As a working student, your life can quickly begin feeling overwhelming as you strive to balance your job, school workload, and social engagements. Often, to make time for your responsibilities, spending time with friends or participating in hobbies and extra-curricular activities falls by the wayside; when this happens, the inevitable result is burnout. Developing positive habits can help you manage your time and ensure you can still partake in social engagements. Let’s take a look at some easy-to-implement tips that will help you develop a work-study-life balance so you can feel less overwhelmed and more fulfilled.
Why Balancing Your Schedule Is Important
A balanced schedule that includes time for social interactions is essential to ward off burnout and help you maintain your mental health. Burnout Syndrome is a real condition caused by excessive workplace and/or school stress that is not managed properly. In fact, it has become one of the most prevalent conditions reported among college students, with over 55% claiming to experience emotional exhaustion, ~32% feeling cynicism, and ~31% struggling with academic efficacy. With so many students struggling to maintain a healthy balance, it’s vital to develop successful habits early to avoid becoming one of these statistical numbers.
Tips For Balancing Work, School, and Life
Get A Calendar And Use It
A calendar can be your best friend when faced with a full schedule. So many people falsely believe they can keep all their appointments, deadlines, and more in their heads, but inevitably, they will forget and miss something important. By utilizing a calendar, you can free up your brain space to focus on your classes and keep yourself from feeling frantic when trying to remember what’s on your schedule for the day. The hardest part is remembering to use your calendar, but once you train yourself to write everything down, you’ll find it becomes second nature.
Make A Schedule And Adhere To It
Creating a schedule will take the guesswork out of your day and ensure you have enough time to fit everything in. For example, scheduling a few hours every day for homework and studying will guard against last-minute cramming sessions and keep you from feeling anxious about your workload. You can also plan social engagements around your work schedule, ensuring you have enough time to hang out with friends and participate in hobbies. By having a schedule, you won’t have to miss out on as many events, which is an excellent way to help you stay connected with your peers and guard against burnout.
Set Realistic Goals
Everyone wants to be like Superman, accomplishing a hundred different things during the day and still having the energy to hang out with friends. As wonderful as that sounds, it’s not realistic to believe you can achieve that type of workload for an extended amount of time. Instead, set realistic goals for your days, weeks, months, and even for the entire year. It can be as simple as studying for thirty minutes a day or exercising three times a week. You can even shoot for being on time for class or work. By setting realistic goals, you can keep yourself motivated, which will help you achieve more in the long run.
Procrastination is your biggest enemy when it comes to a healthy work-study-life balance. How many times have you told yourself that you would do something in the morning only to find it never gets done? As hard as it can sometimes be, following through on a task when it’s due will keep you on track and save you from grief later on. One trick is to tell yourself that future you will be very thankful that you took the time in the present, and then when the future comes, you can thank your past self for being so considerate and not procrastinating!
While multi-tasking is sometimes unavoidable, doing too many things at once can quickly make you feel overwhelmed. By creating a schedule, you can ensure you don’t end up having to study for an exam, go to work, and go out with your friends, all on the same day. Additionally, when you multi-task, you’re not able to give your full attention to the task at hand, often leading to mediocre results; by focusing your full attention, you can achieve your goals and perform work you can be proud of.
Prioritization Is Key
Prioritizing your life is one of the best ways to find balance and ensure you accomplish your goals. For example, if you have work and your friends ask you to go out with them on the same day, politely telling them you will have to hang out on another day shows you’re prioritizing your responsibilities. On the other hand, if it’s your day off and you have a social engagement planned, and your manager calls asking if you can pick up an extra shift, you may find that the mental health benefits of keeping your day off are a priority. Every day is different, and creating a list (even a mental one) of its priorities will help you keep your eyes on the goal and maintain a healthy balance.
Be Efficient In Your Studies
Studying is an essential part of being a student and is a priority you can’t overlook. Creating healthy study habits will help you make the most of your time, increase retention, and help you maintain good grades. You can choose to study on your own or with a group; just be sure to keep your focus and limit distractions. Efficient studying is a skill that will benefit you for years to come!
Finding a healthy work-study-life balance is an essential skill that takes time to perfect. By implementing the tips above, you can help set yourself up for success, guarding against burnout and maintaining healthy mental health. Learning how to manage everything in your life isn’t easy at first, but with practice and determination, you will find you can have a happy, balanced life.