“Hustle is my love language.” Rachel Hollis
I have been working two jobs since May of 2018. When I decided to leave my job as a school librarian and move to Vietnam, my career became a vortex for random opportunities. Vietnam happened for a very short time, and then I tried a different school district. That is when I decided I would never be content in the public school system in Mississippi. That is when I became a full time VIPKid teacher. Within two months, I had built a sustainable full time income teaching English in my pajamas.
However, it did not solve the problem of health insurance or retirement. After working for VIPKid for 5 months, my pre-teaching job opened up at the Local History library. The pay is atrocious, but it covers health care and I pay into my vested state retirement. As a result, my average work week now consists of 64 hours.
Have I lost my mind?
I do feel this way some mornings. Especially after time change, and my first class begins at 4 A.M. I often wonder what I am doing with my life after teaching 2 hours on a Saturday night after a 12 hour day. However, I have found a happy working life is a seesaw. If one thing is good, then something else will not be so great. So although I love working with the patrons and documents, the library pay is too low to cover bills. I love teaching my students as well, but the hours are rough with no paid time off.
The bottom line is no job is perfect. Also, our time is our most valuable commodity. So here are a few of my thoughts after working the past year and a half at 2 full-time jobs.
Know Your Why
None of this will last if you do not know the reason for doing this. My why is that I want to be as close to my own boss as possible. I also enjoy the flexibility of online teaching and the leave time of the library. I love all my co-workers both virtual and in person with both jobs.
Not to mention, how much less stress my life has now.
Prioritize Basic Needs First
Functioning at maximum capacity only works if you keep yourself healthy. I can only last about 3 days without a full night of sleep. My body rebels if I do not eat right after a few weeks. If I do not drink enough water, I have a headache by evening time. So sure a habit tracker if needed or a reminder on your phone.
Make working out during free time a priority as well. This helps keep your body agile and improves energy levels.
Be the Master of Your Schedule
When I was re-hired back as a librarian, I wrote out several schedule scenarios. I thought of the ending time of my classes before and after daylight savings times and the length of my commute. Weekly, I try to ruthlessly schedule my additional time after work. I create lists of monthly goals, weekly tasks, and daily ‘to dos.’
The other things I must be aware of is the amount of time being drained from Netflix, social media, and mindless web browsing. This is something I struggle with daily. Some days I win and some days I lose. However, I am making a more intentional approach to consuming content as recommended in this recent podcast I just finished by Rachel Hollis.
Multi-Task What is Possible
I will make a point to listen to audiobooks during my car rides and podcasts during my walks. This is a way I can still enjoy reading and learning without stopping my day. I also dry my hair while reviewing my future VIPKid classes. It is easy to hold a hedgehog while running computer updates or scrolling pictures.
Get creative, what can you do while doing something else?
There’s an App for That!
Walmart Grocery pick-up saves me over 4-5 hours a month. I think of tedious tasks and time consuming errands then try to find ways to reduce my time. I do not own a home helper like an Echo because my Fire Stick has voice capabilities. Using the Fire stick, I will switch songs, request shows, and browse YouTube using my voice.
Constantly, I use phone notes and reminders to keep me on track if something is off from my regular schedule.
Really Enjoy Your Off Time
Most times, I try to take every other Sunday off of both jobs. On this day, I have taken road trips with Edward or planned an afternoon out with a friend. I took two weeks to enjoy China without teaching and just traveling. It has caused me to value time with people and doing relaxing things.
I recommend unplugging from social media and getting outside.
Love What You Do!
Both of my current jobs are my top 2 favorite jobs ever. I never regret waking up at the crack of dawn to help a student learn English or driving to the library to help with research. I am always growing and learning with both jobs daily. Whether it is something that happened locally in the 1940s or a new word in Chinese.
And besides, it all works out as long as coffee still exists in the world.
Have you ever worked two jobs at one time? How did you manage?
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