Transitioning to a Working Woman


ImageThe last six weeks of my life have been some of the busiest I’ve ever endured. I’m working a 30-hour internship, 10-hour job, two classes and a weekly volunteer position. While I would love to say I’ve made a smooth transition from Eugene to Portland, that would be a lie. I have bags under my eyes, I’ve developed a caffeine addiction and my mom thinks I’m dead because I haven’t had the chance to call them in two weeks.

I’m just now starting to get the hang of things, which means those bags are disappearing, I’m getting more sleep and I finally had a chance to call Momma Hailicka. Here are my five pieces of advice for managing a busy schedule:

1. Recognize Priorities

I’m learning to associate each task with a priority level. I usually catch myself doing things in the order they’re assigned, rather than doing them based on how high of a priority they are. Now I focus on getting the most important projects done first so I don’t feel overwhelmed doing the menial tasks at the end.

2. Make To Do Lists 

With my busy schedule, Google Calendar and the to-do list app on my iPhone have become my best friends. By putting everything into these two tools, it’s easier for me to keep track of what needs done, what’s most important and where I need to be at what time. Consider reading “24 Ways to be Uncommonly Productive Today.”

3. Trade in Drinks for Sleep 

While it’s tempting to explore a new bar in Portland most nights of the week, I’ve learned I enjoy the city much more during the weekends when I’m not cramped for time. I function well on seven hours of sleep and I’ve been making it a point to get that every work night.

4. Schedule You Time

It’s easy for me to forget to take a breath, relax and clear my head from time to time. That’s why I’ve scheduled time into my days where I take an hour to go to the gym, go for a walk, read a book or watch the latest episode of Fashion Police. Whatever it is that calms you down, do it!

5. Call Mommy

My poor mother has found herself at the bottom of my priority list lately, but I’ve moved her back up because every time I get the chance to talk to her, I feel a sense of relief and as well as an ego boost because I know she’s my biggest cheerleader. She always asks what I’ve been up to, and in telling her, I’m reminded about all the great things I’ve been doing. 

Making the transition from sweatpants to office attire is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be the death of you. Cheers to being a working woman!

Ayni Hailicka

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About hailayn

2012 University of Oregon graduate (public relations) who's currently teaching English in Istanbul, Turkey.
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6 Responses to Transitioning to a Working Woman

  1. pdxsx says:

    A very thoughtful and mature post, Ayni. Excellent work.

  2. anabouls says:

    Sounds like your figuring things out Ayni. I know I find myself feeling like a old women because I always head home to do work instead of grabbing a few drinks but in the end I am much happier. Who knew growing up would happen so fast.

  3. Good advice, Ayni. I like that you included the Number 4 suggestions, because I think when we get busy, things like the gym are the first to be eliminated. Scheduling them into your week and making a point to “take you time” will actually make you more productive because you can’t accomplish anything if you’re not healthy.

  4. eilíseward says:

    You are my inspiration to go buy a planner! Since I left school last winter I’ve forgotten how refreshing it can feel to be organized and your post just reminded me, thanks lady!

  5. This is such a great post for so many reasons. The transition was crazy and adapting to some of these methods have definitely helped. Tamara makes a good point that at the end of the day, the last thing I want is to schedule my me time at the gym but its such a great stress reliever. I’ve also noticed how making time to call home reminds me that every busy day is worth it because I am happy here. Great advice Ayni.

  6. sarahbrown90 says:

    I know exactly what you are going through, I am in the same position! I work Monday through Friday at my internship and then bartend on the weekends so it’s hard to fit in a social life, sleep, and me time. I’m finally starting to get back on track to my normal routine but it has definitely been difficult. You have a lot of great suggestions. I also do really well with to-do lists, but have recently been slacking when I need to be using them the most. I have an iPhone and never thought to use that app. I’m going to start using it this week since it is such a success for you. Thanks for the tips!

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