1. Brew their own coffee at home instead of spending approximately half their paycheck on Starbucks every day. You do not want to do the math on how much you could potentially spend in a year buying coffee every day. That’s a harrowing figure.
2. Eat a (relatively healthy) breakfast that’s more substantial than a Lara Bar they found at the bottom of their purse. That granola bar is gonna keep you full for what? Twenty minutes? People who have their shit together need fuel to get through their crazy days with grace and poise.
3. Say “no” to things that aren’t worth their time or aren’t doable without crumbling into a pile of guilt. Together women know it’s not possible to do it all, or even think for a second you can feasibly do it all. Doing it all is overrated. Doing some of it is the way to go, because the stuff you do will likely be way better if you aren’t spread super thin.
4. Prioritize tasks in a responsible manner, so they don’t end up putting all the most annoying, most time-consuming things off until the end of the day. A good way to make sure time you have time to do happy hour after work is to get all the cumbersome tasks out of the way early in the day, or else you’ll wind up doing your taxes when everyone else is out having fun.
5. Set a clear distinction between work and personal time, so they don’t waste time at work or go crazy responding to work emails at all hours of the day/night. Is that email from your boss really so urgent that you need to ignore your friends to respond to it at 10 p.m. on a Friday? Unless you work in a life-or-death industry, no. It’s not! Working when you’re not at work is a great way to burn out fast and then become someone who does not have it together.
6. Let money actually hang out in their savings account instead of treating it like a secondary checking account with more fun money in it. Sure, you’re financially stable and secure in your job … for now. But that can always change. Keep a couple months’ rent in your savings account just in case all hell breaks lose, and you get fired and have to find a new apartment all at the same time.
7. Check in with friends and family when they’re going through a hard time. Having your shit together doesn’t just mean putting work before everything else. Do you really want your job to be the thing that brings you the most joy in life? Friends and family are so important and great. Treat them well!
8. Accept that they can’t solve all of life’s problems and feel totally chill about that. It’s incredibly stressful to think that you can fix everything all the time. It’s also incredibly impossible. Do what you can, don’t take on anything you can’t.
9. Maintain a social life that isn’t just grabbing drinks with coworkers at that sad bar near the office sometimes. It’s not all about being the perfect employee who only thinks about work. It’s actually not healthy to only think about work. Balance. It’s good.
10. Have a reliable and healthy stress management system in place that doesn’t involve getting wasted on weeknight or shoving three burritos down their gullet. Self-destructive habits are only going to create more stress over time, until you crash and burn. You know you’ll regret that third burrito tomorrow, when your stomach is revolting against you.
11. Go to bed early enough to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night, instead of being like, “Whatever, I’ll just keep binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy even though it’s already 4 a.m.” Season one million of Grey’s will still be there tomorrow night. You’re not missing anything by sleeping instead of finding out who they kill off next, and you’ll be way more productive tomorrow if you get a decent amount of sleep.
12. Eat, like, at least one vegetable every day. I’m not saying go out and eat an entire bushel of Brussels sprouts or whatever, but you know, don’t cram junk into your body, and then expect to be totally cool and great all the time.
13. Not feel bad for having one glass of wine after they have an especially long, stressful day. If you really need a glass of wine to unwind after an awful day, that’s totally cool. There’s a lot to be said for the beauty of moderation, and if you feel guilty and terrible after having one tiny indulgence, you’ll only be unhappy.
14. Dress appropriately for the weather/their schedule each day, so they’re not stuck scratching their armpits in their itchy sweater while Todd from HR gives a two-hour presentation. Very unprofessional to fidget your way through a very serious meeting because you wore your itchiest sweater to work. Plan ahead, don’t wear uncomfortable things when you know you should be dressed to endure a meeting with Todd.
15. Show up on time so lateness doesn’t stand in their way and cause their day to unravel at the delicate seams. It’s incredibly hard to keep it together when you’re rushing around like a madwoman, just trying to make up for the five-minute delay in your schedule you caused by pressing snooze on your alarm that morning (those extra five minutes of sleep don’t seem so worth it when you’re apologizing to literally all your appointments all day, do they?).
16. Actually listen to people when they talk to them, so they don’t have to loop back a million times to clarify little details. I know you have a lot to do, but try not to zone out and think about your laundry list of tasks when someone is talking to you. You’ll miss out on important information, and women who have it together are embarrassed to admit they weren’t paying attention earlier, so could someone please tell them when that report is due?
17. Respond to important emails in a timely manner, so they don’t find themselves crushed beneath the weight of an inbox with 14,897 unread messages. This gives me so much anxiety, OMG. Stay on top your inbox. Replying to or deleting one email takes, like, half a second. Replying to or deleting 10 million emails probably takes six months.
18. Focus on one thing at a time instead of pretending like they’re three people at once who can multitask without screwing up. Doing tasks right the first time is actually the most time effective method if you want to stay on top of things.
19. Keep one calendar where all their meetings and other reminders are, instead of keeping 12 random to-do lists and calendars scattered about on different electronic devices. Hmm, did you save that meeting reminder in your phone or in your Google calendar? And whoops, isn’t it Charlotte’s birthday today? If only you had all your events consolidated in one, easy-to-access place.
20. Admit, from time to time, that they don’t actually have their shit together, and need help on little things. There’s nothing wrong with admitting defeat every once in a while — it’s why we have coworkers and peers and friends who hopefully like you enough to help out when you need it. You’d do the same for them, right? Because you totally have it all together, and are there for your friends.
By: Hannah Smothers