Studying can be a very overwhelming experience. On its own, there are serious demands like assignment deadlines, tutorial preparation, and those dreaded tests and exams. On top of that, many college students have to hold jobs simultaneously to meeting all of their financial needs. So add the pressure of a job too! At this point, it can feel like it’s impossible to make room for anything else in life, but life always has a way of adding unexpected things. However, a balance between work, school, and life is not impossible. Here are some tips to help you find that balance.
Make a schedule
Start by either buying a calendar or using the calendar app on your phone. Fill out all of the time slots taken by your class schedule. Then fill out the slots related to working times, and don’t forget to account for travel time. If you work at a job that has changing shifts, try to fill out the schedule on a weekly basis or when you know what your shifts are.
With the bright and colorful schedule in front of you, you’ll now be able to see where your free slots are to fill in other activities like gym, socializing, and relaxing.
When it comes time to decide the slots for homework or assignments, keep in mind the type of person you are. Some individuals work better in the morning and some work better late at night. To this end, it would be self-defeating to plan morning activities if you know you struggle to get out of bed (as most people do!).
Something that can really free up some time is planning to work on assignments right after class, because the knowledge is fresh in your brain. It makes the assignment work much more efficient and takes a load off of your busy schedule.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
There will come a time when activities will conflict. Then you need to decide which is more important. This is often quite difficult so perhaps use a scoring system based on the deadline, the workload, and the consequences of not completing the task. For example, it’s easy to decide between missing a shift (swapping out with someone), which just results in less pay, versus an assignment that’s worth a hefty chunk of the semester.
Finish tasks completely before moving to the next
Research has actually proven that in the majority of cases, multitasking is less efficient, and causes more time to be spent on each task overall. So once you start a task, try your best to finish it before doing anything else.
Proper eating and sleeping is essential
One of the most neglected parts of a college student’s life is their health and well-being. It may seem like you have to cut your sleep time to make room for other things, but if you ignore those, you can end up really tired and inefficient in the time you do have, which is counterproductive.
Don’t overburden yourself
Many experts advise that you physically and literally put relaxation time on your schedule. Relaxation is important for giving the mind and body time to rest so that they work better during stressful periods. If you don’t have any time to relax, it means that you are overburdened and may need to consider cutting down some of your responsibilities, There’s no shame in asking for help if you need it!