How do you do it all? The messages I was sending in my third week of work were to my friends that seem to do it all, balancing work, running their own business, side hustling and social media. I was already stressing out, my running was going downhill fast and I was falling asleep at 8pm, unable to focus on anything once I got home.
Luckily they messaged back saying, no-one is doing it all.
They recommended outsourcing, focusing my energy on the aspects of my ‘business’ that I enjoy (like instagram), and giving someone else the ones I don’t, or the things I’m not good at (like editing my new podcast!). I’m letting go of the aspects that I can’t do as well or as quickly as someone else.
Outsourcing – I was given some great advice to outsource, mostly business stuff that I’m not good at, or that takes me forever yet would take someone else 5 minutes. We are also really lucky to have a cleaner once a week which is amazing. I make sure to organise 5 days of work outfits in advance and get them ironed on a Tuesday by Michaela. I understand this is super privileged and I am so lucky that we are able to afford her (side note I’ve heard that cleaners are a lot more expensive in the US than in the UK. And I definitely know this is not something available to everyone). Not everyone needs to outsource business work, but if you do need help…ask for it. Whether it’s with a project at work, car pooling for school, or just asking your partner/family/friends for help when things get busy.
Getting up earlier- I’m best in the mornings, and useless by about 9pm. So my plan is to wake up at 5am, work until 6am then drive then drive to work and run near work. Currently I leave the house at 7am to get to my desk by 8.30 am – the traffic can be really unpredictable so I have to leave 90 minutes just incase at that time of day. But by switching to 6am commute, I’m hoping that I can make it in under an hour…and get a better parking spot! It’s so annoying that nothing seems to happen in the UK until 7am, my gym doesn’t open at 7am and neither does the one next to my work. I wish that we had the attitude of the US gyms and studios with 5am classes! My hours are a little unpredictable right now, and I don’t always leave on time which means morning is my best shot. Oh and also all I want to do most evenings is crash on the sofa!
Utilising the mornings mean you can get things done before emails start rolling in, things happen at work that mean you can’t leave on time, and the to-do list gets ever longer. Not everyone thrives in the morning, and that’s OK. You don’t have to get up crazy early, even if you give yourself an extra 15 minutes to tick something off your list, it can be worth it.
Run commuting – I used to get a lot of my easy runs done run commuting when I was on my placements and nannying. It was often the only way to get it done. Most of my commute is along the M4 so run commuting is a little tricky. But I am going to give a run – train – run approach to a run commute and hope its better than nothing!
Working and living in a town/city is much easier, but there might be a way to make it work by getting creative.
Planning– This is KEY. Planning meals and packed lunches ahead of time. Organising my work clothes on a Sunday so that I don’t waste time stressing over what to wear at 5am. Scheduling in the workouts and runs each week. And trying to stay super organised with my IG and blog stuff (this I’ve been really bad at since starting my new job).
Letting go of perfection – When I was on placement I struggled to make my lunch and bring it to the hospital everyday, so I just let that go and bought my lunch most days. Yes it was expensive but it was just one thing I relaxed and gave myself leeway on.
And now for something that might be controversial….RUNNING LESS.
I followed the Run Faster, Run Less training plan ish back when I ran the Berlin Marathon and it worked really, really well for me. Whilst I’m not quite following it this time round, I am focusing on three key runs per week, then doing the easy runs when and if I can! I’ve kind of got 3 hard runs; weds, Friday and Sunday, an easy run on Tues and an optional easy run on Saturday.
So many of you are balancing work, running, parenting, long commutes, side hustles and doing amazingly. Who better to ask for their tips… It was actually Lucysrunningdiary that encouraged me to get up earlier to fit it in pre-work than trying to do too much blog stuff in the evening. So I’ve put together a sort of schedule: I KNOW it’s kind of ridiculous that I’ve had to schedule in IG but guys, sometimes it takes me like 30+ minutes to think of and write a caption, so writing them in the evening to post first thing takes off the pressure at 7am.
Other top tips for ‘doing it all’..
- Prioritise the weekend Runs – were ‘weekend warriors” make sure you make the most of the weekend time to build those miles.
- Looking at what else has gone on that day/week in work and life that may affect training and being easy on yourself. Your body doesn’t recognise diff areas of stress
- Plan all the logistic of your workout at the start of the week and treat them mostly like non-negotiable meetings/activities
- Plan quick, easy meals to make sure you’re not spending hours in the kitchen (if you don’t want to) to make sure you have good nutrition, which will also help in other areas in your life as well as running.
- Control the controllables… if you can’t leave work on time it might be unavoidable, but you can prep your meals, pack your sports kit, commit to your morning workouts (actually another reason I’m focusing on morning runs!)
- Have a realistic plan – think you can only run 3 times per week? Then trying to stick to a plan that has you running 6 days per week is just setting yourself up for failure.
I shared my plan on Instagram yesterday, with a variety of responses
Monday – 5-7am Blog work, 5.30pm GYM, evening IG and newsletter
Tuesday – 5-6am blog work, RUN COMMUTE, 7-8am run evening IG
Wednesday – 4.30am-5.30am work, 5.30-6.30am drive to work, 6.30-8am run, 6.30-730pm gym/PT evening IG
Thursday – 6.30-7,30am Reformer Pilates, 6-7pm Blog work
Friday – 5.00-6.30am run
Saturday– park run ? Or OFF
Sunday – Long Run and BLOG evening IG
I know it’s early mornings but I was so relieved to know I wasn’t alone in the pre-dawn alarms, in fact some of you guys are getting up at 3.30am to get your work, training and life done! I’m going to be flexible with it, and give it a try to see how I get on, whilst also prioritising sleep with early bedtimes and recovery.
Got any extra tips? Would love any advice you have…