-orientated planner of his weekly work schedule, personal schedule and a meal plan. He can relax by using mindfulness to recollect himself when he thinks he is handling too much. Thyme can also cut back on his activities. Work is important, but so is his health. With an organized schedule, a relaxed mind and a healthy diet, Thyme can manage his busy life.

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