Prioritization and Balance

Today is my last official day of freedom for a few years… Week 1 of my Ph.D. program technically starts tomorrow, so I’m spending part of today thinking about how I’m going to prioritize my time going forward.

I’m seriously going to have to give up almost all of my “me” time, and then some.

The program will eat up about 30ish hours each and every week, which means I’m spending several hours on weeknights, all day and night Saturday, and probably a few hours on Sunday reading, studying, researching, and writing. That leaves me basically no time for a personal life except for (hopefully) a few hours each Sunday.

It’s worth it to me, as the more I learn about this opportunity, the more right it feels to me. In a few short days, I feel as if I’ve embraced the concept of a “scholar-practitioner” and I’ve started adding in tons of professional literature and development into my life. These are things that I’ve always been interested in, but I never made time for — now, I feel like I have a good reason to dive head-first into the field of study and make a true commitment to it.

That all sounds good in theory, but in the spirit of work/life balance (a big area of focus in corporate environments like the one in which I work) I want to try and plan for a little bit of sanity break each week. I’m thinking that setting realistic boundaries and “me/we” time may help keep me motivated and engaged.

It may be as little as a half-hour at the end of each night to sit on the couch with Sal and watch a favorite television show, and perhaps a planned “date night” on Sunday for a simple dinner-and-movie escape… And yes, I want to make time to continue blogging about the experience, even if just to think through my perspective on the experience and keep writing as much as possible. (I’ve already decided that Facebook will be my get-my-brain-going guilty pleasure in the mornings and on the occasional break.) But I’m hoping that a few things that simple (and not particularly time consuming) may help me find something resembling balance, as I juggle work, school, and a tiny bit of personal life.

It’s worth a shot, don’t you think?

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