Working full time is a totally different ball game. You can’t necessarily set your schedule similar to how it is in college (unless you’re working for yourself). You can’t call out or leave early just because you feel like it. Working full time has taught me a lot about myself and forced me to learn new ways of doing things in order to be efficient before and after work.
The very first thing I learned when I started working full time is that sleep is crucial to performance on the job. I couldn’t stay up late watching Netflix or YouTube and then expect to wake up the next morning feeling productive and ready to work an eight hour shift. I had to start creating a routine that got me in bed by a certain time with ample amount of sleep so that when it came time to work, I felt more productive and accomplished all the tasks that needed to be done in a day. Sleep is so important for brain function, bodily functions and mood. All three of those play a role in how productive you can be at work.
Another thing I learned very quickly working full time is that the money spent on buying food or coffee outside of what can be made at home adds up over time. It only seems like a few dollars here and there but when a few dollars a day becomes several dollars a week, and several dollars a week becomes give or take a hundred dollars a month, you start to realize that money can be put towards something else. I’m not saying to never buy out, but just to be mindful of how much is being spent each month. When I first started my apprenticeship, I brought coffee and food from home every day until I found out that there was a Starbucks right down the block from the office. Then, I started to form a habit of walking down to Starbucks either before work or on break to get another iced coffee. That habit held true for a few weeks until I scaled it back down to once or twice a week. This month, my goal is to bring it down even more to once or twice a month.
Arguably the most important thing I learned working full time is that “me” time is essential for personal well being. If I don’t have that hour to hour and a half first thing in the morning for myself, I wake up and immediately start working which is not healthy. I constantly have to remind myself that I am not my work and work must only be done at work. Not at home off the clock. I also find it extremely helpful to have “do nothing” weekends. Although I tend to be a social butterfly and love spending time with people, I also love the weekends where I can just work on my blog, sleep, drink coffee, and relax. Those weekends allow me to recharge and get ready for the upcoming week.
I absolutely love what I do. But if I didn’t take care of myself first, I wouldn’t be as happy with where I am as I am now. Feel free to drop any other tips and things that you’ve learned down below!