What feels like a few days ago was over a month ago. I am fortunate enough to be the newest member of the maddjett team.  Fast paced and inviting, I have gained some incredible knowledge in my first thirty days here. While finishing my senior year at Belmont University, holding a council position, waitressing, interning for Warner Music Nashville and teaching fitness classes I have been challenged by time management.

I have always been the type of person who “makes time” for others, but for the first time in my life I’ve had to start scheduling time for myself.  Although I am in my early twenties and these are supposedly the years to struggle and evolve as an individual and professional, I had forgotten what it’s like to be human.  I was going from job to job without purpose and heart.  My actions were robotic and day-to-day.  I didn’t possess the words, “no” when it came to being offered opportunities that perhaps didn’t fit my goals.

I have found that life is about balance and by balancing my personal, school, and professional time I have been able to achieve a healthier life through time management.   I am no longer afraid to say no, and have discovered the art of bowing out gracefully.  Time is one commodity that we never have enough of and as we age it becomes more and more valuable. Through prioritizing my tasks at hand verses “just scheduling,” I have been able to be more intentional in my work and life.

For starters, I recommend writing down your priorities. Who/what comes first in your life?  For me, God comes first, following family and friends, ect.  It wasn’t until I wrote these things down that I realized I wasn’t giving my top priorities any priority at all.

Second, take time to write out your schedule.  How many things are you involved in? How many things are you passionately involved in?  It was scary to see my schedule written down. I was going from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. some days.  It’s not necessary to do everything on your schedule; there are ways to minimize.  Start taking phone/Skype calls instead of coffee or lunch, invite people to social gatherings you will also be at (kill two birds with one stone).

Lastly, eliminate. It’s okay to say no. Do you really need to take that extra coffee meeting with someone you will probably never work with? Networking is great, but being intentional with your time and others is better.  Use your time wisely.

My mother and father have always said, “there is more to life than work”.