Tips for a Healthy School, Life, and Work Balance
Achieving a healthy school, life, and work balance may seem like an impossible juggling act in this day and age. Schedules are busier than ever. Responsibilities don’t end when you leave the office and doing everything perfectly seems like an impossible task. Does any of that sound familiar? Achieving a balance is all about making the changes that best suit your lifestyle and responsibilities. This balance looks different for everyone, and it won’t happen overnight. Work, life, and school are all big things that, when mixed together, can present a unique set of challenges that you didn’t see coming when you first embarked on this adventure. Keep reading for tips on achieving a healthy school, life, and work balance without sacrificing anything for anyone.
Manage your time well.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it is the key to a successful balance. Time management is incredibly important! Create a schedule and set aside specific blocks of time for working on assignments and focusing on your classes. Plan out your free time and weekends, so that you make the most of those minutes. At the end of each week, evaluate what you accomplished, how you felt, and make adjustments for what needs to change next. This will help you stay organized and on top of your tasks. Use technology to your advantage! There are lots of productivity, time management, and task-oriented applications available to download. Use a calendar to schedule times for specific tasks and create a schedule for yourself if you prefer that kind of structure. Discover what works for you and what doesn’t early on, so that you get into a groove of managing your time like a pro.
Outline your goals.
Understanding where you’d like to be in two, three, or even five years will help you create a plan for how to get there. Think about your career goals – how will the courses you’re taking now impact your future as a professional? How can you use your education to further your career? Understand your main motivations for pursuing your education and use those same motivations to help you achieve your goals.
Take care of yourself.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” before. While you may not be physically running anywhere, it’s still important to pace yourself so that you don’t burn out before reaching the finish line. Self-care is integral to achieving a work-life-school balance that leaves you feeling like you’ve got your act together. Make sure that you’re getting a proper amount of rest, exercising every so often, and spending time doing activities that make you happy. Put your feet up, watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show, and enjoy some time away from your coursework. When you return to your task list, you will feel energized and ready to take on whatever lies ahead.
Spend time with friends and family.
In the same spirit of taking care of yourself, it’s crucial to spend time with your loved ones. Look to this community for support, encouragement, and advice when figuring out this busy time in your life. Listen to their experiences – they may have gone through a similar time where they were also working to find a balance. Don’t put your relationships with friends and family on hold, either. Take a look at your free time and intentionally plan time to spend with these people. Staying connected with your loved ones is important to maintaining a healthy balance no matter what you’re juggling.
Create a different routine.
A new set of challenges may require a new routine. You’re adapting to a different lifestyle for the duration of your program, and that may mean making some changes in your day-to-day activities. While it might seem like all of your time has suddenly disappeared, look for ways to create it elsewhere. Do you afford yourself the luxury of sleeping in every morning? Try waking up at an earlier time to get your morning started a few minutes ahead of schedule. This may allow you the opportunity to sit down and review your tasks for the day – starting you off on the right foot with a clear picture of what needs to get done.
Create rules for yourself to ensure that you stay on track. Only allow yourself to complete coursework, study, or work on projects in a particular place or location. Assign a time limit to various tasks – 30-minute blocks of studying with a 5-minute break in between may help you study more productively. Are you attending classes in the evening? Be present and engaged with the material, and don’t let your technology distract you. Leave your mobile device in your bag or backpack so you aren’t tempted to check your phone. Most importantly – follow your own rules. Over time, these will become an integral part of your routine and help you use your time more efficiently.
If studying for three hours at a time sounds awful to you, that’s because it is. It’s difficult to focus on one thing for an extended period given all of the modern distractions. Taking frequent, intentional breaks allows you to get up, get away from the material, and recharge for a few minutes. You will be able to study more effectively and retain more information. Only allow yourself to check your phone, look at social media, or get a snack during these breaks. That way, when you come back, you will be able to focus on what’s at hand and not what’s happening on Facebook.
Believe in yourself.
This is probably the most important thing when it comes to achieving a healthy school, life, and work balance. You will eventually reach the other side, prepared to handle any challenge that comes next. Remember that balance looks different for everyone, so yours may not be your neighbor’s. That doesn’t make you any less capable of juggling the same challenges! You have made great strides to get to where you are – keep pushing through.