Every uni student knows it can be difficult to find the right balance between work, life and study. Picking up an extra shift at work or skipping a lecture for lunch with a friend can seem like a great idea at the time, but may cause you some anxiety if you start falling behind. Having a balanced life is essential to succeeding in everything from your degree to your friendships. Here are our 6 tips to keep up your study, work and social commitments and avoid burning out.
1. Time Management
It seems easy but managing your time is crucial to a balanced life. The key to time management is to prioritise everything and then schedule it all in a diary or calendar, but make sure you leave yourself enough time for each task. Setting out specific times to do particular tasks keeps you on track. Of course, if you find yourself having lunch with friends when you’re meant to be studying don’t be hard on yourself, just realise that your study time will have to be rescheduled. Time management can be a difficult task but the more you practice it the better you’ll get and trust me, it’ll make a world of difference.
Tip: Keeping detailed and up to date to-do list or checklists can also help with time management. This allows you to see an overview of everything you have to do and helps you allocate sufficient time for study, balancing it with a part-time job and your social life.
2. Take care of yourself
The last thing you want when you’re busy and juggling multiple priorities is to get sick. Your health should be your #1 priority so it’s crucial that you look after yourself. This can be as simple as not going to every party or event, exercising regularly or simply making sure to get enough sleep. As uni students, we’re often burning the candle at both ends, waking up early for classes and going out late. But you can only do this for so long before it all catches up with you.
3. Pick a job that works for you
We understand that life while you’re studying can be expensive and that having a job is usually necessary to pay for textbooks and other study materials. But it’s important to pick a job that works for you. Your free time will change every semester and you’ll have exam periods, so it’s important to find a job that is flexible and understands your university commitments. Figure out how many hours you can realistically work in a week, leaving enough time for study and a social life. Make sure your boss understands all of this beforehand, as it will be a massive weight off your shoulders when uni gets busy and you have to ask to cut down your working hours.
4. Take time off and reward yourself
Life can get very busy and it can be easy to forget to take some time to rest. It’s important to take some time for yourself - this can be anything from a night in watching Netflix, to a weekend getaway. It allows you to forget about your to-do lists and schedules for a second and relax. A quick break can leave you refreshed and motivated and give you the energy to keep up with work, study and your social commitments.
5. Be productive and efficient
Being productive and efficient can seem like an obvious tip, but it can be a lot harder than you think. Try to be productive from the start of semester. Even though it might seem like there’s not a lot to do, every lecture you miss or notes you don’t write will eventually need to be done, so why not use this slow period to keep up to date - you’ll thank yourself when it comes to exam time. I know it’s easy to leave things to the last minute, but doing this can really put pressure on trying to maintain a balanced life. So use your time wisely, try not to procrastinate and attempt to avoid distractions.
6. Don’t over commit
One final tip is to not overcommit yourself. Know your limits and don’t try and do everything at once. Balance is one thing and doing everything is another. Leave some time free and know how much you can actually complete in a certain time period. There’s no point overdoing it and burning out.
So, you’ve probably heard most of these tricks before, but we think it’s important to remind you so that you can get organised while it’s still early in the semester. Trust me your future self will thank you.