Balancing life and work

I often joke that school and work — but mostly work — have declared war on my health. Late nights cut into my sleep. Busy days make it hard to eat right. And every minute I’m at the gym is a minute I could be answering e-mails, meeting with co-workers or reading correspondents’ stories. But I’ve recently decided to fight back and reclaim my health and happiness. I’m certainly no expert, but here’s how I’ve been doing it.

Getting up early. I don’t get much done at night. By the time I’m done with school and work, I just don’t have the energy to work out or re-design my resume. So when I need a few extra hours of productivity, I schedule them before my classes and copy-chief shifts. Sure, I’ll be more tired at the end of day, but it won’t matter as long as I conquer my to-do list before the sun goes down.

Multitasking. I fold laundry while I watch football, make phone calls while I walk to class and answer e-mails while I wait in line. And like all journalists, I eat most meals at my desk.

Not multitasking. I don’t read at the gym. For one hour of the day, I let my brain think about whatever it wants. It’s my chance to say “no” to everyone else’s demands and do what’s right for my own well-being. It’s easier to tend to other’s needs once I’ve tended to my own.

Taking care of relationships. Bosses and co-workers practice conditional love. They’re your friends when you succeed and your enemies when you fail. To combat craziness, I have to surround myself with people who like me for who I am,  not what I can do for them. An afternoon with my friends helps me recharge so I can start the next day ready to work.

On the football field with friends after Kansas defeated Georgia Tech on Sept. 11.

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