There are three main parts of a student’s life that consumes most of their time: study, work, and personal life. Striking a balance between the three is often challenging and stressful. If you are faced with pressure on how to complete assignments on time, earn money and at the same time make the most of college time, you’re not alone!
There are plenty of students out there who need to work to support themselves while they complete their studies.
Balance does not mean you need to have the exact proportion of time for each one, but more so the feeling that you have accomplished all within your capacity and there is no sense of “not having enough time”.
If these thoughts resonate with you and you're looking to make some changes in your lifestyle to strike a balance between your work, academic commitments, and social life, here are 10 tips for you.
- Plan a Schedule: One of the most challenging things about having a job during school/college is trying to be on schedule without overloading yourself with too many tasks. Students should ideally indulge in part-time jobs which give you a chance to choose your work hours. This gives you the opportunity to set aside enough time for both studying and leisure activities.
Write things up, make notes, plan well, and you will find it much easier to stay on top of your duties.
- Prioritize: Layout priorities and plan your activities accordingly to your deadlines and exam dates.
Many students, due to their busy lifestyles, tend to delay starting with their assignments or studies, without considering unexpected situations that may arise at the last moment. It's always better to prioritize and schedule such tasks.
- Avoid multi-tasking: While some people may prefer multi-tasking, we believe that the best way to complete a task is to finish it and then move to another one. Taking breaks is of course ok, as you don’t want to drain out all your energies; however, try not to do everything at the same time.
- Take care of yourself: Stress is an integral part of being a working student. You maybe cannot avoid stress, but you can learn how to manage it and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Eating nutritious food, exercising, and getting enough sleep or taking a short nap during lunch breaks can boost your brain and body’s performance. Meanwhile, sleep deprivation leads to decreased concentration levels and less efficiency.
- Learn how to manage stress: Working and studying at the same time can be quite stressful, but there are many ways to manage stress. Activities such as breathing exercises, practicing yoga, or meditation can greatly reduce stress and provide benefits for both your physical and mental health - you just need to find out what works for you! Reducing stress is important for staying focused, centered and productive, and will ultimately allow you to work to your best ability.
- Reward yourself: When you’ve successfully completed a task, reward yourself. Have a nice dinner, go on a fun day trip on the weekend, take a long hot bath, or go on a shopping spree. Rewarding yourself will encourage you to continue working hard and strengthen good habits.
- Avoid distractions: In the internet era, there is just one screen to do everything- for online classes, connecting with friends, and taking a break to watch a movie or series. As such, it has become very easy to get distracted. Scrolling social media or checking mobile phones while studying or working can take a lot more time than usual to finish tasks. So, the focus is very important to complete one task and move to another.
- Learn to say 'no': Learn how to say “no” to things, events, and people that do not feel meaningful, necessary, and important to you. Your time and energy are precious, especially if your schedule is already packed. Having way too much on your plate is a disheartening, frustrating, and stressful experience.
- Socialize: Going to classes and lectures is a lot more enjoyable if you know there will be some familiar faces to chat to — so don’t be afraid to socialize. Strike up a conversation and introduce yourself to the person next to you. You may even find some support and motivation from your classmates, and it will help you strike the perfect study-work-life balance.
- Have fun along the way: The most important mantra towards success is to have fun in whatever you do. If you enjoy studying rather than consider it a burden, it can be very interesting. Finding a job in an industry you wish to make a career in is also a great way to balance your work and studies. This way, you’ll get experience early on, your colleagues can offer support and advice, and both studying and working will be fun.