Laura Henshaw: How I organise my life
Staying on top of a busy life can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Laura Henshaw explains how she balances work, study, exercise, and relationships.
Laura Henshaw is a student, entrepreneur and model with a keen focus on mental and physical wellbeing.All articles
Between running my own business and studying at uni, I have a lot on my plate. Yet strangely, I feel like the busier I am, the more organised I become.
That doesn’t mean I don’t need to put in effort to stay on top of things, though. My work life, for example, is extremely organised, but when it comes to my personal life I’m often in shambles! And that matters – without a healthy and consistent balance between work, friends, study, exercise, and everything else, I’m not at my best.
But with just a few considerations, I’ve found that getting organised isn’t too hard at all.
Get a diary
We all get organised in different ways. You might find that you strive from rigid discipline or, like me, need a bit more flexibility in your schedule. Either way, it always helps to lend structure to your days with some kind of record.
Get a diary – either physical or digital (or both). My biggest lifesaver is my Google calendar. Everything’s there, and I always know exactly how my day will look. I can plan ahead of time to fit in study, a workout, or a meeting. And because I know what to anticipate, I’m not always getting unexpectedly overwhelmed throughout the day.
As well as my diary, I find it’s super helpful to start my day with a to-do list. It might work better for you to have it on your phone, or you might prefer to write it out on a piece of paper and keep it with you throughout the day.
I find that keeping a written record of what I need to do (and what I have done!) keeps me on task. If I get distracted, I just look at my list to find my footing. And whenever something new comes up, I can add it to my list without breaking away from my present task. If you act on everything in the moment, you won’t get much done by the end of the day.
Make your #onechange
Don’t own a diary? Decide whether you’re a digital David or an analogue Amanda and start planning out your days today.
Prioritise and make yourself flexible
Keeping a record of my day also helps me compromise when I have to – and compromise is a big part of being organised. I try not to allow too many ‘non-negotiables’ to sneak into my diary, beyond my fixed commitments like meetings or uni classes. There are a few, though. I try to exercise at least four times a week, because without exercise I can’t manage stress, and that creates a knock-on effect.
But we’re only human. If you find you can’t make a gym session or yoga class after work, don’t stress out about it. Just reschedule it for the next day and move things around as you need to. That’s the things about diaries: sometimes the more flexible they are, the more you get done.
Don’t forget to have a life!
I feel very lucky: I’ve always had supportive friends by my side. Steph Smith is my business partner at Keep It Cleaner and my best friend IRL! We make sure that we separate business from pleasure and take time off from business to go out together for dinner or to a movie – to not talk about work and just enjoy each other’s company. Maintaining a strong out-of-office friendship has actually strengthened our working relationship and, therefore, our business.
Of course, most people don’t work with their best friends (what a world that would be!). But the principle applies broadly, too – if you bring too much of your work into your personal life, it might cause friction. My partner, Dalton, also runs a business, and when we get home we’re both conscious of shifting gears before walking through the door. Of course, we’re interested in what the other does, but it’s really important that we’re also able to take our business hats off and not talk about work. Sometimes, after a long day, just being present is the best present!
Laura Henshaw is a student, entrepreneur and model with a keen focus on mental and physical wellbeing. She co-founded Keep It Cleaner, an online health and fitness program, and will soon publish a book designed to encourage young women to live their best lives. The information in this article is general information only and is not intended as medical, health, nutritional or other advice. You should obtain professional advice from a medical or health practitioner in relation to your own personal circumstances.
The information in this article is general information only and is not intended as financial, medical, health, nutritional, tax or other advice. It does not take into account any individual’s personal situation or needs. You should consider obtaining professional advice from a financial adviser and/or tax specialist, or medical or health practitioner, in relation to your own circumstances and before acting on this information.